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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Ephraim

Number of Babies Named Ephraim

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Ephraim

Pop Culture Baby Names: Efrem & Zimbalist

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Spotting Zimbalist on the SSA’s baby name list was a lot like spotting Arbutus: I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it the first time I saw it.

The baby name Zimbalist has only ever made the list twice:

  • 1973: unlisted
  • 1972: 5 baby boys named Zimbalist
  • 1962-1971: unlisted
  • 1961: 8 baby boys named Zimbalist [debut]
  • 1960: unlisted

Where does it come from?

Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., who starred in the popular TV shows 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964) and The F.B.I. (1965-1974).

The movie By Love Possessed (1961), which featured Zimbalist along with actress Lana Turner, may be what caused that initial 1961 debut.

His first name, Efrem, saw increased usage as soon as 77 Sunset Strip started airing:

  • 1962: 55 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1961: 83 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1960: 56 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1959: 85 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1958: 8 baby boys named Efrem
  • 1957: unlisted

Efrem is a Russian version of the Hebrew name Ephraim, which means “fruitful,” while Zimbalist is a Jewish surname that originally referred to someone who played a tsimbl, a musical instrument in the dulcimer family.

Which do you like better as a first name, Efrem or Zimbalist?


Girl Name Battle – Milly, Dorcas, Ruth, Martha, Liza, Sarah, Alice

seven brides seven brothersThe seven brides in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) are named Milly, Dorcas, Ruth, Martha, Liza, Sarah and Alice.

(The corresponding brothers are named Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank(incense) and Gideon.)

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Boy Name Battle – Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank, Gideon

seven brides seven brothersThe seven brothers in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) are named alphabetically from the Old Testament: Adam, Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank (short for Frankincense) and Gideon.

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Source: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Wikipedia

Baby Name Needed – What Do You Think of Phineas?

A reader named Virginia is expecting a baby in September. For a boy, she’d selected the name Phineas. She liked “that it was unusual without being bizarre,” and that it started with ph. But now she’s not so sure about the name:

All was fine and dandy until I read an article about violence in the Bible. It vaguely mentioned Phineas as a name from the Bible used as a talisman by white supremacists. What!?!

That was a shock to me too. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Phineas Priesthood is “a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years.” I’d never heard of the Phineas Priesthood before–not even when Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus a few years ago.

Virginia doesn’t want to give up her favorite name, but she also “can’t live with such an association,” so she was hoping for some name suggestions. Other names she’s considering include Joel and Samuel (for boys) and Sigrid, Phoebe, Elisabeth, and Anne (for girls). All are family names.

First, a few thoughts:

  • I doubt many people are aware that white supremacists use Phineas as a code word. It’s an odious association, but maybe it’s also obscure enough that it’s not worth worrying about…?
  • I really like Sigrid and Phoebe–they’re both significant and unusual. Especially Sigrid. (Phoebe is being used more and more every year, so it might not be unusual for long.)

And now, name suggestions. Here are some unusual-but-not-bizarre boy names that I think Virginia might like:

Amos
Barnabas
Baxter
Ephraim
Ezra
Felix
Horatio
Humphrey
Lazarus
Matthias
Maximilian
Moses
Peregrine
Ralph
Raphael
Rufus
Silas
Simeon
Ulysses
Zephaniah

And some girl names:

Clotilde
Cybele
Daphne
Dagny
Delphine
Drusilla
Esther
Fabiola
Georgia
Josephine
Lucretia
Ophelia
Penelope
Phyllis
Ruth
Salome
Seraphina
Talulla
Tryphena
Verena

What other names would you suggest to Virginia? (And, what’s your take on the Phineas dilemma?)

Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to learn the baby’s name.