When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Steve Name Meaning (Origin, Popularity & Nicknames)

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

Steve Overview

  • Meaning: Steve means “garland,” “victorious,” and “crown,” based on Steven and Stephen. It can also mean “wreath,” “honor,” “reward,” “renown,” and “fame.” When linked to the Greek verb “stéphein,” it means “to encircle” and “to wreathe.”
  • Gender: Steve is a boy’s name, while Stevie can be a nickname for girls.
  • Origin: Steve derives from Stephen, first appearing as the Latin Stephanus and Greek Stephanos. Steve is still somewhat common for boys, thanks to various popes, European kings, and St. Stephen.
  • Pronunciation: Steve is pronounced “STEEYV” in English.
  • Popularity: Unlike the continually popular Steven, Steve is less common as a given name, yet peaked at 41st for U.S. boys in 1959. Steve ranks between 1,000 and 2,000 for U.S. boys.
  • Nicknames: Ste, Stef, Steffy, Steph, Stevie, Stevo.
  • Variations: Esteban, Estebão, İstefanos, István, Steabhán, Stefaan, Štefan, Stéfane, Stefano, Steffen, Štěpán, Stepanos, Stepans, Stepas, Stephan, Stephanos, Stephanus, Stîfyn, Stiven, Stjepan/Stipe, Teppo.
  • Namesakes: Steve Carell, American actor known for “The Office.” Steve Irwin, Australian wildlife expert known as “The Crocodile Hunter.”

What Does Steve Mean?

Steve is an English boy’s name and a nickname for all versions of Steven. It means “garland,” “victorious,” and “crown.” Steve and Steven originally appeared as the Greek name Stéphanos, which also means “crown,” “wreath,” and “honor.”

Other related meanings include “reward,” “renown,” and “fame.” All variations of Steve are derived from the Greek verb “stéphein,” meaning “to encircle” and “to wreathe.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Steve?

Steve is the English variant of both Steven and Stephen, based on the Latin Stephanus and Greek Stephanos, meaning “crown” or “wreath.” The meaning dates back to ancient Greece when laurel wreaths crowned the heads of the winners during the early Olympic Games. Due to this association, Steve (as Stephen) also refers to any kind of “circle” or “circling.” This meaning also includes a circle of people and the circle of a fight, which appears in Homer’s Iliad.

Steve grew out of the most classic Stephen, the name of early Christian martyr Saint Stephen and the 12th-century king of England. Stephen’s female equivalent is Stephanie. In addition to being a first name for boys, Steve (as Stephen) relates to many patronymic surnames. They include Stevens, Stephens, Stephenson, and Stevenson, all meaning “son of Stephen.”

How Popular Is the Name Steve?

Steve is based on Steven, a popular name for boys in the U.S. usually appearing in the top 10. Steve is more often used as a nickname for Steven or Stephen, but as a given name, Steve peaked at 41st for U.S. boys in 1959.

It generally ranks in the top 1,000 to 2,000 U.S. boys’ names, from mildly popular to somewhat common. In the U.S. Steven seems to be much more typical as a given name for boys than Steve.

How Do I Pronounce Steve?

Steve is pronounced “STEEYV” in English.

Is Steve a Boy or Girl Name?

Steve is a boy’s name, while the diminutive Stevie is sometimes used as a short form for girls named Stephanie.

Variations of Steve

Most of these international variations of Steve are based on Steven or Stephen:

  • Esteban (Spanish)
  • Estebão (Portuguese)
  • İstefanos (Turkish)
  • István (Hungarian)
  • Steabhán (Irish)
  • Stefaan (Dutch)
  • Štefan (Slovak/Slovene)
  • Stéfane (French)
  • Stefano (Italian)
  • Steffen (Norwegian)
  • Štěpán (Czech)
  • Stepanos (Armenian)
  • Stepans (Latvian)
  • Stepas (Lithuanian)
  • Stephan (German)
  • Stephanos (Greek)
  • Stephanus (Latin)
  • Stîfyn (Welsh)
  • Stiven (Hebrew)
  • Stjepan/Stipe (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Teppo (Finnish)

Nicknames for Steve

Since Steve is a nickname, shorter forms exist but aren’t great in number:

  • Ste
  • Stef
  • Steffy
  • Steph
  • Stevie
  • Stevo

Similar Names to Steve

You can find many short names like Steve for your little guy here:

