Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sebastian & Sebastiana

Today's name: Sebastian (male)
Alternate spelling: Sebastien

Potential nicknames: Bastian, Seb, Bas, Seba, Shea, Baz, Sebas, Sebasti, Sebi, Basi, Base, Asti, Ian, Bash

Pronunciation: seh-BASS(t)-chen

Origin: (1) Greek, meaning "revered." (2) Latin derivation of Sebastianus, from the Greek word "sebastos," meaning venerable. (3) Latin variant of Sebastianus, meaning "from Sebastia" or "man from Sebaste." Sebastos was the Greek translation of the Roman Emperor title Augustus.

Popularity: There were 6,323 baby boys named Sebastian in 2010 in the U.S., ranking at #68, which is still the same ranking for 2011. There were also 6 baby girls named Sebastian as well.

Fun fact: (1) St. Sebastian is the Patron Saint of soldiers. (2) Some of you might remember Sebastian the crab, from "The Little Mermaid," whose full name was Horatio Thelonius Ignacius Crustaceous Sebastian. (3) La Sebastiana is the name of one of poet Pablo Neruda's residences in Chili. (4) There is a main belt asteroid called 1482 Sebastiana. (5) King Sebastian ruled Portugal between 1554 and 1578. (6) Composer Johann Bach's middle name. (7) Shakespeare used this name twice, for his plays Twelfth Night and The Tempest. (8) Oscar Wilde used the name Sebastian Melmoth as an alias when he was released from prison. (9) John Sebastian was a musician whose band, The Lovin' Spoonful, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000. (10) Sebastian Cabot was a Venetian explorer born in 1474.

Female version: Sebastiana, an Italian and Spanish variant, with only 5 girls given the name in 2015 and less than ten each year this decade. There is also Sebastienne, the French variant, which is unheard of in the U.S. Neither has ever ranked in the 1000. Other versions that have rarely been used are Sebastianella and Bastiana.

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