Definitions

Matt (given name)

Matthew (name)

Matthew is the standard English form of the New Testament name Μαθθαιος, a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic diminutive מתי (Mattay, Maty). From Latin Matthæus, the English spelling Matthew (earlier Matheu) comes directly from the French Matthieu. Ultimately derived from the Hebrew name מתתיהו (Matatyahu, Mattathias) or מתיתיהו (Matityahu, Mattithiah), Matthew means "gift of Yahweh". The Hebrew name is also spelled מתניהו (Matanyahu, Mattaniah). Related names include נתניהו (Netanyahu, Nethaniah), and with swapped syllables יהונתן (Yehonatan, Jonathan). The name is translated from Hebrew meaning gift of the lord.

A common name in the West, it is traditionally spelled "Matthew" in English, but sometimes "Mathew", and even as the Muslim name Mathyu. Matt is the most common hypocoristic form of the name in English. "Matthew" can also be a middle name, and the English surnames Matthews, Mathis, Mathewson, and Mattison are among many family names derived from it.

Although in English Matthew is a single name space, for most non-English languages the cognates split up into two separate name spaces. For example, in Spanish there is one name space around Matías and a second namespace around Mateo. The small but important difference here is the "i" letter in contrast to the "e" letter, often pronounced more like an English "a" or Latin "ae". In German the splitting is based upon Matthias for the first space and Matthäus for the second space.

Frequency and distribution

"Matthew" was the most frequently used male given name for newborns in Northern Ireland in 2000 and 2002, alternating with "Jack".
"Matthew" has been one of the ten most popular names for boys in the United States since 1972, although its popularity has been rapidly declining since 2005. It reached peak popularity in 1995 and 1996 as the 2nd most popular name in the country.

Cognates and spellings

The following forenames are related to the English forename Matthew:

The following English surnames are related to the forename Matthew:

References

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