The word Greece comes from the Greek word Γραικοί (Graekoi) by which the inhabitants of a region in the North West of Greece were known to their neighbours. By the 4th century BC there is evidence from inscriptions that this was superseded by the term Έλληνες (Hellenes).
The Greek name for Greece is Ελλάς (Hellas) and men and women are Έλληνες and Ελληνίδες respectively (Hellenes). At various times in history, the two names (Graekoi and Hellenes) were used interchangeably or to make various distinctions between different sections of the Greek-speaking population, as for example in the early centuries of Christianity when the word Hellenes was used for those Greeks who had not converted to Christianity while the name Graekoi or Romioi (Romans) was used for those who had; the latter was particularly prevalent in the days of the Byzantine and post Byzantine era.
Since then, the words Hellas (for the country) and Hellenes (for those of Greek extraction) have become increasingly more prevalent and, when Greece ceased to be a kingdom in 1973 (known in English as the Kingdom of Greece) and became a republic, it was styled in English Hellenic Republic.