Matthew (name)

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Gender Male
Word/name Hebrew
Meaning "Gift of Yahweh"[1]
Other names
Alternative spelling Mathew
Nickname(s) Matt, Mat, Matty, Mattie, Macey,[2] Hew
Usage Most Common usage of Matthew or Mathew in the English-speaking world[3]
Related names Mathers, Matthews, Matthewson, Mathew, Matt, Matty, Maddy, Matilda, Matthias, Mathias, Thew, Hew, Mitt, Macey, Mace, May, Mayhew
Popularity see popular names

Matthew (/ˈmæθjuː/; MATH-ew) is a given name that ultimately comes from the Hebrew name Matityahu. Saint Matthew was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus in Christian Theology.[4][5][6][7]

The Hebrew name "מַתִּתְיָהוּ" (Matityahu) was transliterated into Greek to "Ματταθίας" (Mattathias),[8] which was shortened to "Ματθαῖος" – (Matthaios). Deceptively, it is therefore unrelated to θεῖος (theios) meaning divine (adjective, e.g. theology) or sulfur (Koine noun, e.g. thiol group).[9] The Greek Ματθαῖος was Latinised as Matthaeus, which became Matthew in English. It is commonly shortened to Matt.

An alternative Greek transliteration, "Ματθίας" (Matthias),[10] led to the closely related English name Matthias.

The name is also sometimes used as an anglicisation of the Irish name Mathúin, meaning bear.[11][12]

The name Matthew became popular during the Middle Ages in North-West Europe, and appears in many European languages. The name has been very common throughout the English-speaking world since the 1970s.[3] Matthew has been one of the 1,000 most popular male names in Australia, Canada and United States. Currently, it is the 15th most popular name in Ireland.[13][14] In the United Kingdom, it was among the 10 most popular male names through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and was ninth as recently as 2001.[15]

Translations in other languages[edit]

  • Amharic: ማቴዎስ? (Mathewos, Mateos)
  • Armenian: Մատթէոս, Մաթևոս (Mat.teos)
  • Chinese: 马修 (simplified) /馬修 (traditional) (mǎ xiū)
  • Croatian: Matej, Matija, Mate, Mato, Matijaš, Matijas
  • Czech: Matěj, Matyáš, Matiáš, Mattias, Matouš
  • Dutch: Matthijs, Mathis, Mathijs, Mattijs, Mattheus, Matthias, Thijs, Ties, Tijs