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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Miriam

Number of Babies Named Miriam

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Miriam

Popular Baby Names in Austria, 2015

According to data released in December of 2016 by Statistics Austria, the most popular baby names in the country in 2015 were Anna (and variants) and Lukas (and variants).

Here are Austria’s top 10 girl name-groups and top 10 boy name-groups of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Anna (21 variants, including Ann, Hannah, Yahna)
2. Sophie (12 variants, including Sophia)
3. Maria (36 variants, including Merry, Moira, Miriam)
4. Emilia (14 variants)
5. Elena (40 variants, including Elaine, Helen, Ilijana)
6. Emma (1 variant)
7. Lena (8 variants)
8. Sarah (9 variants)
9. Mia (2 variants)
10. Laura (1 variant)

Boy Names
1. Lukas (11 variants, including Luc)
2. David (12 variants)
3. Jakob (20 variants, including Giacomo, Jaime, Tiago)
4. Elias (31 variants, including Ilian)
5. Maximilian (9 variants)
6. Alexander (32 variants, including Alejandro, Alistair, Iskender)
7. Jonas (12 variants)
8. Paul (7 variants, including Pablo)
9. Tobias (3 variants)
10. Leon (7 variants, including Levon)

The #1 name-groups were the same in 2014. There are no new entries on either top 10 list.

Source: Anna und Lukas sind die beliebtesten Babynamen 2015 (found via Popularity of Names in Austria, 2015)


Which Hurricane-Inspired Sibset Do You Like Best?

Tracks of Atlantic-Pacific crossover hurricanes
Tracks of Atlantic-Pacific crossover hurricanes

An Atlantic-Pacific crossover hurricane is one that developed in the Atlantic Ocean and moved into the Pacific Ocean (or, more rarely, the other way around) without dissipating/re-developing.

There have been about ten crossover storms that we know of, and five were named. In fact, they were named twice because they received new designations after the crossover.

  • In 1971, Atlantic Hurricane Irene became Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Olivia.
  • In 1974, Atlantic Hurricane Fifi became Northeast Pacific Tropical Storm Orlene.
  • In 1978, Atlantic Hurricane Greta became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Olivia.
  • In 1988, Atlantic Hurricane Joan became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Miriam.
  • In 1996, Atlantic Hurricane Cesar became Northeast Pacific Hurricane Douglas.

Let’s pretend these name-pairs are actually sibsets. Which pairing do you like best?

Which pairing do you like best for siblings?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Sources: List of Atlantic–Pacific crossover hurricanes, What tropical storms and hurricanes have moved from the Atlantic to the Northeast Pacific or vice versa?
Image: “Tracks of Atlantic-Pacific crossover storms” by Cyclonebiskit

Top Hebrew Baby Names in Israel, 5774

The top Hebrew baby names in Israel were announced a few days ago.

According to data from the Population and Immigration Authority, the most popular Hebrew baby names for the Hebrew Calendar year 5774 (September 5, 2013, to September 24, 2014) were Tamar and Yosef.

The rest of the top ten:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Tamar
2. Noa
3. Shira
4. Adele
5. Talya
6. Yael
7. Lian
8. Miriam
9. Maya
10. Avigayil
1. Yosef
2. Daniel
3. Ori
4. Itai
5. Omer
6. Adam
7. Noam
8. Ariel
9. Eitan
10. David

Last year’s top Hebrew names were Noa and Noam, according to the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. (Later this year, the CBS will release all 3 sets of baby name rankings: Jewish, Muslim and Christian).

Source: Psst! The most popular boy’s name in Israel in 5774 was really Mohammed

Baby Name Backlash – The Tale of Baby Yitzhak Rabin

baby yitzhak rabin
Yitzhak Rabin and Miriam in March, 1996.
© Reuters
On January 28, 1996, a Muslim baby was born in Jordan.

The controversial baby name he was given? Yitzhak Rabin.

His parents chose the name “in honor of the historic Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty signed in 1994 by [Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein.”

The name was initially rejected by Jordan’s state registrar on the grounds that Jewish names were illegal. But Yitzhak’s parents, Rajai and Miriam, fought to keep the name and won.

The couple was relentlessly harassed about Yitzhak’s name — by strangers, neighbors, even relatives. Rajai lost his job. Miriam and the baby “were forced to move from place to place like fugitives, even spending nights in bus depots and a safehouse with an uncle in Amman.”

