The name Sterling is primarily a male name of English origin that means Starling, Little Star.Originally an English surname, associated with the type of silver. Also the name of British currency, to which the "pound" refers. The word sterling most likely comes from the MIddle English word steorra, "star" plus the diminutive suffix -ling. Early Norman pennies bore a small star. Another theory is that the coin was originally made by Easterling moneyers, and the "Ea" was dropped.