The Hebrew name "מַתִּתְיָהוּ" (Matityahu) was transliterated into Greek to "Ματταθίας" (Mattathias) . It was subsequently shortened to Greek "Ματθαῖος" (Matthaios); this was Latinised as Matthaeus, which became Matthew in English. The popularity of the name is due to Matthew the Apostle who in Christian theology is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and the author of the Gospel of Matthew.
The name Matthew became popular during the Middle Ages in North-West Europe, and has been very common throughout the English-speaking world since the 1970s. Maiú and Maidiú are Gaelic forms of the name Matthew, and were brought to Ireland by the Anglo-Normans. In 2009, Matthew was ranked 23rd most popular name in Ireland, and then 24th most popular name in 2010. During 2014, it was the 17th most popular name in Ireland.
In the United Kingdom, it was among the 10 most popular male names through the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and was 9th as recently as 2001. Matthew has been in the top 1,000 most popular male names in Australia, Canada and United States.