Even Steven or Even Stevens – Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

The phrase even Steven is a bit like a jingle. It’s catchy, and once you hear it, it’s tough to get out of your head! So, if you’re curious whether it’s supposed to be even Steven or even Stevens and what exactly this delightful rhyming phrase means, read on!

Is It Even Steven or Even Stevens?

Even Steven vs Even Stevens American English Ngram
American English even Steven and even Stevens usage trend.

There’s a bit of a tug-of-war between even Steven and even Stevens. The truth is, you’ll find both versions used in different contexts. Even Steven is most common in American English, but even Stevens pops up more frequently in British and Australian English. Both versions carry the same meaning and can be used interchangeably, depending on your preference or where you live.

Even Steven and Even Stevens British English Ngram
British English even Steven and even Stevens usage trend.

Even Steven Meaning

Even Steven or Even Stevens – Meaning Origin

The idiomatic phrase even Steven is a playful way of saying that things are equal or fair, usually in terms of a contest or transaction. So if you and a friend are sharing a pizza and you each end up with exactly half, you’re even Steven! Or, let’s say you’ve paid for the popcorn, and your friend has paid for the movie tickets, and the cost is exactly the same — again, that’s even Steven.

Is Even Steven Supposed to Be Hyphenated?

There’s no hard rule about hyphenating even Steven. It’s most commonly written without a hyphen, but you might see even-Steven in certain contexts. Usually, when even Steven is used as an adjective phrase before a noun, a hyphen might be used to link the words together for clarity.

  • An even-Steven trade
  • Even-Steven deal

Even Steven Origin and Etymology

The term even Steven was birthed from American English. It first popped up in the mid-19th century. The usage of the name Steven is purely for the sake of rhyme and rhythm and doesn’t have any other significant meaning or reference.

Synonyms for Even Steven

  • Level pegging
  • Neck and neck
  • On a par
  • Square
  • All square

Even Steven Examples in a Sentence

Even Steven or Even Stevens – Meaning Origin 1

  • After splitting the bill, we ended up even Steven.
  • The football match was even Steven until the last few minutes.
  • We swapped books, so it’s all even Steven.
  • After trading my guitar for his drum set, we were even Steven.
  • The two companies are even Steven in the market share.
  • After two rounds of the game, it’s even Steven between the teams.
  • The kids made sure they were even Steven when dividing up the Halloween candy.
  • We split the chores evenly, so it’s even Steven at our house.
  • The race was even Steven until the last runner broke away from the pack.
  • After I paid for dinner and you paid for the movie, we ended up even Steven.

Ending on an Even Note

In a world that can often seem uneven, the phrase even Steven is a lovely little slice of wordy fairness. It’s a fun, colloquial way to express balance, equality or a tie in a situation. If you find yourself in a fair and square situation, don’t hesitate to say, “We’re even Steven!”