Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Theo

Theo is short for Theodore (like Ted or Teddy). Theodore comes from the Greek name Theodōros which is derived from the elements “theos” (meaning “God”) and “dōron” (meaning “gift”); therefore meaning “God’s gift”. The use of the name Theodōros dates back to ancient Greece and was borne by notable inventors, mathematicians, philosophers and rulers in the centuries before Christ. Later, the name spread mainly throughout Eastern Europe influenced by the Byzantium Empire and became quite popular among early Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church. There are scores of saints named Theodore and two Roman Catholic popes. In Russia, the name is usually rendered Fyodor and is among the most popular of Slavic nations. The French eventually adopted the name as Théodore and the English began regularly using the name by the 19th century. Interestingly, Theodore of Tarsus was the 8th Archbishop of Canterbury dating back to 7th century England. Born a Byzantine Greek, he was sent from Rome to England where he instituted many church reforms and established the Canterbury School. However, “Theodore” was not adopted as a western name until centuries later. Theo developed as a pet form which has become an independently given name in its own right. It could also be considered a nickname for girls names Theodora.

All About the Baby Name – Theo

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME THEO

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME THEO

As a stand-alone name, Theo was used with a lot more regularity at the end of the 19th century and first half of the 20th. This was during a period of time when Theodore was quite fashionable for little boys. The colloquial Theo, however, would drop off the charts in 1946 and go on a 60+ year hiatus from usage. The name only just returned to the Top 1000 list in 2010 but still ranks quite low. In other words, Theo is an uncommon name today. Apparently America hasn’t gotten the memo. This name is doing quite well over in Europe. It’s a Top 20 favorite in France, Belgium and Sweden. And it’s a Top 50 most popular in Norway and England. It also does reasonably well in Germany. We expect to see this little “gift from God” increase in usage once more parents rediscover his old-fashioned charm. It’s only a matter of time.

Quick Facts

ON THEO

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

666

PRONUNCIATION:

THEE-o

SIMPLE MEANING:

God's gift

Characteristics

OF THEO

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Theo

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME THEO

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Theo

Popular Songs

ON THEO

Theo B
a song by Sunny Day Real Estate

Theo and Weird Henry
a song by John Mellencamp

Famous People

NAMED THEO

Theo Walcott (English footballer)
Theo Epstein (President of the Chicago Cubs)
Theo Ratliff (basketball player)
Theoren "Theo" Fleury (hockey player)
Theo Albrecht (German businessman and billionaire)
Theo de Raadt (notable software engineer)
Theo Jansen (Dutch artist)
Theo Paphitis (British-Greek businessman)
Theo Rossi (actor)

Children of Famous People

NAMED THEO

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Theo

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME THEO

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Theo