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Many new parents choose “Theo” as a nickname for their babies named Theodore or Theodora, but it's also a beloved given name in its own right. It was popular during the early 20th century, but since around 2010, it's been making a comeback, becoming increasingly common with each year. The name has a special meaning in the Christian faith, though some people may choose it to honor their favorite sitcom character or one of the most supportive brothers in art history.

Meaning of the name Theo:

Greek: God's gift

Origin of the name Theo:

Theo is a shorter version of Theodore, which is derived from the Greek name Theodōros. It was formed by the elements “theos,” which means “God,” and “dōron,” which means “gift.”

Symbolism of the name Theo:

Theo, and its original version Theodore, have long been important names to those of the Christian faith. There were two popes named Theodore during the 9th century, and there have been more than a dozen saints with the name as well. Not only does the name mean “God's gift,” but many new parents may see it as symbolic as they literally consider their new babies a gift from God.

Style of the name Theo:


Gender of the name Theo:

Theo is a name for both boys and girls, though it's more popular for boys.

Pronunciation of the name Theo:


Number of syllables in the name Theo:


Emotion evoked from the name Theo:

The baby name Theo evokes images of someone who is powerful and a great leader.

Alternative spellings for the name Theo:


Nicknames for the name Theo:


Popularity of the name Theo:

Between 1900 and 1945, Theo was a top 1,000 baby name for boys in the United States. It didn't reemerge on the chart until 2010, according to the Social Security Administration. As of 2020, it ranked at number 172. For girls, Theo was a top 1,000 baby name from 1900 through 1930, and it hasn't been back on the charts since.

Related names for the name Theo:

Great middle names for Theo and their meanings:

Famous people with the name Theo:

  • Theo van Gogh (art dealer and brother to Vincent van Gogh)
  • Theo Rossi (actor and producer)
  • Theo Epstein (baseball executive)
  • Theo Ratliff (basketball player)
  • Theo James (actor)

Theos in popular culture:

  • Theo Huxtable (character on the TV show “The Cosby Show”)
  • Theo Decker (character in the book “The Goldfinch”)
  • The Kojak (character on the TV show “Kojak”)
  • Theo (character on the TV show “Between the Lions”)
  • Theo Raeken (character on the TV show “Teen Wolf”)
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