[ 3 syll. (c)hris-top-her, ch-ristoph-er ] The baby boy name Christopher is pronounced as KRIHSTaaF-er- †. Christopher is used mostly in English and it is of Old Greek origin. Christopher is of the meaning bearing Christ. A biblical name, it is derived from the elements 'christos' which means sanctified, anointed ; 'pherein' to bear, to carry, to bring. Old forms of the name include Christophoros (Old Greek) and Christophorus (Latin). The name was popular among medieval Christians as a metaphorical expression of bearing Christ in their hearts, and later on, in tribute to the 3rd-century Saint Christopher, patron saint of travellers and one of the 14 Holy Helpers. According to legend, which originated from the literal translation of the name's meaning, the saint was a huge man who safely carried the infant Christ across a river. The name was also borne by various kings of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. It was first adopted by English speakers as early as the 13th century. It was later made famous by Cristoforo Columbo (1451-1506), the Italian explorer who discovered America while in the service of Spain; he was known as Christopher Columbus in England and Cristóbal Colon in Spain. The name is sometimes used in Scotland as the equivalent of the Gaelic Crìsdean.
The name Christopher is widely used; it has 84 derivatives that are used in English and other languages. English derivatives include Christapher, Christipher, Christo, Christobal, Christobel, Christoffel, Christofor, Christoher, Christoper, Christoph (used in French and German as well), Christophe (used in French as well), Christophor, Christophoros, Christophr, Christophre, Christorpher, Christovao, Christpher, Chrystopher, Cristofer, Cristoval, Cristovano, Kriss (used in German and Latvian as well), Kristo (used in Greek as well), Kristofel, Kristoffer (used in Scandinavian as well), Kristoforos, Kristos, Krystofer, and Krystopher. Other English forms include the contracted forms Chris (used in Greek as well), Kris (used in German, and Scandinavian as well), and Topher (used in Greek as well), the pet forms Chip, Cris (used in Spanish as well), Kit (used in Greek as well), Kitt, and Topper, and the spelling variants Christofer (used in Czech and Russian as well), Christoffer (used in Scandinavian as well), Cristopher, Kristofer (used in Scandinavian as well), and Kristopher.
Derivatives of Christopher used in other languages include Christapor (Armenian), Christof (German and Russian), Christoff (German and Russian), Christofoor (Dutch), Christoforo (Italian), Christoforus (German), Christos (Greek), Christóbal (Spanish), Crisdean (Gaelic), Crisóforo (Spanish), Cristi (Spanish), Cristo (Spanish), Cristobal (Greek and Spanish), Cristofor (Romanian), Cristoforo (Italian), Criston (Spanish), Cristos (Spanish), Cristovao (Portuguese), Cristòfol (Catalan), Cristóbal (Spanish), Cristóvão (Portuguese), Críostóir (Gaelic and Irish), Hristo (Slavic), Kester (Gaelic and Scottish), Kristaps (Latvian), Kristof (Czech, Hungarian, and Scandinavian), Kristoff (Scandinavian), Kristofor (Scandinavian), Kristophoros (Greek), and Kristóf (Hungarian). Specific foreign variants include the contracted forms Risto (Finnish and Slavic), Stoffel (German), and Tobal (Spanish), and the pet forms Christie (Irish and Scottish), Christy (Irish and Scottish), and Crystal (Scottish).
See also the related form, the Scottish Crìsdean.
Christopher is a very popular baby name for boys. The name increased in popularity from the 1930s up to the 1980s. At the peak of its usage in 1984, 3.205% of baby boys were named Christopher. Its ranking then was #2. The baby name has since slipped in popularity. In 2012, its usage was only 0.586% and its ranking #23, but it was nevertheless the most popular out of all boy names in its group. In 2012, Christopher was more widely used than the 2nd most popular name, Chris, by 18 times. The name Christopher has been predominantly given to baby boys, though it has also been used as a girl name in the past century. In 1990, baby boys named Christopher outnumbered girls by 265 times.
Baby names that sound like Christopher include Kristopher, Christapor, Christipher, Christofer, Christoffer, Christofoor, Christofor, Christoper, Cristofer, Cristopher, Kristofer, Kristoffer, Krystofer, Christoforo, Crisóforo, Cristoforo, Christpher, Cristofor, and Kristofor.
† Pronunciation for Christopher: K as in "key (K.IY)" ; R as in "race (R.EY.S)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; S as in "see (S.IY)" ; T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; F as in "fee (F.IY)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)"
Details of famous persons named Christopher:
Actor Ashton Kutcher, born Christopher Ashton Kutcher, 7 February 1978, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Actor Christopher Lee, born Christopher Frank Caradini Lee, 27 May 1922, London, England.
Actor Christopher Reeve, born 25 September 1952 - 10 October 2004, New York, New York.
Actor Christopher Walken, born 31 March 1943, New York, New York.
Explorer Christopher Columbus, born 1451 - 20 May 1506, Genoa, Italy.
Rapper Ludacris, born Christopher Bridges, 11 September 1977, Champaign, Illinois.
Rapper Big Punisher, born Christopher Rios, 9 November 1971 - 7 February 2000, The Bronx, New York.
Singer Chris De Burgh, born Christopher John Davison, 15 October 1948, Venado Tuerto, Santa Fe Province, Argentina.
TV presenter Chris Tarrant, born Christopher John Tarrant, 10 October 1946, Reading, Berkshire, England.