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What does Sterling mean?

Sterling Pronunciation of Sterling as a boys' name is pronounced STER-ling. It is of English origin, and the meaning of Sterling is "genuine, of high quality". The word derives from an Old English term meaning "little star". Also variant of a name meaning "easterner" given to pre-medieval refiners of silver. Familiar as a given name in the 1950s-1960s due to actor Sterling Hayden. Race-car driver Stirling Moss; sports commentator Sterling Sharpe.


ASSOCIATED WITH high (great), old, little, star, medieval


VARIANTS Sterlyn, Stirling



Sterling Zack (S.Z.), ..

How popular is Sterling?

Sterling is a very popular first name for men (#540 out of 1220, Top 44%) and also a very popular last name for both adults and children (#1333 out of 150436, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. CENSUS)

Sterling reached its top position of #356 in the U.S. during 1900-1909, and is presently at #409. (2018 BIRTH STATISTICS)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Sterling name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Sterling outside U.S.

Similar Names

Sterling is pronounced similarly to Starling. Other suggested similar-sounding names are Berlin, Carling, Delling, Erling, Erving, Fielding, Fleming, Flemming, Gambling, Goring, Harding, Henning, Irving, Kippling (see Kipling), Loring, Lorring, Merlin, Merlinn (see Merlin), Reading, Reeding (see Reading), Saturnin, Selig, Selim, Selwin, Selwinn (see Selwyn), Serafin, Serafino, Sergent, Sergi, Sergio, Sergiu, Severino, Sheldin, Sherif, Sherill, Sherman, Shermann (see Sherman), Shermon, Sherrill, Sherwen, Sherwin, Sherwind (see Sherwin), Sherwinn (see Sherwin), Sherwyn, Spaulding, Stearns, Stedman, Steel, Steele, Steffan, Steffen, Stefon, Stefonn, Stein, Steinar, Sten, Stensen, Stephen, Stephonn, Stepny, Stern, Sterne, Stetcyn, Stetson, Stevan, Steven, Stevon, Stig, Strong, Sutherland, Svein, Sveinn, Verlin and Waring. These names tend to be less frequently used than Sterling.

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in meaning and etymology.