Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Sterling

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Scottish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 581
Simple meaning:
Excellent, genuine; Little star

Characteristics of Sterling

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Sterling

Sterling is the transferred use of a Scottish surname originating as a place name. Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is often referred to as “The Gateway to the Highlands” given its strategic position along the River Forth (the boundary area separating the Lowlands and Highlands). The area became a critical and tactical defensible location for the Scots during the Roman occupation of England in the first few centuries A.D. In fact, one of Stirling’s Latin mottos is “Hic Armis Bruti Scoti Stant Hic Cruce Tuti (The Britons stand by force of arms, The Scots are by this cross preserved from harms). By the 12th century, Stirling became incorporated as a town by royal charter and the Stirling Castle was built where kings and queens of Scotland were later crowned. During the Wars of Scottish Independence (13th/14th centuries), Stirling was the location of several important battles. The etymology of the name Stirling is speculative and therefore uncertain. Given Stirling’s history of conflict, some say the name is derived from an old Gaelic term meaning “place of strife” (although this is not widely believed to be accurate). Others say the name may be derived from the Brythonic branch of the Celtic language meaning “dwelling place of honey”. The Scottish surname would have developed as an identifier for those who hailed from Stirling. Aside from the Scottish connection, “sterling” is also an English word meaning “excellent” or “genuine”. It was borrowed from the Norman French, from an Old French word “esterlin” meaning “little star” in reference to old Norman coins imprinted with a small star.

Popularity of the Name Sterling

Sterling is a masculine name which has existed on the American charts since the U.S. government first began tracking naming trends (1880). So this one has been in use longer than most surnames. Although many people consider Sterling gender-neutral, it has never officially been designated as unisex (having never achieved a Top 1000 position on the female charts). For baby boys, the name has a long 100+ year history in America. The height of his popularity came at the turn of the 20th century, although he never achieved anything beyond position #308 on the charts. This means Sterling has never been a particularly trendy name, but he’s held fast to the charts with low-moderate usage nonetheless. In more recent years Sterling has come dangerously close to disappearing from the charts altogether as his popularity declines. We figure there are just too many “surnames” on the charts today creating a rather competitive environment for this fading “little star”. The name is…well, sterling. Who can argue with that? This ain’t no stainless steel. Sterling is the “genuine” thing.
Popularity of the Boy Name Sterling
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Sterling

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Sterling

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Sterling

    Sterling We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Sterling.

  • Popular Songs on Sterling

    Popular Songs on Sterling

    Sterling - a song by Plankeye

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Sterling

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Sterling

    Sterling's Second Chance (Joanna Campbell) - Does Christina have the heart of a champion? Christina Reese is sure she and her new horse, Sterling Dream, are ready for their first competition. Then Christina is injured in a fall and loses both her nerve and her spot on the team. Someone needs to ride Sterling, or the team will be disqualified. When beautiful, self-confident Cassidy Smith is picked to ride Sterling in the show, Christina tries to be a good sport. But it's not easy. Cassidy is claiming that both Christina and Sterling are quitters. Will Christina and her horse get the chance to prove just how wrong Cassidy is? Whether jumping a cross-country course, galloping a powerful racehorse, or just riding on the trails, only one thing matters to Christina and her friends: the special bond between horse and rider. If you love horses, then you'll love reading all the books in the Thoroughbred series. Recommended for ages 8-12.

  • Famous People Named Sterling

    Famous People Named Sterling

    Famous People Named Sterling - Sterling Holloway (voice actor); Sterling Sharpe (football player/analyst); Stirling Moss (racecar driver); Sterling Marlin (racecar driver); Sterling Hayden (actor); Sterling Knight (actor); Sterling Price (American historical figure)

  • Children of Famous People Named Sterling

    Children of Famous People Named Sterling

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Sterling - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Sterling.

  • Historic Figures

    Sterling - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Sterling - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Sterling.

Personality of the Boy Name Sterling

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Sterling

  • No Variations Found.
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