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For other uses, see Stephen (disambiguation).
StStephen GiacomoCavedone.jpg
Saint Stephen (detail) by Giacomo Cavedone Saint Stephen was the first martyred saint in the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.
Gender Male
Word/name Greek
Meaning Wreath, crown, honour, reward, royalty (but not king)
Other names
Nickname(s) Steve, Stevie
Derived Στέφανος (Stéfanos)
Related names Steve, Steven, Stevie, Stefan, Stefano, Stephan, Stefani, Fen, Steph, Stephanie, Stevo, Stanley, Steffen

Stephen, Steven (both /ˈstvən/), Stefan (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfan]) or Esteban (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈteβan]) are first names derived from the Greek first name Στέφανος (Stéphanos), in turn from the Greek word "στέφανος", meaning "wreath, crown, honour, reward", literally "that which surrounds or encompasses".[1][2] In ancient Greece, a wreath was given to the winner of a contest (from which the crown, symbol of rulers derived). The use of the noun was first recorded in Homer's Iliad.[3] The name is significant to Christians, since it belonged to an early saint, according to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, the Greek-speaking Stéphanos, rendered as "Stephen" in English translations, was a deacon who was stoned to death and is regarded as the first martyr, in Greek "protomartyr", of the Christian Church.

In Middle English, the name Stephen or Stephan was pronounced as a bi-syllabic word — Step-hen or Step-han — much like a Scandinavian surname.[citation needed] Steven was pronounced as it is in Modern English. This etymological usage began a decline in the mid-19th century. The name has many variants, which include Stephan, Stevan, Stefan and Stevon. Steve is the common short form, while various diminutives such as Stevie and Ste are also used. The female version of the name is Stephanie. Many family names are derived from Stephen: the most common are Stephens/Stevens and Stephenson/Stevenson (others include Stephen, Stephan, Staphan, Stefan, Stevin and Stever).

In the United Kingdom, it peaked during the 1950s and 1960s as one of the top ten male first names (ranking third in 1954) but had fallen to twentieth by 1984 and had fallen out of the top one hundred by 2002.[4] The name was ranked 201 in the United States in 2009, according to the Social Security Administration.[5] The name reached its peak popularity in 1951 but remained very common through the mid-1990s, when popularity started to decrease in the United States.[6]

List of alternatives[edit]

  • Estaballah (Malayalam)
  • Esteban (Spanish, Filipino, Basque)
  • Estepan, Estebe, Extiban, Ixtebe (Basque)
  • Estevan (old Spanish)
  • Estêvão (Portuguese)
  • Esteve (Catalan)
  • Estevo (Galician)
  • Étienne ("Estienne" is an archaic spelling), Stéphane, Stefane, Stephanne (French)
  • Êtiên (Vietnamese)
  • İstefanos, Stefan (Turkish)
  • İstfan, Stepan (Azeri)
  • István (Hungarian)
  • Kepano, Kiwini (Hawaiian)
  • Stefan, Shtjefën, Fan, Sven (Albanian language)
  • Sitiveni (Tongan, Fijian)
  • Staffan, Stefan (Swedish)
  • Steafán, Stíofán, Stiofán (Irish)
  • Stefán (Icelandic)
  • Stefano (Esperanto)
  • Stefano (Italian)
  • Ștefan, with the diminutives Ștefănel, Ștefăniță, Ștefănuț (Romanian)
  • Štefan (Slovak)
  • Štefan (Slovene)
  • Stefan, Stefaan, Stefanus, Steven, Stephan (Afrikaans, Dutch)
  • Stefan, Stephan, Steffen (German)
  • Stefan, Szczepan (Polish)
  • Steffan, Stifyn, Stîfyn (Welsh)
  • Steffen (Norwegian)
  • Steffen, Stephen, Stefan, Stephan (Danish)
  • Štěpán (Czech)
  • Stefanus, Stephanus (Latin)
  • Stepans, Stepons (Latvian)
  • Steponas, Stepas (Lithuanian)
  • Stefan, Steven (Breton)
  • Stiefnu (Maltese)
  • Stìobhan, Stìophan, Stèaphan (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Stjepan, Stipan, Stipe, Stipo, Stipa, Štef, Stevko,[7] Stevo[8] (Croatian)
  • Tapani, Teppana, Teppo (Finnish)
  • Tehvan (Estonian)
  • Tipene (Māori)
  • Steffen (Norwegian)
  • Istifanous, إستفانوس, ستيف, ستيفن, اسطفان, Istifaan ستيفن, Stiifan (Arabic)
  • استیون (Estiven; Persian)
  • סטיבן (Stiven; Hebrew)
  • Στέφανος (Stephanos, Stefanos, Stephanas, Stepfan, Stephano, Stephanus Greek)
  • Степан, Стівен, Стефан (Stepan, Stiven, Stefan, Ukrainian; Стефан [Stefan] is a more western Ukrainian usage[citation needed])
  • Стефан (Stefan), diminutive: Чефо (Chefo), Стефчо (Stefcho), Стефо (Stefo), (Bulgarian)
  • Стефан/Stefan, Стеван/Stevan, Степан/Stepan, Стјепaн/Stjepan, Шћепан/Šćepan, Стево/Stevo, Стијепо/Stijepo, Шћепо/Šćepo, Стевица/Stevica (Serbian)
  • Стефан/Stefan, Стеван/Stevan, Шћепан/Šćepan (Montenegrin)
  • Стефан/Stefan, Стеван/Stevan, Стево/Stevo, Стефче/Stefche (Macedonian)
  • Степан/Stepan, Stepa, Stepane, Stepanya, Stepka, Stipan (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian)
  • Ычтапан/Içtapan (Tatar)[9]
  • Ստեփանոս, Ստեփան, (Stepʿan, Stepanos, Stepan, Stepʿani, Stepʿanicʿ, Stepʿanov Armenian)
  • სტეფანე (Stepane, Georgian)
  • இசுடீபன் (Estepan, Tamil)
  • スティーブン、スティーブ、スティーヴン (Stiibun, Stiibu, Stiivun, Sutīvun, Sutībun; Japanese)
  • 斯蒂芬, 史蒂芬 (Sidifen, Shidifen; Mandarin Chinese)
  • 스티븐 (Seutibeun; Korean)
  • સ્ટીફન (Sṭīphana; Gujarati)
  • स्टीफन (Sṭīphana; Hindi)
  • ಸ್ಟೀಫನ್ (Sṭīphan; Kannada)
  • स्टीफन (Sṭīphana; Marathi)
  • Стефен (Styefyen; Mongolian)
  • स्टीफन (Sṭīphana; Nepali)
  • ਸਟੀਫਨ (Saṭīphana; Punjabi)
  • స్టీఫెన్ (Sṭīphen; Telugu)
  • สตีเฟ่น (S̄tīfèn; Thai)
  • اسٹیفن (Urdu)
  • স্টিফেন (Sṭiphēn; Bengali), স্টিভেন (Sṭibhēn), স্টিভ (Sṭibh)
  • סטעפאנוסן (Stʻpʼnwsn; Yiddish)
  • Eapen (Malayalam)
  • Steephan (South Indian)
  • Steeve or Stephane and Stephanie for female (Québec)
  • İstfan, Stepan (Azeri)
  • Steffeni, Stefani, Stiifaat (Greenlandic)
  • ᔅᑏᕕᓐ (Stiifin; Inuktitut)
  • ᔅᑌᕝᐋᓐ, ᔅᑌᕚᓐ (Stefân, Stevân; East Cree)[10]
  • Ecen (Wolof)
  • Etiiviuq (Yup'ik)
  • Stefanu (Yoruba)
  • uStefanu (Zulu)

