This name derives from the Ancient Greek name “Stéfanos / Stéphanos (Στέφανος)”, meaning "crown, garland, wreath, honor, reward, any prize or honour", which in turn derives from “stéphō (στέφω)”, meaning “to put round, to surround”. In ancient Greece, a wreath was given to the winner of a contest (from which the crown, symbol of rulers derived). The use of the noun was first recorded in Homer's Iliad. The name is significant to Christians: according to the Book of Acts in the New Testament, Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death and is regarded as the first Christian martyr. In the United Kingdom, the name Stephen, peaked during the 1950s and 1960s as one of the top ten male first names (ranking third in 1954) but had fallen to twentieth by 1984 and had fallen out of the top one hundred by 2002.
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