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Sebastian Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Sebastian including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Sebastian Overview

The name Sebastian has significant historical and cultural value. Furthermore, it has been growing quickly in popularity for the past few decades, reaching the rank of 18th for boys’ names in recent times. To summarize the main characteristics of the name Sebastian:

  • Meaning: Sebastian originally meant “from Sebastia” in Greek. It translates to revered or venerable in Latin.
  • Gender: Sebastian is considered a boy’s name traditionally and historically.
  • Origin: Sebastian originated in ancient Greece as a name for those from the city of Sebastia, which is in present-day Turkey. The name became much more used because of Saint Sebastian.
  • Pronunciation: In American English, Sebastian is pronounced as “sib-AS-chen.” In the UK, it is pronounced as “sib-AST-ee-ən.” In Spanish, the name is pronounced as Seh-Bahs-TEE-Ahn.
  • Popularity: Popularity for the name Sebastian has risen quickly in the last 20 years, going from popular to very popular. It is currently ranked 18th in terms of popularity for boys’ names.
  • Nicknames: Ashton, Bastian, Bazzy, Baz, and Seb.
  • Variations: Bastian, Sebastiaan, Bastiaan, Bastian, Sebastiano, and Sebastianos.
  • Namesakes: Sebastian Bach, singer. Sebastian Maniscalco, comedian. Saint Sebastian, Chrisitan saint.

What Does Sebastian Mean?

The name Sebastian means “from Sebastia” in Greek. In Latin, it means “revered” or “venerable.” In other words, it essentially means deserving respect for being wise or having good character.

What Is the Origin of the Name Sebastian?

Sebastian is a Latinized version of the Greek boy name Sebastianus (1). Originating in Greece, Sebastian was a name given to someone from the city of Sebastia. In present-day, that city is located in Turkey and is known as Sivas.

Sebastian’s wider use as a name came from Saint Sebastian, a prominent Christian historical figure. According to biblical sources, he was killed at a time when Christians were being persecuted in Rome (2). Today, he is a patron saint of athletes.

How Popular Is the Name Sebastian?

The name Sebastian became much more commonplace among Western nations after the Christian saint and martyr known as Saint Sebastian.

In the United States during the early 1900s, Sebastian was a fairly popular name. It became less popular during the 1950s, being only somewhat popular for most of the decade. It then became fairly popular all the way up to the late 1980s.

From about 1987 to 1999, Sebastian was popular. In addition, from 2000 onward, Sebastian has been increasingly popular with each passing year (3).

In 2020, Sebastian ranked 19th among the most popular names for boys. At present, it holds the 18th rank.

How Do I Pronounce Sebastian?

In American English, Sebastian is pronounced as “sib-AS-chen.” In the UK, it is pronounced as “sib-AST-ee-ən.” And in Spanish, the name is pronounced as Seh-Bahs-TEE-Ahn.

Is Sebastian a Boy or Girl Name?

Historically and traditionally, Sebastian has almost exclusively been a boy’s name. Even in its Greek origins, it was used as a name for boys.

Variations of Sebastian

The name Sebastian has European origins. Because of Europe’s multitude of languages, the name’s spelling and pronunciation vary from country to country. There are also shortened versions of the name.

The variations of Sebastian include:

  • Bastian, Seb (English)
  • Bas, Sebastiaan, Bastiaan (Dutch)
  • Bastian (German)
  • Sebastiano (Italian)
  • Sebastianos (Greek)
  • Sebastijan (Croatian)
  • Sebastião (Portuguese)
  • Sebastián (Spanish)
  • Sebastiani (Swahili)
  • Sebastianos (Greek)

Nicknames for Sebastian

Sebastian is commonly shortened as a nickname. These nicknames include:

  • Ashton
  • Bash
  • Bastian
  • Bassy
  • Basty
  • Baz
  • Ian
  • Seb
  • Sebs
  • Sebby
  • Tatan

Similar Names to Sebastian

Some names sound similar to Sebastian or have a similar meaning, including both boys’ and girls’ names. Some examples are:

Middle Names for Sebastian

Certain middle names may pair with Sebastian better than others. Some common examples of middle names that go with Sebastian include:

  • Sebastian Anthony
  • Sebastian Christopher
  • Sebastian Gabriel
  • Sebastian Isaac
  • Sebastian James
  • Sebastian Louis
  • Sebastian Oliver
  • Sebastian Paul
  • Sebastian Peter
  • Sebastian Robert
  • Sebastian Vincent

Sibling Names for Sebastian

When it comes to choosing sibling names, many parents aim to make the names sound like they go together. Common examples of sibling names for Sebastian include:

Famous People Named Sebastian

Famous people throughout history with the name Sebastian include:

  • Sebastian Bach: Former lead singer of Canadian rock band Skid Row.
  • Sebastian Cabot: British explorer.
  • Sebastian Coe: British politician.
  • Sebastian Maniscalco: Italian-American Comedian.
  • Saint Sebastian: Chrisitan saint.
  • Sebastian Vettel: German racecar driver.

Sebastian in Popular Culture

The name Sebastian appears in a variety of pop culture sources. This is no surprise considering its historical origins and recent popularity. Examples include:

  • Sebastian: Crab character in “The Little Mermaid.”
  • Sebastian De Rosa: Character in the movie “Alien vs. Predator.”
  • Sebastian Michaelis: Character in the anime series “Black Butler.”
  • Sebastian Michaelis: Character in the TV show ”The Walking Dead.”
  • Sebastian Shaw: Villain character in “X-men” comics.

Sebastian FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Sebastian, including its origins and meaning.

Is Sebastian a Biblical Name?

The name Sebastian became widely used in the West because of Saint Sebastian. However, it technically originated from the Greek name after a city in present-day Turkey. So, while the name Sebastian’s origins are independent of the Bible, its popularity is heavily associated with it.

Is Sebastian a Rare Name?

Currently, in the United States, Sebastian is not a rare name. However, Sebastian can be considered a rare name in other parts of the world, especially those with less western influence.

Is Sebastian a Fancy Name?

Sebastian can be used as a “fancy name” in some contexts. For example, in ancient Rome, Sebastian was a calque with the name Augustus, a title of Roman emperors. Sebastian was also a popular name in the classical antiquity period of France.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Sebastian?

Sebastian has strong ties to Christianity due to Saint Sebastian. Therefore, it may remind Christians of the courage and fidelity Saint Sebastian showed in his life. The spiritual meaning of Sebastian can also be synonymous with its aforementioned Latin translation of venerable or revered.

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