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PronouncedPron.MATH-yoo English

Meaning & History

English form of Ματθαιος (Matthaios), which was a Greek form of the Hebrew name מַתִּתְיָהוּ (Mattityahu) meaning "gift of YAHWEH", from the roots מַתָּן (mattan) meaning "gift" and יָה (yah) referring to the Hebrew God. Matthew, also called Levi, was one of the twelve apostles. He was a tax collector, and supposedly the author of the first gospel in the New Testament. He is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. The variant Matthias also occurs in the New Testament belonging to a separate apostle. The name appears in the Old Testament as Mattithiah.

As an English name, Matthew has been in use since the Middle Ages. A notable bearer was the American naval officer Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858), who led a delegation to Japan. A famous modern bearer is American actor Matthew McConaughey (1969-).
VariantMathew English
DiminutivesMat, Matt, Mattie, Matty English
Other Languages & CulturesMatia Basque Matthaios, Matthias Biblical Greek Mattanyahu, Mattithyahu, Mattityahu Biblical Hebrew Mattheus, Matthias Biblical Latin Matey Bulgarian Mateu Catalan Matej, Mateo, Mate, Matija, Matko, Mato Croatian Matouš, Matěj, Matyáš Czech Mads, Mathias, Matthias Danish Matthias, Matthijs, Thijs, Ties Dutch Matti, Matias Finnish Matéo, Mathéo, Mathieu, Matthieu, Mathias, Mathis, Mathys, Matthias French Mate Georgian Matthäus, Mathias, Mathis, Matthias, Mattias German Matthaios Greek Makaio Hawaiian Mattityahu Hebrew Máté, Mátyás Hungarian Maitiú Irish Matteo, Mattia Italian Matas, Motiejus Lithuanian Matej Macedonian Matteus, Mathias, Mats, Matthias Norwegian Mateusz, Maciej Polish Mateus, Matias Portuguese Matheus Portuguese (Brazilian) Matei Romanian Matfey, Matvei, Matvey, Motya Russian Mateja, Matija Serbian Matúš, Matej Slovak Matej, Matevž, Matic, Matija, Matjaž, Tjaž Slovene Mateo, Matías Spanish Matteus, Mathias, Mats, Matthias, Mattias Swedish


The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602), by CaravaggioThe Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602), by Caravaggio


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Entry updated May 31, 2018   Contribute