[ 3 syll. (t)heo-do-re, th-eod-ore ] The baby boy name Theodore is also used as a girl name, but it is much more common for boys. Its pronunciation is TEY-ow-Daoer or -DHIY-ow-Daoer †. Theodore is used predominantly in the English, French, and Greek languages, and its origin is Old Greek. The name's meaning is gift of god. A biblical name, it is derived from the elements 'theos' meaning god ; 'doron' gift. Theodoros (Old Greek) and Theodorus (Latinized) are old forms of Theodore. The name was popular among early Christians and it was borne by more than twenty saints. It thus suffered a drop in popularity among English Puritans in the 17th century, due to the Roman Catholic associations. The name later saw a revival in the 19th century, popularized by the US President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919). The president gave his name to the 'teddy bear' after he refused to shoot a bear tied up as his kill on a hunting trip; subsequent caricatures depicted the bear as small and cute, and it was soon made into a stuffed toy originally named "Teddy's bear". In literature, the name is known from the central character in the Horace Walpole novel The Castle of Otranto (1764). The name Theodora (English, German, and Greek) is the female version of Theodore.
Theodore is a widely used name; it has 65 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Teador, Tedd, Tedor, Tedric, Tedrick, Tedros, Teodoor, Teodore, Teodosio, Teyo, Thedorus, Theodis, Theodon, Theodor (also used in Czech, German, Romanian, and Scandinavian), Theodoras, Theodors, Theodosios, Theodosius, Theodrekr, Todo, and Tudor (also used in Welsh). Other English variants include the short forms Ted (also used in Greek) and Theo (also used in Dutch, German, and Scandinavian), and the diminutive forms Tadd, Teddie, Teddy, Terry, and Thad.
Foreign variants of Theodore include Bohdan (Czech), Dorek (Polish), Fedinka (Russian), Fedir (Ukrainian), Fedor (Czech, Polish, and Russian), Feodor (Russian and Slavic), Feodore (Russian), Fjodor (Russian and Ukrainian), Fyodor (Russian), Tedik (Czech), Tedorik (Polish), Teo (German), Teodomiro (Spanish), Teodor (Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Scandinavian, and Slavic), Teodorek (Polish), Teodoro (Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish), Teodors (Latvian), Teodus (Czech), Teos (Polish), Tewdor (German), Tewdwr (Welsh), Tewodros (African and Amharic), Theirn (French), Theodoor (Dutch), Theodoros (Greek), Theodorus (Dutch), Théo (French), Théodore (French), Tivadar (Hungarian), and Todor (Basque, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slavic, and Ukrainian). Specific foreign variants include the short form Teuvo (Finnish), and the diminutive form Fedya (Russian).
See also the related form, Thaddeus (English).
Theodore is very popular as a baby name for boys, and it is also considered trendy. At the peak of its usage in 1904, 0.603% of baby boys were given the name Theodore. It ranked at #30 then. The baby name has since suffered a marked loss in popularity. In 2018, its usage was 0.364% and its ranking #44, appearing with somewhat increasing regularity in the recent decade. Out of all boy names in its group, Theodore was the most popular. In 2018, 5 times more boys were named Theodore than the next most popular name, Theo. Theodore has in the past century been mostly given to baby boys.
Baby names that sound like Theodore include Theodoor, Theodor, Taheire, Tahurar, Tahurer, Tahuror, Tahuryr, Taryte, Tatree, Tatrie, Teodoor, Teodor, Teodore, Terrey, Tery, Thieree, Thierey, Thierie, Thierry, and Tilleree.
† Pronunciation for Theodore: T as in "tee (T.IY)" ; EY as in "ate (EY.T)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; D as in "day (D.EY)" ; AO as in "ought (AO.T)" ; DH as in "they (DH.EY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)"
Details of famous persons named Theodore:
Actor T.R. Knight, born Theodore Raymond Knight, 26 March 1973, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
US President Theodore Roosevelt, born 27 October 1858 - 6 January 1919, New York, New York.