Middle Names for Steve

Longer middle names for Steve come in handy when you need something more:

Sibling Names for Steve

Steve can share his crown with a brother or sister bearing any of these cool names:

Famous People Named Steve

These are some of the highlights found for famous people named Steve:

  • Stephe Erickson: American novelist and winner of the Guggenheim fellowship.
  • Steve Allen: American comedian and first host of “The Tonight Show.”
  • Steve Armitage: English-Canadian reporter for CBC Sports.
  • Steve Austin: American wrestler with the WWF.
  • Steve Birnbaum: American soccer player with D.C. United.
  • Steve Boone: American bass player for the Lovin’ Spoonful.
  • Steve Buscemi: American actor known for “Reservoir Dogs” (1992).
  • Steve Case: American former CEO of America Online.
  • Steve Coogan: English comedian and creator of the character Alan Partridge.
  • Steve Dubinsky: Canadian ice hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Steve Harvey: American TV host of “Family Feud.”
  • Steve Howe: English guitarist with the rock band Yes.
  • Steve Jobs: American founder of Apple Inc.
  • Steve Kirby: 35th American Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota.
  • Steve Lekoelea: South African footballer for Moroka Swallows.
  • Steve Lombardi: American wrestler known as the Brooklyn Brawler.
  • Steve Martin: American comedian who won the 2005 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
  • Steve McQueen: American actor called the “King of Cool” in the 1960s.
  • Steve Perry: American singer with the rock band Journey.
  • Steve Rubell: American co-owner of the New York City nightclub Studio 54.

Steve in Popular Culture

Steve shows up everywhere you’ll find TV, film, and video game characters:

  • Steve: Character appearing in the U.S. sitcom “Will & Grace.”
  • Steve: Name of a player character from the video game Minecraft.
  • Steve Austin: Lead character from the series “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
  • Steve Bolander: Character in the film “American Graffiti” (1973).
  • Steve Fox: Character from the Tekken video game series.
  • Steve Frazelli: Name of a character appearing in “The Italian Job” film.
  • Steve Freeling: Character in the first two “Poltergeist” films.
  • Steve Haines: Character from the video game Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Steve Hale: Character appearing in the 1980s sitcom “Full House.”
  • Steve Harrington: Character in the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
  • Steve Holt: Name of a character from the TV series “Arrested Development.”
  • Steve Johnson: Character in the American soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”
  • Steve McGarrett: Character from the TV series “Hawaii Five-O.”
  • Steve Randle: Character appearing in the 1983 movie “The Outsiders.”
  • Steve Rogers: Alias used by the comic book superhero Captain America.
  • Steve Smith: Character from the animated TV series “American Dad!”
  • Steve the Pirate: Character in the 2004 film “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.”
  • Steve Trevor: Character in the DC Comic “Wonder Woman.”
  • Steve Urkel: Popular character from the TV series “Family Matters.”
  • Steve Zissou: Main character from “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” film (2004).

Steve FAQs

There is more to learn about the etymology of the boy’s name, Steve.

What Does the Name Steve Mean Biblically?

When taken from Steven, Steve comes from the Greek Stephanos, meaning “crown” or “garland.” The most famous related figure in the Bible is St. Stephen, among seven chosen men to assist the apostles. He is also considered the first Christian martyr in history and was a deacon in the early Christian church.

What Is the Slavic Version of Steve/Steven?

Steve and Steven appear as the traditional Stephen in many central European and Slavic countries. It was a favorite royal title continually used among several South Slavic kings. These famous royal Stephens include the Nemanjić kings of Serbia and the Kotromanić kings of Bosnia. Stephen is also very popular in Hungary, based on Stephen I, the original king and founder of modern-day Hungary.

Why Are the Northern Lights Called Steve?

Scientifically speaking, the term STEVE is an acronym for Strong Thermal Emission Velocity Enhancement. It refers to the glow often associated with the aurora borealis or northern lights. The American Geophysical Union believes that STEVE is thought of as its own particular phenomenon. They appear purple and green rather than a multitude of colors.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Maryana Vestic

About the Author

Maryana Vestic

Maryana Vestic is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and food photographer with a background in entertainment Business Affairs. She studied film at NYU, Irish Theatre Studies at Trinity College Dublin, and has an MFA in Creative Writing Nonfiction from The New School. She loves cooking, baking, hiking, and horror films, as well as running a local baking business in Brooklyn with her boyfriend.