Growing up, I knew of a guy named Matt my age. Interestingly, he was always referred to as Matt, and I always assumed that Matt was short for Matthew.
Turns out his name was Matthias, and I was none the wiser for this.
I also knew a Theo, but I’m pretty certain that his name is just Theo, not Theodore. This train of thought took on a life of it’s own after a brief conversation with a French friend the other day, who during the course of this aforementioned conversation mentioned the psychologist Théodule Ribot.
I love the name Theodore as much as the next person, and indeed the same can be said for Theo, but it’s fun to look at some other names which could give rise to the nickname Theo.
The name Theodore comes of Greek origins and means gift of God. He’s relatively popular in England&Wales, having ranked at #124 in 2011 – but you’re more likely to meet a baby Theo than Theodore these days as Theo ranks higher at #50.
The top name since he inspired this post, and as you might guess from the accent, is used in the French-speaking word, deriving from Greek and meaning slave of God.
Unlike the name above, this one has no connections to either Greece or France, instead being of Germanic origins and meaning ruler of the people.
This name does come from Greek, and means given to God. Notable for belonging to a handful of early saints and martyrs, but this hasn’t transferred into him being a popular name for the modern child.
Another name of Greek origin, this one means manifestation of God. We have both a 14th century Greek painter and an 8th century saint.
This is one for the girls, said either thee-oh-KLAY-ah or teh-oh-KLEH-ah. She also comes from Greek, meaning glory of God. An alternative version of the name is Thekla.
Awesome list!! I’d add my son’s name, too– he’s a Theo whose full name is Théoden. Some know it from Lord of the Rings but it’s actually an old English word meaning leader, and appears in Beowulf as a descriptor.