How popular is the baby name Stedman in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Stedman and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Stedman.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Stedman

Number of Babies Named Stedman

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Stedman

Babies Named after Oprah’s Boyfriend?

StedmanAccording to Wikipedia, Stedman Graham is an “educator, author, businessman and speaker.” But without Wikipedia’s help, how would you describe Stedman? That’s right: “Oprah’s boyfriend.”

Oprah began dating Stedman in mid-1986, a few months before The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered. We’ve already seen how the baby name Oprah debuted on the national list that year, but did you know that the talk show gave the baby name Stedman a boost as well?

  • 1991: 28 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1990: 38 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1989: 82 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1988: 29 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1987: 20 baby boys named Stedman
  • 1986: unlisted

Not only did Stedman reappear on the national baby name list in 1987 after a 48-year absence, but the variant names Steadman, Stedmen, Stedmon and Stedmond all followed suit in 1988.

Stedman on Oprah, 1989
Stedman on Oprah, 1989
And what accounts for the Stedman spike of 1989?

In February of that year, Stedman appeared as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time. The episode was about “men who marry or date famous women, and how they cope with it.” The other guests were actress Susan Lucci and her husband Helmut, and singer Barbara Mandrell and her husband Ken. (Here’s the episode, if you want to watch.)

While usage of the name Stedman has tapered off since 1989, the relationship between Oprah and Stedman is still going strong nearly 3 decades later. They attended the Oscars together last month, in fact.

Stedman is one several “significant other” baby names I’ve spotted on the SSA’s baby name list so far. Others include Josanne, Movita and Tarita (all associated with Marlon Brando), Syreeta and Londie (both associated with Stevie Wonder), Loray and Altovise (both associated with Sammy Davis, Jr.), Kayatana (girlfriend of Flip Wilson), Marva (first wife of Joe Louis) and Sonji (first wife of Muhammad Ali). Stedman is unique, though, in that it’s a male name that was popularized by a famous female — not a common scenario, it seems.

Sources: Stedman Graham – Wikipedia, Oprah’s Beau Drops In Her Main Squeeze Meets Star’s Tv ‘Family’

How Did Oprah Get Her Name?

We all know who Oprah Winfrey is. But do you know how she got her name?

Here’s the story, as told by Oprah herself:

I was born, as I said, in rural Mississippi in 1954. I was born at home. There were not a lot of educated people around and my name had been chosen from the Bible. My Aunt Ida had chosen the name, but nobody really knew how to spell it, so it went down as “Orpah” on my birth certificate, but people didn’t know how to pronounce it, so they put the “P” before the “R” in every place else other than the birth certificate. On the birth certificate it is Orpah, but then it got translated to Oprah, so here we are.

I’m not sure if she ever legally changed her named to Oprah.

The biblical character Orpah is mentioned in the Book of Ruth. Many sources agree that her name signifies the “nape” or the “back of the neck,” as Orpah turned her back on her mother-in-law, Naomi, when she decided to return to her family in Moab.*

OprahOprah’s very popular Oprah Winfrey Show debuted in 1986. As you’d expect, that’s the same year the baby name Oprah appeared on the SSA’s list for the very first time:

  • 1990: 8 baby girls named Oprah
  • 1989: 7 baby girls named Oprah
  • 1988: 17 baby girls named Oprah
  • 1987: 37 baby girls named Oprah
  • 1986: 12 baby girls named Oprah [debut]
  • 1985: unlisted

The name dropped off the list after 1990, but has managed to return twice–in 2006 and 2007.

*Some Rabbinic interpretations of the name Orpah are much less complimentary.

Source: Oprah Winfrey Interview (1991)

P.S. Two more posts featuring Oprah-related names: Stedman, Canaan.