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Sydney Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Sydney Overview

  • Meaning: Sydney means “wide meadow,” “Saint Denis,” and “from this place.”
  • Gender: Sydney is a unisex name, but it is more popularly used as a name for girls.
  • Origin: Sydney is of French and Old English origin.
  • Pronunciation: “SID-nee.”
  • Popularity: Sydney is a popular name, ranking at #249 out of the top baby names for girls in America.
  • Nicknames: Cindy, Cici, Cece, Nee, Nee Nee, Nene, Sid, Sinnie, Sisi, Syd.
  • Variations: Cydney, Sidney, Sydne, Sydnie.
  • Namesakes: Sydney Lamb, Sydney Mancasola, Sydney Omarr, Sydney Penny, Sydney Pollack, Sydney Schanberg, Sydney Shoemaker.

What Does Sydney Mean?

Sydney means “wide meadow” in Old English. It also means “Saint Denis” of French origin. When referring to Australian origin, Sydney means “from this place.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Sydney?

Sydney is of French and Old English origins. It is derived from an Anglo-Saxon surname, sīdan īege, which means “water meadow” or “at the wide island.”

For the name’s French origin, Saint Denis was a martyr and bishop from third-century Parisian times. A saint affiliated with the French monarchy in the year 250, his life ended in tragedy by being beheaded. Legend says he carried his head and walked two miles with angels accompanying him before falling and dying (1).

Sydney is an Australian city with over 4 million individuals inhabiting it. It is the largest and most well-known city in Australia, also home to the main tourist attraction, the Sydney Opera House. Conveniently enough, Sydney Opera House is in the heart of Sydney Harbour (2).

How Popular Is the Name Sydney?

Sydney is a popular name, ranking at the 249th position on the list of top 1,000 baby girl names from the Social Security Administration as of 2021. It entered the list in 1905 at #822 before falling off the list for 27 years before returning at rank #807 in 1932 (3).

The name was most popular in 2002, ranking at #23. This spike in popularity may have been because of the 2002 Adidas International event, which was a men’s and women’s tennis tournament that took place at the NSW Tennis Centre in Sydney, Australia.

How Do I Pronounce Sydney?

Sydney is pronounced by saying “SID-nee.” Whether you are American, British, Australian, or of another ethnicity, this is the main pronunciation for the name Sydney.

Is Sydney a Boy or Girl Name?

Sydney is a unisex name. However, it became more popular as a given name for girls in the 20th century. Sydney as a boy name was more popularly utilized in the 18th century.

The last time Sydney ranked on the top baby names for boys via the Social Security Administration was in 1996 at the 984th position. It has not returned to the top list since that year. Sydney currently ranks in the 3000s for boy name popularity.

Sydney as a boy name entered the list five years earlier than when it gained popularity as a girl name. However, it did not maintain popularity through the mid-20th to early 21st century as a baby boy name. It fell off the top name for the baby boys list in 1957, 1960-1963, 1965, 1966, and 1968-1995 respectively.

Variations of Sydney

Sydney has many uniquely spelled variations for a beautifully looking name. Here are the ones that we think you will like:

  • Cydney (French and English)
  • Sidney (Old English)
  • Sydne (French)
  • Sydnie (English)

Nicknames for Sydney

While it is a short name, there are possible spunky nicknames that you can call your little girl named Sydney. Here are some we think you will like:

  • Cindy
  • Cici
  • Cece
  • Nee
  • Nee Nee
  • Nene
  • Sid
  • Sinnie
  • Sisi
  • Syd

Similar Names to Sydney

Sydney is a lovely name, but others sound almost like it that you may consider as baby name options. These are the similar names to Sydney that we believe you will love:

  • Adley
  • Ainsley
  • Everly
  • Ridley
  • Sadie
  • Sonny
  • Sunny
  • Waverly
  • Winnie

Middle Names for Sydney

Because Sydney is a shorter given name, longer middle names complement it for a better flow. These are the middle names that we love for Sydney:

Sibling Names for Sydney

If you have a baby named Sydney already, it is time to find the best name for their sibling Sibling names that we love for Sydney include:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Sydney

Sydney’s name popularity may come from the many celebrities with the namesake. Here are famous people named Sydney.

  • Sydney Lamb: American linguist.
  • Sydney Mancasola: 21st-century American opera soprano singer.
  • Sydney Omarr: American astrologist.
  • Sydney Penny: American actress.
  • Sydney Pollack: American actor.
  • Sydney Schanberg: American journalist.
  • Sydney Shoemaker: American philosopher.

Sydney in Popular Culture

There are many characters named Sydney in cartoons, books, and television series. Pop culture references to the name Sydney include:

  • Sydney Bristow: Character on the reality television series Alias.
  • Sydney Carton: Character in the book published in 1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • Sydney Fox: Supporting character in the reality television series Relic Hunter.
  • Sydney Opera House: Real-life place featured in the Disney animated film Finding Nemo.
  • Sydney Skelley: Supporting character on the PBS Kids cartoon Ready Jet Go!

Sydney FAQs

As you think about whether you want to name your baby Sydney, review answers to these frequently asked questions to learn more about the name history.

Is Sydney a German Name?

Sydney is not a German name. Its origins do not show any relation to German history with primary roots in English and French origins.

Is the Name Meaning of Sydney the Same Whether Naming a Boy or a Girl?

The name meaning for Sydney is the same regardless of what you are naming your boy or girl. It can be a great name for both genders!

Is Sydney a Name in the Bible?

Sydney is not a name found in the Bible. It is also not featured in the Torah or Quran.

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