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

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”).

The imperial couple paid a long visit to the U.S. from December of 1954 to February of 1955, 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

Name News from Saudi Arabia

Three bits of name news out of Saudi Arabia…

First:

The most circulated [baby] names in the Kingdom include Mohammad, Fahd, Abdullah, Abdulrahman, Turki, Bandar, Omar, Ali, Fatima, Aisha, Nora, Hessa, Sheikha, and Maha.

Unfortunately the article didn’t specify exactly which year (or years) this list covers.

Second:

Unusual or rare [baby] names have been reduced due to the work of authorities across the Kingdom who have enacted regulations to curb exotic or strange names.

Some of the baby names no longer being used are…

  • Faziah, female name meaning “one who is afraid”
  • Mureibah, female name, “fearful”
  • Najar, male name
  • Rashash, male name, “a gun machine”
  • Zaqam, male name meaning “to do with the mouth” (…?)

Here’s an earlier list of baby names (possibly) banned in Saudi Arabia.

Third:

Saudi society is facing a new phenomenon in which many young people are changing their names to be in tune with the latest name trends, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

Several of the name changes mentioned in the article:

  • Fatimah to Hadeel (woman, 22 years old)
    • “I used the name Hadeel for my social media account before I changed it officially with the Civil Status Department.”
  • Salem to Faris (man, 27 years old)
  • Ethar to Maria (woman, 31 years old)
  • Nouf to Naifah (woman, age not mentioned)

Sources: Naming babies under scrutiny, The name game! Young Saudis changing names to be more trendy

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