Sebastian Name Meaning

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What Does Sebastian Mean?

Sebastian means “venerable” in Greek, and comes from the Latin word “Sebastianos,” which was used to refer to a person from Sebastia (a Roman city in Asia Minor that is now the city of Sivas, in Turkey). 

The name is well-known, largely thanks to Saint Sebastian: an early Christian saint born around 256 CE and martyred twice by the Roman emperor, Diocletian. Saint Sebastian remains a favorite saint within the Catholic church, serving as the patron saint of archers, athletes, and holy death.

  • Origin: Sebastian is a Greek name meaning “venerable.” 
  • Gender: Sebastian is traditionally used as a boy name. In French and Italian, there are feminized versions (Sébastienne and Sebastiana, respectively). 
  • Pronunciation: seh-BASH-tee-uhn 

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Sebastian?

The name Sebastian became especially popular between 2012 and 2014, when it jumped from No. 64 to No. 34 in the ranks of the Social Security Administration. It’s been on the rise since then, reaching as high as No. 19 in 2020. Since, it's cemented its position on the top 20 list of boys names, as a modern but not-too-trendy choice for parents. 

Prior to 2012, the name was slowly and steadily climbing the ranks, without making any major leaps and bounds. In 1949, it even reached the lowest popularity in recorded SSA history at number 983. In the early 1980s and early 2000s, it had been chosen by a couple of well-known celebs, like James Spader and Tommy Hilfiger, for their sons, but nothing notable can be traced to the name’s sudden appeal.

Name Variations 

The following names are variations on Sebastian:

  • Bastian (Bastian)
  • Sebastián (Spanish)
  • Sebastiani (Swahili)
  • Sebastiano (Italian)
  • Sebastianos (Greek)
  • Sebastião (Portuguese)

Similar Names 

Other Greek boy names include:

  • Adrian
  • Alexander
  • Christos
  • Demetrius
  • Hero
  • Nicholas
  • Stavros
  • Xander

Other boy names starting with S:

  • Samuel
  • Sawyer
  • Sean
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Soren
  • Spencer
  • Stephen
  • Steven

Common Nicknames

There are only a couple of nicknames for Sebastian, but they make the name even more likeable: 

  • Seb
  • Sebby/Sebbie
  • Baz
  • Bash

Suggested Sibling Names

Need ideas for what to call Sebastian’s siblings? Here are some suggestions:

  • Adelaide
  • Callista
  • Daniel
  • Eloise
  • Felix
  • Harper
  • Hugo
  • Michael
  • Oliver
  • Scarlett
  • Theodore
  • Xavier

Famous People Named Sebastian

Sebastian may seem like a unique moniker, but there are actually quite a few people (past, present, and fictional) who carry this strong and stalwart name. From a singer and comedian, to an animated crab and the Winter Soldier himself, here are some famous Sebastians.

Famous Sebastians:

  • Saint Sebastian, martyred Christian saint
  • Sebastian Bach, former member of Canadian heavy metal band Skid Row
  • Sebastian Coe, British politician and former athlete
  • Sebastian Maniscalco, stand-up comedian
  • Sebastian Stan, actor best known for playing Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier in the Marvel catalogue of films and TV shows
  • Sebastian Vettel, German race car driver

Fictional Sebastians:

  • Lord Sebastian Flyte, a character in Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited”
  • Sebastian, a character in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”
  • Sebastian, a character in Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”
  • Sebastian the crab, Ariel’s fictional crustacean BFF in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
  • Sebastian Valmont, Ryan Phillippe’s bad boy character 1999’s “Cruel Intentions”

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options: 

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  1. Social Security Administration. Popularity of name Sebastian. Updated 2020.