Comedian and actor Adam Devine, who reigns as Bacchus LIV, greets members of the Marine Corps Bands before the start of the Krewe of Bacchus parade on Sunday, February 19, 2023. (Photo by Brett Duke, | The Times-Picayune)

In a city filled with odd monikers, it's no surprise that New Orleans' Mardi Gras krewes have embraced their own unique names.

But why do so many of these krewes have Greek, Roman and African inspired names?

Many Mardi Gras krewes across the city and beyond have drawn their name inspiration from history and mythology.

Here's a look at how this came to be and the meaning behind some of the names.

Where Mardi Gras krewes get their names

According to a 2017 article from Mardi Gras historian Arthur Hardy, "Owing at least in part to the mid-19th century’s renewed public fascination with ancient mythology, New Orleans’ first parading organization named itself Comus, after the son of Bacchus and Circe, made famous in John Milton’s 'The Masque of Comus.' Of the next four organizations to launch — Twelfth Night Revelers, Rex (Latin for king), Momus and Proteus — only the Revelers adopted a nonclassical name."

Hardy says the names of these krewes in New Orleans and the surrounding areas have been taken from Greek and Roman mythology: Adonis, Argus, Atlas, Bacchus, Dionysus, Endymion, Hermes, Iris, Morpheus, Muses, Nemesis, Okeanos, Olympia, Orpheus, Perseus, Proteus, Pygmalion, Selene, Titans and Zeus, as well as the names of a number of early gay clubs, including Armeinius, Ganymede, Ishtar, Petronius and Phoenix.

Isis and Thoth come from Egyptian mythology and Oshun and Zulu come from Africa.

Other krewes take their names from historical people and places tied to Greece, Rome, Egypt and France.

Caesar, Centurions, Cleopatra, Druids and Pontchartrain are all named for actual historical figures. And though often attached to myth, Babylon and Sparta were actual places.

Meanings of common krewe names

Adonis: in Greek mythology, a youth loved by Aphrodite (the goddess of love) who is killed while hunting

Argus: a hundred-eyed monster in Greek mythology

Atlas: in Greek mythology, a Titan who is forced to hold the heavens on his shoulders

Bacchus: the Roman god of wine

Dionysus: the Greek god of wine and festivity

Endymion: in Greek mythology, a handsome shepherd-prince and the lover of Selene, the goddess of the moon. Endymion spent most of his time in perpetual sleep.

Hermes: in Greek mythology, the messenger god who also rules over travelers, trade and more

Iris: the Greek goddess of the rainbow

Isis: the Egyptian goddess of healing and magic. She was the most important goddess in Egyptian mythology.?

Mars: the Roman god of war

Morpheus: the Greek god of sleep and dreams

Muses: in Greek mythology, a group of goddesses who ruled over music, art and dance and were the source of inspiration for art and science

Nemesis: the Greek goddess of revenge

Okeanos: in Greek mythology, a Titan who ruled over all of the freshwater on earth

Olympia: an ancient site in Greece that was the location of the original Olympic Games. It is also the home of an ancient temple dedicated to Zeus, the Greek god of the sky.

Orpheus: in Greek mythology, a hero who had supernatural musical skills. He is also known for his attempt to bring his lover Eurydice back from the Underworld.

Oshun: an orisha, or deity or goddess, of the Yoruba people in West Africa. She rules over love, fertility and water and is one of the most popular orisha.

Perseus: one of the greatest Greek demi-gods (half, god, half mortal) and a monster slayer who killed Medusa

Proteus: in Greek mythology, a prophetic old sea god

Pygmalion: in Greek mythology, a sculptor from Cyprus who falls in love with a statue of a woman that he carved

Selene: the Greek goddess of the moon

Titans: six elder gods in Greek mythology that were overthrown by Zeus and the Olympians

Thoth: the Egyptian god of wisdom and writing, often represented with an ibis head

Zeus: the Greek god of the sky and the king of the Greek gods

Zulu: the name for a group of South African people who speak the Bantu language Zulu. According to oral tradition, the name means, “sky.”