Sterling

First Name
33k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
26k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
First
Last
On This Page

How to Pronounce Sterling

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Sterling mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Sterling

"Sterling" is a name of English origin, and it means "Starling". It's a name commonly given to both boys and girls.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ster"ling
Same as Starling, 3.
noun Ster"ling
Senses
  1. Any English coin of standard value; coined money."So that ye offer nobles or sterlings." [Chaucer.]"And Roman wealth in English sterling view." [Arbuthnot.]
  2. A certain standard of quality or value for money." Sterling was the known and approved standard in England, in all probability, from the beginning of King Henry the Second's reign." [S. M. Leake.]

Etymology: OE. sterlynge starling, for easterling, LL. esterlingus, probably from Easterling, once the popular name of German trades in England, whose money was of the purest quality: cf. MHG. sterlink a certain coin. Cf. East. “Certain merchants of Norwaie, Denmarke, and of others those parties, called Ostomanni, or (as in our vulgar language we tearme them), easterlings, because they lie east in respect of us.” Holinshed. “In the time of . . . King Richard the First, monie coined in the east parts of Germanie began to be of especiall request in England for the puritie thereof, and was called Easterling monie, as all inhabitants of those parts were called Easterlings, and shortly after some of that countrie, skillful in mint matters and allaies, were sent for into this realme to bring the coine to perfection; which since that time was called of them sterling, for Easterling.” Camden. “Four thousand pound of sterlings.” R. of Gloucester.

adjective Ster"ling
Senses
  1. Belonging to, or relating to, the standard British money of account, or the British coinage; as, a pound sterling; a shilling sterling; a penny sterling; -- now chiefly applied to the lawful money of England; but sterling cost, sterling value, are used. "With sterlingmoney." [Shak.]
  2. Genuine; pure; of excellent quality; conforming to the highest standard; of full value; as, a work of sterling merit; a man of sterling good sense.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. British money; especially the pound sterling as the basic monetary unit of the UK
  2. Highest in quality
Wiktionary
  1. A Scottish surname, variant of Stirling.
  2. An English surname, thought to be a variant of Starling.
  3. A male given name transferred from the surnames.
  4. A female given name

Notable Persons Named Sterling

Sterling K Brown is a film, television, actor, and televisionactor. Sterling was born in St. Louis.

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Sterling Hayden was an actor, author, sailor, model, marine, oss agent, united states marine corps, and office of strategic services. His ongoing career started in 1941. Sterling was given the name Sterling Relyea Walter on March 26th, 1916 in Montclair, New Jersey, United States. Sterling is also known as Sterling Walter Hayden and John Hamilton. He died on May 23rd, 1986.

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Sterling Knight is an actor and singer. He has had major accomplishments since 2005. Sterling was given the name Sterling Sandmann Knight on March 5th, 1989 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

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Sterling Holloway was an actor, voice actor, and voice acting. His career lasted from 1926 to 1986. Sterling was given the name Sterling Price Holloway, Jr. on January 4th, 1905 in Cedartown, Georgia, U.S. He breathed his last breath on November 22nd, 1992.

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Sterling Sharpe is a football player for the Green Bay Packers. Sterling was born on April 6th, 1965 in Chicago.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Sterling

Raheem Sterling is a soccer player for the Manchester City F.C., Queens Park Rangers F.C., Liverpool F.C., England national under-16 football team, England national under-17 football team, and England national under-19 football team. Raheem was born on December 8th, 1994 in Kingston, Jamaica. Raheem is also known as Sterling and Raheem Shaquille.

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Donald Sterling is a real estate developer. Donald was given the name Donald Tokowitz on April 26th, 1934 in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Donald is also known as Donald T. Sterling.

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Mindy Sterling is an actress and voice actress. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1973 to present. Mindy was given the name Mindy Lee Sterling on July 11th, 1953 in Paterson, New Jersey, U.S.

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Aljamain was born on July 31st, 1989 in Long Island. Aljamain is also known as Funkmaster.

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Bruce Sterling is a science fiction writer, speaker, futurist, and design instructor. His ongoing career started in 1970. Bruce was born on April 14th, 1954 in Brownsville, Texas.

