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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Michal

Number of Babies Named Michal

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Michal

Top Jewish Baby Names in Israel, Decade by Decade

Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority recently released decade-by-decade lists of the most popular Jewish baby names in Israel since the establishment of the state (in mid-1948).

Decade Top 3 Girl Names Top 3 Boy Names
1950s Esther, Rachel, Sarah Moshe, Yosef, Avraham
1960s Rachel, Esther, Ronit Yosef, Moshe, Avraham
1970s Michal, Keren, Merav Moshe, David, Yosef
1980s Michal, Adi, Moran Moshe, David, Roei
1990s Eden, Sapir, Adi Daniel, David, Moshe
2000s Noa, Shira, Yael Daniel, Itay, Uri
2010s so far Shira, Noa, Tamar Itay, Uri, Noam

In 5775, the top names for Jewish babies in Israel were Tamar and Ori (aka Uri).

Source: Israel’s most popular names by decade

Name Quotes #43 – Agnieszka, Shaniqua, Fire

"I love the Q. It's the most distinctive thing about me." Quote from stem cell scientist George Q. Daley.

From “I Love the Q,” a Harvard Medical School interview with stem-cell scientist George Q. Daley:

HMS: So you have five brothers and sisters?

DALEY: Yes. I was born fifth, and my middle name, Quentin, means “fifth-born.”

HMS: I was going to ask why you use the Q.

DALEY: I love the Q. It’s the most distinctive thing about me. Everybody asks, “What’s the Q stand for?”

From “Michael Caine’s Name Is Now Officially Michael Caine” by Jackson McHenry at Vulture:

Maurice Micklewhite is dead; long live Michael Caine. The legendary British actor has officially adopted the name you know and impersonate him by after getting fed up with increased airport security checks. “I changed my name when all the stuff started with ISIS and all that,” Caine told The Sun, going on to describe his experiences with security guards thusly: “He would say, ‘Hi Michael Caine,’ and suddenly I’d be giving him a passport with a different name on it. I could stand there for an hour. So I changed my name.”

From “Frond this way: Lady Gaga’s ferns” by Ben Guarino of Scienceline:

In a 2006 letter to Nature, Australian geneticist Ken Maclean highlights the pitfalls of fanciful names: “The quirky sense of humour that researchers display in choosing a gene name often loses much in translation when people facing serious illness or disability are told that they or their child have a mutation in a gene such as Sonic hedgehog, Slug or Pokemon.”

From “Translating Names” by Dariusz Galasiński

Translating names mostly goes one way. Somehow ‘we’ must translate our names into English, and ‘you’ don’t have to translate yours into Polish, Estonian, Romanian or Slovak. And that makes the translation much more political than linguistic. And if it is political, I go against!


And here is the main point of this post – it’s not linguistic, I’m afraid. Names are political. And I think it’s important to keep them. Michał, Agnieszka, Małgorzata, Paweł, Justyna…these are your names, don’t change them to Michael, Agnes, Margaret, Paul or Justine. If they care, they will learn, if they don’t — it’s their loss.

(Found via “What’s in a name? Introducing yourself in academia” by Marta Natalia Wróblewska, via Clare’s Name News.)

From “The Jody Grind” by Jody Rosen in Slate:

Could it be that we are best served by imperfect, not perfect, names? When a baby is saddled with a name, he is taught a first lesson about pitiless fate and life’s limitations–that there are aspects of the self that can never be self-determined, circumstances that must be stoically endured, and, hopefully, someday, made peace with. There are a goodly number of us who wear our names not like a precious spell but like a humbler workaday garment. Whatever you’re called–Jody or Sue or Moon Unit or Jermajesty or maybe even Anus–you can, if you’re lucky, reach that state of grace where you hardly notice your name is there at all. You wake up in the morning and slide right into it, like a well–broken-in pair of pantaloons.

From “What’s in a Name? Exhibit explores identity, prejudice” (about a pop-up art exhibition by Donna Woodley) in The Tennessean:

“The idea for this project came as I was typing names one day. I realized that the Microsoft Word program would indicate that some names were spelled incorrectly — a red wavy line would appear under them — but not others. I’d type a name like Elizabeth or Judy and there’d be no red line, which implied it was spelled correctly. Then I’d type a name like Shaniqua, LaQuisha, or other black women’s names I knew, and they would get a red line under them, like it was spelled wrong.”


