Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Stephen

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 252
STEE-vin or STEF-әn
Simple meaning:
Crown, garland, reward

Characteristics of Stephen

  • Humanitarian
  • Community-minded
  • Family-oriented
  • Loving
  • Affectionate
  • Compassionate
  • Sensitive

Etymology & Historical Origin - Stephen

Stephen is the name of the first Christian martyr in Roman Catholic tradition. Stephen's name comes from the Greek word “stephanos” meaning ‘garland crown’ because he was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown. His story is told in Acts 6-7 wherein the apostles ordained seven deacons to look after the care of widows and the poor, and of those chosen administrators, Stephen was the most famous. He is known for his eloquence and wisdom which successfully gained many followers of Jesus; so much so that he attracts the notice of some very bad men. They accuse Stephen of blasphemy against Moses and God in front of an assembly of men which Stephen faced bravely (legend has it that his face took on the formation of an angel). The men exacted the requisite ancient punishment of stoning to death. In his parting words, Stephen asks only for his enemies’ salvation: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” [Acts 7:60]. It turns out that Stephen’s public stoning had the opposite effect his executioners had intended because many Christ followers fled Jerusalem fearing for their lives to Judea and Samaria, taking with them and subsequently spreading a belief system that had been relatively confined to Jerusalem. As the first Christian martyr, Stephen’s feast day comes right after Jesus’ on December 26. Like many names from the Bible, Stephen gained popularity in ancient times and on throughout the Middle Ages as people bestowed names upon their children in homage to those they revered.

Popularity of the Name Stephen

The name Stephen has been a perpetual favorite among Americans, although it is currently experiencing the low-point of its popularity as it recently moved off the Top 200 list of most commonly used boy names. Stephen was a Top 100 choice 100 years ago. It lost a little favor in the 1920s and 30s, but came roaring back in the 40s, 50s and 60s. In fact, the height of the name’s popularity was in the late 1940s and early 1950s when it sat on the Top 20 list of most favorite boy names. It maintained high usage in the 70s, 80s and 90s, but as we have moved into this new century, Americans appear to be leaving the name behind. Stephen is still a familiar and well-respected name, but it is giving way to new trends and styles in the American naming practices of this new millennium. The name maintains a modern style while still being considered a classic. There’s an unpretentious and gentle quality to the name Stephen, while the short version, Steve, offers a ‘tough guy’ image thanks to the ever-manly actor Steve McQueen. Will your little boy wear the “crown” of Stephen?
Popularity of the Boy Name Stephen
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Stephen

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Stephen

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Stephen

    Stephen Blackpool (Hard Times) Stephen Blackpool is a character in Charles Dickens’ tenth novel, Hard Times, first published in serial form in 1854. Stephen is a power loom operator in a factory, where conditions are harsh and the owners do not proffer any respect to the workers. Stephen is determined to prove that he is not just an automaton, but a person, a human being, a thinking, feeling individual. To this end he does not join the union of factory workers, thereby ostracizing himself from their company as well. At the same time, he is trapped in a loveless marriage with a psychotic, alcoholic wife, from whom he is unable to obtain a divorce, thereby making it impossible for him to be with the woman he loves. Not enough misery? Let’s have Stephen lose his job, be wrongly accused of a crime, and fall down a mine shaft to an early death. Hard Times, indeed! Oh dear – but it’s still a great name.

    Stephen Guest (The Mill on the Floss) Stephen Guest is the socially prominent, handsome young man in George Eliot’s (Mary Ann Evans) 1860 novel, The Mill on the Floss, who falls in love with the impoverished but independent Maggie Tulliver. Although they are both involved in other relationships when they meet, the sexual tension between them is immediate, although it is more pronouncedly romantic on Maggie’s part and more physical on Stephen’s. It is suggested that perhaps Stephen is not as sterling a character as Maggie’s other suitor, Philip Wakem, however, he sure seems like a lot more fun! That’s being a little irreverent, we know, but it just seems so unfair that the 19th century novel has to punish those who color outside the lines. Of course there is a scandal, of course someone’s reputation is compromised, and of course someone dies young. At the end of the day, however, Stephen Guest is one cool dude, and we’re sorry he has to suffer for it.

    Stephen J. Dedalus (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses) Stephen Dedalus is James Joyce’s own alter-ego, appearing first in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and then in Ulysses (1922). A young man with ambitious artistic dreams, he lives somewhat apart from others, preferring his own thoughts and philosophizing, agonizing over the death of his mother, and separating from his critical father. He rebels against the mores of the Catholic Church and Irish society that have formed him. He is a complex man, full of the pursuit of his own identity and of understanding his own place in the world. He seems to eschew true human companionship, and looks for an understanding of himself through fictional characters. It is no coincidence that he shares his name with the first martyr of the Church, St. Stephen. As he aimlessly teaches school and sinks deeper into alcoholism, it is the ministering of the protagonist of Ulysses , Leopold Bloom, who offers him hope – a redemption that can be achieved through the acceptance of human sympathy and empathy.

  • Popular Songs on Stephen

    Popular Songs on Stephen

    Dr. Stephen - a song by Stephen Lynch [explicit]

    Feast of Stephen - a song by Mike Heron

    Sad Stephen's Song - a song by Duncan Sheik

    Saint Stephen - a song by the Grateful Dead

    Stephen - a song by The Hippos

    Stephen Song - a song by The Fall

    Stephen's In the Sky - a song by Serafin

    Stephenville, TX - a song by Jewel

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Stephen

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Stephen

    Penguin Pete (Marcus Pfister) - A small penguin befriends a little bird named Steve and tries to learn how to fly. Steve eventually leaves when he migrates with his fellow birds and Pete is sorry to see him go. He learns how to dive off icebergs and dreams of all the adventures still ahead of him. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Stephen's Feast (Jean Richardson) - Based on the Christmas carol, this is the story of the kindness and charity of good King Wenceslas. Stephen is the youngest page at the King's court and is surprised when the King asks him to load up the sleigh and to deliver food and supplies to a poor man and his family. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Stephen

    Famous People Named Stephen

    Famous People Named Stephen - Stephen (various royal members of Hungary); Stephen, King of England (William the Conqueror’s grandson); Stephen (various Roman Catholic Popes); Stephen "Steve" Allen (TV personality and entertainer); Stephen F. Austin (Texas settler); Stephen Baldwin (actor); Stephen Cochran (country music singer/songwriter); Stephen Colbert (political satirist); Stephen Crane (novelist); Stephen Foster (the "Father of American music"); Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist); Stephen King (author); Stephen "Steve" Irwin ("The Crocodile Hunter"); Stephen Gary "Woz" Wozniak (co-founder of Apple); Stephen Wayne "Steve" Yeager (baseball player); Stevie Wonder (musician)

  • Children of Famous People Named Stephen

    Children of Famous People Named Stephen

    Famous People who Named their Son Stephen - Barry Gibb (musician); Dar Williams (folk singer/songwriter); Gregory Peck (actor); Hank Greenberg (baseball player); Marie Osmond (entertainer); Robert Altman (filmmaker); Steve Allen (TV personality and entertainer)

Personality of the Boy Name Stephen

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Variations of the Baby Name - Stephen

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