One of the blogs I read regularly pointed out the site babynamer.com in a blog post, because it’s a nicely-designed and interesting site on baby names. They include a long definition and origin of each name, a section on famous people with that name, a long list of related alternate names, and then a funny feature – “drawbacks” for any given name (all the mean things people will call your kid). The drawbacks page is definitely the selling point that sets this apart from other baby name sites.
Here’s what babynamer.com says about the name Stephanie:
Meaning: Its source is Stephanos, a Greek name meaning “Crown or garland.”
In French, this name is spelled with an accent — Stéphanie.
Languages: This girl’s name is used in German, English and French.
Nicknames: Fanny, Steffi, Steffie, Stefi, Stevey, Stevie and Stepha
Alternative Spellings: Stefaney, Stefani, Stefanie, Stefany, Steffanie, Steffany, Stepfanie, Stephaine, Stephaney, Stephani, Stephannie, Stephany, Stephenie, Stephyne and Stephney
Variant Forms: Estephanie, Stepanie, Stephane, Stephine, Stephnie and Stefne
Non-English Forms: Estefana, Estefania, Stefania, Estebana, Stefanida, Étiennette, Stefana, Stepána and Stepanida
Popularity: The name Stephanie ranked 41st in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics, 41st in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census and 10th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1994 US Census.
This name is highly rated both on the 1990 U.S. Census list and in state data recording the most popular baby names.
Narrative: According to Christian scripture, Stephen was the first martyr, and the influence of this saint accounts for the popularity of both male and female variations of his name in many Western languages.
The Bible describes Stephen as a righteous and compassionate person who refused to disguise his beliefs, even though his frankness cost him his life. (How apropo!)
He was condemned to death by stoning, and the cloaks of those commissioned to do the bloody work were held by a fellow persecutor of the Christians, Saul of Tarsus.
In time, Saul became Paul the Apostle, shaper of Christian doctrine and Christian missionary to the entire ancient world.
That last two lines – where Paul the Apostle held the cloaks of the people who stoned Stephen to death, and then went on to become the most famous Christian missionary – so interesting.
And then, here are the drawbacks (with highlights of my favorites):
Stef-fanny (I got this one)
Stuffy Steffy (and this one, too.)
Step on me
Steffe Weffe Waffle Face
Stupid Stephanie (What? That’s not even creative.)
Staphanie the Giraffanie
Steffe Weffe (I got this one, too.)
None of these is the exact name my baby cousins used to say when they were too small to pronounce my name: “Nephne.”