Stephen, also spelled Steven, is a strong and likable classic, with the he's-a-great-guy short form Steve. Though not as well used or fashionable as it was in its heyday--it was a Top 25 name from 1946 to 1957--it still ranks within the Top 300. It's currently most popular in Ireland, where it ranks in 86th place.
Already common in ancient Greece, Stephen was the name of the first Christian martyr, one of the seven men chosen to help the apostles spread the gospel of Christianity, of several popes and a British king.
There have been innumerable pop-culture role models among its bearers--from Stephen Foster and Stephen Hawking to Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Colbert and Stephen King to Steven Spielberg to Steve Martin and Steve Jobs. In literature the name has been used by Dickens (in Hard Times), George Eliot (in The Mill on the Floss) and by James Joyce (in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).
Among the attractive international versions are Stefan, Stefano and Stephano, Esteban and Etienne.
Lists containing Stephen:
- Stephen's International Variations
- The Exoticizer
- Classic Baby Names for Boys
- Traditional Baby Names
- Royal Names for Boys
- Werewolf Baby Names
- Papal Names