Minos was the possessor of the famous Minotaur, the 'Minos bull' that was the offspring of his wife Pasiphaë. He himself was the son of Zeus and Europa. His name is of uncertain meaning, but appears to be a 'title' name, perhaps in the sense 'king', on the same lines as Pharaoh or Caesar.

If we can relate it to any Greek word at all, the most likely candidate would be men, 'month', this in turn relating to the twelve-monthly (or nine-yearly) despatch to him of seven boys and seven girls to be devoured in the labyrinth by the Minotaur.