Matthew was the third most popular boys' name in America throughout the 1980s and 90s, and is still Number 12 (there were almost fourteen thousand baby Matts last year). The New Testament Matthew is the epitome of the fashionable classic -- safe and sturdy, yet with a more engaging personality than John or James. Matthew's so common by now, though, that parents have started to seek fresher choices, like Matthew-inspired variations Matthias and Mateo.
The biblical Matthew was the apostle who wrote the first Gospel. The name suddenly became very popular in the U.S. in the 1960s, with Matts appearing on many Western (eg Gunsmoke's Marshall Matt Dillon) and other TV shows. Currently there are several prominent real-life Matthews and Matts, including Broderick, McConaughey, Lauer, Damon and Dillon; celebs who have chosen international versions for thir starbabies include Ricky Martin (Matteo), Benjamin Bratt (Matteo), Colin Firth (Mateo) and Will Ferrell (Mattias).