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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mohammad

Number of Babies Named Mohammad

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mohammad

The Arrival of Ayatollah

Ayatollah, TIME magazine
© 1979 Time
The Arabic word Ayatollah (ayatu-llah), which is a title for a Shiite religious leader in Iran, literally means “sign of god.”

Americans started hearing this word more often in the late ’70s, when Iran’s Ruhollah Khomeini, typically called “Ayatollah Khomeini” by the U.S. press, led the Iranian Revolution that overthrew the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (whose wives included Farah and Soraya).

From that point onward, Khomeini became the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The year the revolution ended and Ayatollah Khomeini took control of the country, we see the baby name Ayatollah appear in the U.S. baby name data for the first and only time:

  • 1981: unlisted
  • 1980: unlisted
  • 1979: 6 baby boys named Ayatollah
  • 1978: unlisted
  • 1977: unlisted

What are your thoughts on “Ayatollah” as a baby name?

Sources: Ayatollah – Online Etymology Dictionary, Ruhollah Khomeini – Wikipedia

Popular Baby Names in Norway, 2017

According to Statistics Norway, the most popular baby names in Norway in 2017 were Sofie/Sophie and Jakob/Jacob.

Here are Norway’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names
1. Sofie/Sophie, 412 baby girls
2. Nora/Norah, 405
3. Emma, 380
4. Sara/Sahra/Sarah/Zara, 346
5. Ella, 319
6. Olivia, 316
7. Maja/Maia/Maya, 312
8. Emilie, 285
9. Sofia/Sophia, 272
10. Ingrid/Ingerid/Ingri, 272

Boy Names
1. Jakob/Jacob, 424 baby boys
2. Lucas/Lukas, 404
3. Emil, 397
4. Oskar/Oscar, 393
5. Oliver, 390
6. William, 383
7. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip, 382
8. Noah/Noa, 368
9. Elias, 349
10. Isak/Isaac/Isac, 330

The girls’ top 10 is the same, but the names are in a different order.

In the boys’ top 10, Elias and Isak replace Mathias and Aksel.

In the capital city of Oslo, the top names were Mohammad and Sofia. Statistics Norway said that it doesn’t have a “good explanation” for why Sofia-with-an-A is #1 in the capital while Sofie-with-an-E is #1 in the country.

In 2016, the top names were Nora/Norah/Noora and William.

Sources: Navn – SSB, These are Norway’s most popular kids’ names, Most popular names in 2017

Royal Baby Name: Soraya

soraya, 1951, wedding, shah, iranMohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, married three times (and divorced twice). His second wife was the half-Iranian, half-German Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari. They wed in Tehran in 1951.

Soraya’s first name is the Persian form of Thurayya, from the Arabic term al-Thurayya, which refers to the Pleiades star cluster (literally, “the many little ones”).

From December of 1954 to February of 1955, the imperial couple paid a long visit to the U.S., traveling to several different locations: Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Sun Valley (Idaho), and New York City. And (as with Twiggy and Nikita) the press coverage of their trip led to the debut of the name Soraya on the U.S. baby name charts in 1955:

  • 1961: 39 baby girls named Soraya
  • 1960: 24 baby girls named Soraya
  • 1959: 20 baby girls named Soraya
  • 1958: 28 baby girls named Soraya
  • 1957: 6 baby girls named Soraya
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: 6 baby girls named Soraya [debut]
  • 1954: unlisted

Usage jumped in 1958, the year the Shah divorced Soraya (because she wasn’t able to produce an heir). And it stayed relatively high after that, because the U.S. press continued to report on the “sad queen” for years to come — her travels, her rumored romances, her attempt to kick off acting career in the mid-1960s.

What do you think of the name Soraya?

(And who were the Shah’s other two wives? The first was an Egyptian princess named Fawzia, sister-in-law of Farida, and the third was an Iranian commoner named Farah who we’ll talk more about tomorrow…)

Sources:

Iraqi Baby Names, During and After Saddam

Baghdad, April, 2003
Baghdad, April, 2003
When the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began in March of 2003, tens of thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq fled from their cities and villages and took shelter in the hills.