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How popular is the baby name Sterling in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born
1880 17 0 17
1881 8 0 8
1882 16 0 16
1883 20 0 20
1884 20 0 20
1885 18 0 18
1886 10 0 10
1887 19 0 19
1888 25 0 25
1889 15 0 15
1890 15 0 15
1891 25 0 25
1892 23 0 23
1893 30 0 30
1894 15 0 15
1895 35 0 35
1896 21 0 21
1897 25 0 25
1898 26 0 26
1899 18 0 18
1900 38 0 38
1901 28 0 28
1902 30 0 30
1903 31 0 31
1904 33 0 33
1905 30 0 30
1906 32 0 32
1907 39 0 39
1908 44 0 44
1909 47 0 47
1910 46 0 46
1911 47 0 47
1912 100 0 100
1913 138 6 132
1914 151 0 151
1915 209 0 209
1916 202 0 202
1917 218 0 218
1918 257 8 249
1919 254 0 254
1920 266 7 259
1921 275 6 269
1922 279 9 270
1923 260 7 253
1924 281 0 281
1925 240 0 240
1926 246 0 246
1927 242 6 236
1928 236 6 230
1929 255 6 249
1930 208 0 208
1931 198 5 193
1932 232 5 227
1933 186 0 186
1934 191 5 186
1935 179 0 179
1936 194 0 194
1937 166 0 166
1938 194 6 188
1939 182 5 177
1940 204 0 204
1941 207 7 200
1942 267 9 258
1943 222 5 217
1944 211 0 211
1945 223 7 216
1946 241 9 232
1947 281 0 281
1948 260 5 255
1949 267 7 260
1950 252 0 252
1951 260 0 260
1952 264 8 256
1953 254 0 254
1954 252 0 252
1955 273 9 264
1956 288 5 283
1957 245 0 245
1958 249 5 244
1959 259 0 259
1960 237 0 237
1961 256 6 250
1962 288 0 288
1963 287 0 287
1964 289 5 284
1965 222 7 215
1966 245 6 239
1967 222 6 216
1968 254 8 246
1969 245 10 235
1970 236 14 222
1971 251 9 242
1972 190 7 183
1973 201 7 194
1974 209 14 195
1975 190 7 183
1976 196 7 189
1977 226 12 214
1978 242 16 226
1979 243 18 225
1980 257 16 241
1981 238 20 218
1982 257 20 237
1983 300 25 275
1984 317 24 293
1985 294 20 274
1986 323 26 297
1987 358 32 326
1988 457 42 415
1989 422 33 389
1990 493 41 452
1991 503 49 454
1992 558 55 503
1993 580 76 504
1994 644 71 573
1995 564 53 511
1996 530 61 469
1997 470 42 428
1998 490 66 424
1999 447 55 392
2000 436 73 363
2001 450 55 395
2002 434 77 357
2003 379 54 325
2004 363 63 300
2005 311 39 272
2006 324 55 269
2007 310 41 269
2008 288 44 244
2009 278 47 231
2010 351 52 299
2011 370 64 306
2012 415 65 350
2013 511 70 441
2014 647 97 550
2015 678 84 594
2016 798 133 665
2017 831 126 705

Where is the name Sterling popular?

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Popularity of Sterling as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Sterling as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Utah, Louisiana, or Virginia.

Popularity of Sterling as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Sterling as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Maryland, Louisiana, or Delaware.

Common last names for Sterling

  • Smith
  • Johnson
  • Williams
  • Jones
  • Davis
  • Brown
  • Miller
  • Price
  • Jackson
  • Harris
  • Thomas
  • Martin
  • Anderson
  • Taylor
  • Wilson
  • Clark
  • Scott

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Sterling U.S.
  White 63.61% 64.26%
  African American 28.49% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 0.69% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.49% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 2.38% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 4.35% 16.26%

Of Last Name Sterling

People with the last name Sterling are most frequently White or African American

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Sterling

  • What name lists does Sterling rank for?
  • How Popular is the name Sterling? Sterling is the 1,292nd most popular name of all time. As a last name Sterling was the 1,362nd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Sterling have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 33,269 babies born with the first name Sterling in the United States. That's more than enough people named Sterling to occupy the country of San Marino with an estimated population of 32,312 (as of March 31, 2012).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Sterling? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 17 new born babies.
  • When was Sterling first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Sterling is Wednesday, October 14th, 1868.
  • What year had the most people named Sterling born? The highest recorded use of the first name Sterling was in 2017 with a total of 705 babies.
  • Random Sterling Factoid: According to the 2016 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Sterling ranks 111th in popularity as a baby boy's name in Montana. Imagine that, 12 babies in Montana have the same name as you in 2016.
  • Weird things about the name Sterling: Your name in reverse order is Gnilrets. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Gritesnl. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Sterling? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 25,894 people with the last name Sterling.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Sterling? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 9 of them will have Sterling as their last name.

What Sterlings Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Sterling

Name poster for Sterling(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.