Notable people[edit]

For people more commonly known as Steve, see Steve.
For people more commonly known as Stevie, see Stevie.



Church figures (Stephen or Stephanus)[edit]


Fictional characters[edit]


In England and Wales, neither "Stephen" nor "Steven" was among the top 100 names for newborn boys in 2003–2007.[11] In Scotland, "Steven" and "Stephen" were the 8th and 10th most popular names for newborn boys in 1975, but were not in the top ten in 1900, 1950 or 2000.[12] "Stephen" was 68th in 1900,[13] and 46th in 1950,[14] while "Steven" was not in the top 100 either year. Neither spelling was in the top 100 names for newborn boys in Scotland in 2008.[15]

Neither "Stephen" nor "Steven" was among top 25 most popular baby boys' names in Ireland in 2006 or 2007.[16]

In the United States, the spelling "Stephen" reached its peak of popularity between 1949–1951, when it was the 19th most popular name for newborn boys. It stayed in the top 100 boys' names from 1936 through 2000, and for most years between 1897 and 1921. In 2008 it was the 192nd most common name for boys.[17] The spelling "Steven" reached its peak during 1955–1961, when it was the 10th most popular name for newborn boys. It stayed in the top 100 boys' names from 1941 through 2007. In 2008 it was the 104th most popular name for boys. Before the 20th century, the "Steven" spelling was heavily outweighed by "Stephen", never reaching above 391st.[17]


  1. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  2. ^ στέφανος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  3. ^ Homer, Iliad, 13.736, on Perseus
  4. ^ "Stephen – Meaning And Origin Of The Name Stephen". Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  5. ^ Popular Baby Names, Social Security Online
  6. ^ "Popularity of Stephen in the United States". Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-10-08.  External link in |title= (help)
  11. ^ Top 100 names for baby boys in England and Wales Archived May 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., National Statistics, 2009.
  12. ^ Popular Forenames in Scotland, 1900 – 2000, General Register Office, Scotland, Occasional Paper No. 2, 2001.
  13. ^ Table: The Top 100 Names: 1900, in Popular Forenames in Scotland, 1900 – 2000, General Register Office, Scotland, Occasional Paper No. 2, 2001.
  14. ^ Table: The Top 100 Names: 1950, in Popular Forenames in Scotland, 1900 – 2000, General Register Office, Scotland, Occasional Paper No. 2, 2001.
  15. ^ Table: Top 100 boys' and girls' names, Scotland, 2008, showing changes since 2007, in Popular Forenames — Babies' First Names 2008, General Register Office, Scotland, 2009.
  16. ^ Top 25 Babies' Names for Boys, Central Statistics Office Ireland, 2009.

See also[edit]