One of these displaced Kurdish families included a boy named Awara, which means “refugee.” His older brother said Awara’s name would be changed to Azad, or “freedom,” once it was safe for the family to return to their home village.

By April, Saddam Hussein was out of power.

And along with the change in regime came a change in baby naming trends. The name “Saddam” and the names of Saddam Hussein’s children (e.g., Udai, Kusai, Rajad, Halla), which had been trendy up to that point, quickly fell out of favor. An employee of Iraq’s National Registry in Baghdad said in late 2003, “We haven’t had even one Saddam since the fall of the regime on April 9th.”

Instead, Iraqi parents started opting for other namesakes. The director of the National Registry mentioned that more than 20 babies had been named for religious leader (and Hussein enemy) Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim after he was assassinated in August, for example.

I couldn’t find any follow-up articles about Awara’s family, though, so I don’t know if they ever made it back to their village, or whether Awara’s name was finally changed from “refugee” to “freedom.”

Sources:

Popular Baby Names in Ontario, 2015

According to early data from Ontario’s Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya and Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn.

Either that or they were simply Olivia and Liam again.

See, the province decided to pull a Malta this year and lump variant spellings together in the rankings.

Luckily, Ontario didn’t do away with the traditional list altogether, so let’s start there. Here are the projected top 10 girl and boy names of 2015.

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Olivia
2. Emma
3. Ava
4. Sophia
5. Charlotte
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Chloe
9. Isabella
10. Avery
1. Liam
2. Ethan
3. Noah
4. Benjamin
5. William
6. Jacob
7. Lucas
8. Mason
9. Logan
10. Alexander

According to this list, Olivia and Liam are still the #1 names, and Lucas dropped from #3 in 2014 to #7 in 2015.

Next, here’s the list of the top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2015. From what I can tell, this list excludes names that didn’t have multiple spellings.

Girl Names
1. Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya
2. Emma/Ema
3. Ava/Avah
4. Emily/Emilie/Emilee
5. Maya/Mya/Maia/Myah/Maiya/Mayah
6. Chloe/Khloe
7. Abigail/Abbigail/Abbygail/Abigale/Abigael/Abygail
8. Isabella/IIzabella/Isabela/Izabela
9. Avery/Averie/Averi
10. Aria/Arya/Ariya/Aarya/Ariyah/Ariah
Boy Names
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Jacob/Jakob/Jakub/Jaycob
4. Mason/Mayson/Masen
5. Aiden/Aidan/Ayden/Aydin
6. Alexander/Aleksander/Alexsandar
7. Daniel/Daniyal/Danial
8. Muhammad/Mohammad/Mohamed/Mohammed/Muhammed/Mohamad
9. Nicholas/Nicolas/Nikolas/Nickolas
10. Aria/Arya/Ariya/Aarya/Ariyah/Ariah

(I’m not sure what #10 on the boys’ side is supposed to be; the person cutting and pasting the boy names over the girl names forgot that one.)

Finally, here’s the top-5 list that’s been circulating in the press. It’s a combination of the lists above.

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Sophia/Sofia/Sofiya
2. Olivia
3. Emma/Ema
4. Ava/Avah
5. Charlotte
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson/Jaxen/Jaxxon/Jaxyn
2. Liam
3. Lucas/Lukas
4. Jacob/Jakob/Jaycob
5. Ethan

The takeaway?

Olivia and Liam are still the most popular baby names…if you stick to the traditional ranking system.

If you lump variant spellings together, though, the Sophia-group beats Olivia, and the Jackson-group beats Liam.

For more sets of rankings, see the name rankings category. For Canada-specific rankings, see the Canada name rankings subcategory.

Sources: Sophia and Jackson are the Most Popular Baby Names in Ontario, Ontario’s Top 20 Baby Names