Menestheus was the son of Peteüs and the great-grandson of Erechtheus. As with Menelaüs, we have the problem of deciding whether to interpret the first element of his name as meno, 'to stay', 'abide', 'await' or menos, 'strength', 'might'.

If we take the latter half of his name as deriving from theios, 'divine', then it would seem to make better sense to say 'divine strength' than 'divine abider', especially as his 'strength' can be understood to mean the force of fifty ships that he led to Troy from Athens.