“It made me wonder, does Microsoft have a diversity department?” said Woodley.

(Found via the ANS post Names exhibit in Nashville, TN explores identity and prejudice.)

From “Church won’t let me call my son ‘Jesus’” by Cate Mukei at Standard Digital Entertainment (Kenya):

The rights activist [Nderitu Njoka] said he just wanted to prove his deeply rooted Christian faith by naming his son ‘Jesus’.

‘After all, the name is common in Portugal, Spain, and Mexico which are God fearing. My call is to Christians to start naming their sons Jesus since by doing this they will be preaching gospel of Jesus Christ to the world without hypocrisy,” the letter says.

From Politics, Religion and…Baby Names by Tim Bradley:

Our oldest son Jay (who was almost two at the time) insisted on calling our baby-to-be “Baby Fire” while my wife was pregnant. It caught on and throughout my wife’s pregnancy, our families would ask, “How’s Baby Fire doing?” Although it seemed like a fitting name, we just dismissed it thinking “Fire” was too “out there” for anyone to be on board. But on the way to the hospital during the wee hours of the morning on July 4th, my wife and I decided that “Fire” as a middle name seemed appropriate. It will forever link our sons since it was Jay’s idea, and it captures the memories and emotions we felt throughout the pregnancy. There’s the July 4th fireworks tie-in as well. And let’s face it “Fire” as a middle name is only one step away from “Danger” as the coolest name ever.

From H. L. Mencken’s The American Language (1921):

The religious obsession of the New England colonists is also kept in mind by the persistence of Biblical names: Ezra, Hiram, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Elijah, Elihu, and so on. These names excite the derision of the English; an American comic character, in an English play or novel, always bears one of them.

For more quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Popular Baby Names in Poland, 2013

Poland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced a couple of weeks ago.

According to provisional data from the country’s Ministry of the Interior, the most popular baby names last year were Lena and Jakub.

Here are Poland’s projected top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lena
2. Julia
3. Zuzanna
4. Maja
5. Zofia
6. Amelia
7. Hanna
8. Aleksandra
9. Wiktoria
10. Natalia
11. Oliwia
12. Alicja
13. Nikola
14. Maria
15. Emilia
16. Anna
17. Nadia
18. Gabriela
19. Martyna
20. Antonina
1. Jakub
2. Kacper
3. Filip
4. Szymon
5. Jan
6. Antoni
7. Michał
8. Wojciech
9. Mateusz
10. Bartosz
11. Adam
12. Franciszek
13. Piotr
14. Aleksander
15. Mikołaj
16. Wiktor
17. Igor
18. Marcel
19. Dawid
20. Alan

Baby names that increased in popularity last year include Antonina, Iga, Liliana, Maksymilian, Stanisław and Zofia.

The rare baby names mentioned in the press release were Jessika, Leah, Nathalie, Raisa, Vivian, Collin, Jack, Philipp, Yasin, Elif, Emi, Kenza, Zoya, Mieczysław, Siemowit, Witalij and Wadim.

Source: Lena i Jakub – to najpopularniejsze imiona mijającego roku

Most Popular Baby Names in Israel, 2012

Israel recently released three lists of popular baby names.

According to the Central Bureau for Statistics, the country’s top names last year were:

  • Noam and Noa for Jewish babies,
  • Mohammad and Maryam for Muslim babies, and
  • George and Maria for Christian babies.

Here are more of the most popular baby names of 2012 within each religious group:


Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Noa
2. Shira
3. Tamar
4. Talia
5. Maya
6. Yael
7. Sarah
8. Adele/Edel
9. Ayala
10. Michal
1. Noam
2. Uri/Ori
3. Itai
4. Yosef
5. David
6. Yehonatan
7. Daniel
8. Ariel
9. Moshe
10. Eitan

The Jewish names above were listed in my source article, but the Muslim and Christian names below (beyond the #1 names) I had to translate from Hebrew using various online tools/dictionaries, so they might not be perfect.


Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Maryam
2. Linn
3. Rahaf
4. Lian
5. Rimas
6. Hala
7. Nur
8. Bisan
9. Malek
10. Aya
1. Mohammad
2. Ahmed
3. Mahmad
4. Yosef
5. Adam
6. Abd
7. Omar
8. Ali
9. Mahmoud
10. Amir


Top Girl Names Top Boy Names
1. Maria
2. Celine
3. Aline
4. Maya
5. Nur
6. Lian
7. Miriam
8. Natalie
9. Tala
10. Miral
1. George
2. Elias
3. Majd
4. Daniel
5. Joseph
6. Hana
7. Julian
8. Charbel
9. Jude
10. Emir

A few years ago, a group of Israeli rabbis released a list of names they thought should be off-limits to Jewish children. Ariel, the 8th most popular name for Jewish baby boys last year, was on their forbidden name list. :)

Sources: Noa, Noam top baby names for 2012, Central Bureau of Statistics

Unisex Baby Names – Even Splits of 2009

Hundreds of unisex names were given to both baby boys and baby girls last year. But only 65 were split evenly between the two genders, according to SSA data.

Name Boys Girls Total
Michel 55 55 110
Michal 48 48 96
Storm 43 43 86
Haydyn 32 32 64
Avry 27 27 54
Adi 26 26 52
Indiana 26 26 52
Kemani 26 26 52
Clarke 22 22 44
Riyan 20 20 40
Samar 17 17 34
Amori 16 16 32
Bradie 13 13 26
Carlisle 12 12 24
Oluwadamilola 12 12 24
Angell 11 11 22
Eaden 11 11 22
Maika 11 11 22
Nur 11 11 22
Chesley 10 10 20
Dacoda 10 10 20
Mattia 10 10 20

Fewer than 20 babies total: Agam, Aidynn, Amadi, Armahni, Arrington, Ecko, Elim, Elyah, Grae, Jarae, Jasyiah, Jiayi, Keighan, Kumari, Lakshya, Lanny, Lean, Mako, Marcelle, Money*, Nyel, Oluwanifemi, Oluwatomisin, Omega, Phynix, Psalm, Qamar, Rayen, Reyhan, Ryian, Santanna, Shadow, Shyler, Siah, Sinclair, Skiler, Starling, Stellar, Thanh, Ugonna, Windsor, Yali, Yareth

*I’m pleased that Money made the list. There may be a gender-based income gap in the U.S., but at least men and women are named Money in equal measure. That has to count for something, right?

Baby Names from Hockey

A reader named Elizabeth has sent me a rather cool list of hockey-inspired baby names. She writes:

I’m a name enthusiast and a hockey fanatic, and my husband and I have been tossing around the idea of naming our son after hockey players.

They haven’t seen any lists of hockey names for babies, though, so they decided to compile one themselves. It includes “both all-time greats and current players.”

I thought I’d pass it along to share with fellow rink rats who may be reading your blog and can’t think of anything other than Wayne (Gretzky), Herb (Brooks), or Patrick (Roy).

Or Bobby (Orr), whose statue was recently unveiled outside the Garden! But I digress…

Here is the list:

Andreas (Andreas Lilja, Andreas Nödl)
Aurèle (Aurèle Émile Joliat)
Bentley (Max Bentley, Doug Bentley)
Bourque (Ray Bourque, Rene Bourque)
Briere (Danny Briere)
Brooks (Herb Brooks, Brooks Laich)
Crosby (Sidney Crosby)
Dryden (Ken Dryden)
Eaves (Patrick Eaves)
Elias (Patrik Elias)
Émile (Aurèle Émile Joliat)
Ennis (Tyler Ennis)
Evgeni (Evgeni Malkin, Evgeni Nabokov)
Ilya (Ilya Kovalchuk, Ilya Bryzgalov)
Kane (Patrick Kane)
Lach (Elmer Lach)
Lemieux (Mario Lemieux)
Luca (Luca Caputi)
Malkin (Evgeni Malkin)
Malone (Joe Malone, Ryan Malone)
Marek (Marek Svatos)
Mario (Mario Lemieux)
Marleau (Patrick Marleau)
Michal (Michal Handzus)
Milan (Milan Hejduk)
Modano (Mike Modano)
Nikolai (Nikolai Khabibulin)
Parise (Zach Parise)
Pavel (Pavel Datsyuk)
Rene (Rene Bourque)
Savard (Serge Savard, Marc Savard)
Shore (Eddie Shore)
Stephane (Stephane Yelle)
Turco (Marty Turco)

Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth!

Another good source of hockey names is the Legends of Hockey website, which is affiliated with the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Which hockey names are your favorites?