Origin: English, Scottish

Meaning: from an English surname from Old English sterre meaning “star” with the diminutive suffix -ling meaning “little star”, so named because some of the Norman coins it was named after had star emblems on them. Sterling could also be a variant of Starling, referring to the bird.

Sterling could also be a variant spelling of Stirling, a place in Scotland. Though the meaning isn’t clear, it could be related to stri “strife” and linne “pool”.

Sterling has entered English vocabulary as referring to something excellent (sterling silver) as well as being British currency (pound sterling).

Variants: Stirling


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I once met a Stirling!


    1. apolla13 says:

      I wonder if he was named after the place in Scotland. I’ve hears of place names like London, Paris, Avonlea, India and even Verona being used as names for children but until I wrote up this post I’d never heard of it. I would have just thought it was just another spelling of Sterling.


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