No longer safe in Jordan, the family relocated to Israel in 1998 with the help of Leah Rabin (Yitzhak’s widow).

They had a hard time adjusting, but “the most tragic situation befell Miriam’s brother back in Jordan, who, according to Miriam, was murdered by a group of thugs as revenge for his nephew’s name.”

Miriam took Yitzhak to Jordan with the intention of attending her brother’s funeral, but, in her telling, a melee ensued at the border crossing, where a small group of protesters awaited them. She put Yitzhak, still a toddler, back on the bus to Israel, bruised and bleeding. It was the last time he would set foot on the soil of his native country.

Ever since, the family has lived in exile. The Israeli government has promised to make the family permanent residents, but that hasn’t happened yet, so there’s a chance they could one day be sent back to Jordan.

Yitzhak, now 18, considers himself an Israeli. He speaks only Hebrew, plans to convert to Judaism, and hopes to enlist in the Israeli army one day.

Despite everything, Miriam strongly defends her son’s name:

“Why should I have regrets?” Miriam fired back without hesitation. “Yitzhak [Isaac] was a prophet for both Jews and Muslims. And Rabin? [Most] Jordanians want peace. So why should I regret it?”

Try to imagine being in Miriam’s shoes back in the late 1990s. Would you have changed your young son’s name, to protect your family? Or would you have kept the name, despite the dangers?

Sources:

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:

Jewish

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.

Muslim

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

Christian

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

Maureen and Mavourneen – Too Close for Twin Names?

Maureen O’Connor, former San Diego mayor (1986-1992), was charged with money laundering in federal court earlier this month.

I don’t know much about the situation, but I was intrigued to learn that Maureen had 12 siblings, including a twin sister with a very similar name — Mavourneen.

(The other siblings are Patrick, Michael, Dennis, Sharon, Dianne, Colleen, Sheila, Timothy, Karen, Thomas and Shawn.)

The names Maureen and Mavourneen [pronounced muh-VOOR-neen] are both Irish, but they have different etymologies:

Maureen is an anglicized form of Máirín, which is a pet form of Máire, which — like the English name Mary — is based on the French name Marie, which comes from the Latin name Maria. In Ancient Rome, Maria was originally a feminine form of Marius, but it was later popularized as a version of the Hebrew name Miriam. The meaning of Miriam is unknown, though hypothesized definitions abound: “beloved,” “rebellious,” “strong sea,” “bitter sea,” “drop of the sea,” etc.

Mavourneen is an anglicized form of the Irish phrase mo mhúirnín, meaning “my darling.” It began as a term of endearment, but morphed into a given name probably when the song “Kathleen Mavourneen” (1837) became popular in the mid-1800s. (A number of the 19th-century Mavourneens I’ve tracked down were named “Kathleen Mavourneen.” Many of the 20th century Mavourneens too, actually.)

In terms of popularity, Maureen was one of the top 100 baby names in the U.S. from 1947 until 1954. Mavourneen, on the other hand, has never cracked the U.S. top 1,000.

And now the main question: What do you think of the names Maureen and Mavourneen for twins? Cute? Too close? Somewhere in between?

[Related poll: How Similar Should Twin Names Be?]

Baby Name Needed – Sister of Emma and Grace

A reader expecting a baby girl in March writes:

We have two daughters already “Emma Katherine” and “Grace Elizabeth.” Could you suggest a few names that are similar in style & feeling?

Absolutely. Below are some names similar to Emma and Grace and some names similar to Katherine and Elizabeth. Maybe we can mix-and-match a few good combinations.

Firsts Middles
Alice
Anna
Anne
Clare
Daisy
Hannah
Jane
Julia
Laura
Leah
Lily
Lydia
Marie
Mary
Nicole
Nina
Nora
Pearl
Rachel
Rose
Sara
Anastasia
Caroline
Charlotte
Constance
Eleanor
Evelyn
Helena
Jacqueline
Josephine
Judith
Justine
Margaret
Marianne
Miriam
Patricia
Rosalind
Stephanie
Sylvia
Theresa
Veronica
Victoria

Here are some combinations I like: Mary Victoria, Clare Anastasia, Rose Theresa, Nora Charlotte.

What combinations do you like?

What other first/middles/combinations would you suggest?