Talthybius was the chief herald of the Greeks in the Trojan War. It seems reasonable to look for a 'belligerent' origin here, and perhaps it lies in talas, 'enduring' (as for Talos) and bios, 'life', or else thyella, 'storm' (from thyo, 'to rush', 'storm') and bios, so that his name expresses an 'enduring life' or a 'stormy life'. The first element in the name, if it derives from talas, can mean not just 'enduring' but also 'suffering', 'wretched' and even 'headstrong'.

All these are suitable for a man who was forever carrying out disagreeable duties, such as taking Cassandra into slavery and snatching the child Astyanax from his mother Andromache so that he could be murdered.