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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mohammed

Number of Babies Named Mohammed

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mohammed

Name Quotes for the Weekend #37

quote from bridesmaids

From the movie Bridesmaids, bridesmaid Annie (played by Kristen Wiig) being kicked out of first class by flight attendant Steve:

Annie: Whatever you say, Stove.
Steve: It’s Steve.
Annie: “Stove” — what kinda name is that?
Steve: That’s not a name. My name is Steve.
Annie: Are you an appliance?
Steve: No I’m a man, and my name is Steve.

From Mohammed most popular baby name in Israel in The Jerusalem Post:

The report [from the Central Bureau of Statistics] also noted that in 2012 only 36 boys were given the name Ovadia. However, following the death of spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in 2013, 117 babies were given this name and in 2014, 209 newborns were named after the rabbi.

From Why old Japanese women have names in katakana at RocketNews24:

Basically, the katakana names given to baby girls born prior to the 1900s were a result of gender discrimination. The ability to read was not prevalent amongst the poor of that time period, so many families would pay a scholar to help them decide on a splendid name in meaningful kanji for their sons. However, that same measure was almost never taken for daughters. […] Only girls belonging to the most wealthy and noble families, such as the daughters of samurai, would be given names in kanji as an indication of their status.

From Today Translations’ Name Audit Services page:

But more offbeat names can pose problems. How about the Rooneys’ Kai? Kai means ‘pier’ in Estonian, ‘probably’ in Finnish, ‘ocean’ in Hawaiian and Japanese, ‘willow tree’ in the native American language of Navajo, and ‘stop it’ in Yoruba.

And Suri, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter, means ‘pickpocket’ in Japanese, ‘turned sour’ in French and ‘horse mackerels’ in Italian.

From Arabic as an accessory by Naaila Mohammed in The Islamic Monthly:

Arabic, as a spoken language and written text, is something the Western gaze is enamored by, but also terrified of. A quick Google search renders a flood of results about the popularity of Arabic in the non-Arab world. From warnings of things to keep in mind so you don’t end up with a failed Arabic tattoo to white mothers seeking out trendy Arabic baby names, there are numerous examples of how Arabic is made palatable to the white gaze. At the same time, you will find horror stories of students detained for carrying flashcards and study materials in Arabic on a plane, or of a Brooklyn father stabbed by two teenagers who overheard him speaking in Arabic while walking home with his wife and 8-year-old son.

From What Makes a Baby Name Trendy? by Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda:

I have a non-trendy classic name which is still reasonably popular, and not only has it failed to provide me with a magically charmed life where nothing ever went wrong, its impact has been minimal at best. Meanwhile, my peers with the trendy names of our generation, such as Jodi and Jason, don’t seem to have had their lives ruined by their names.

From Baby names fall from fashion like autumn leaves in The Asahi Shimbun (a Japanese newspaper):

I am a Showa-born man, and here’s my pet peeve: This year, only three girl names ending with “ko” made the top 100 list. Back when I was a schoolboy, the mimeographed list of the names of kids in my class was full of girl names ending with “ko.”

Shigehiko Toyama, a scholar of English literature, once recalled this episode: One day, he received a letter from an American person he had never met, and the envelope was addressed to “Miss Shigehiko Toyama.” He understood the reason immediately. This American had some knowledge of things Japanese, and must have presumed Toyama was a woman because his given name ends with “ko.” An episode such as this is now part of ancient history.

From The Women’s Suffrage Movement: A Reference Guide 1866-1928 (2003) By Elizabeth Crawford:

Lamb, Aeta Adelaide (1886-1928) Born in Demerara, where her father was a botanist; she was named Aeta after a palm he had discovered there.

Demerara was a colony in British Guiana, and aeta (or æta) palm refers to Mauritia flexuosa, a South American palm tree.

Want to see more quotes like these? Check out the name quotes category.

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

Popular Baby Names in Spain, 2014

According to data from Spain’s Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, the most popular baby names in Spain in 2014 were Lucia and Hugo.

Here are Spain’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2014:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Lucia, 5,161 baby girls
2. Maria, 4,951
3. Martina, 4,380
4. Paula, 4,210
5. Daniela, 3,792
6. Sofia, 3,568
7. Valeria, 3,246
8. Carla, 3,138
9. Sara, 3,116
10. Alba, 3,111
1. Hugo, 5,121 baby boys
2. Daniel, 4,859
3. Pablo, 4,494
4. Alejandro, 4,116
5. Alvaro, 3,670
6. Adrian, 3,463
7. David, 3,376
8. Martin, 3,181
9. Mario, 3,067
10. Diego, 3,000

Alba (was 11th) replaces Julia (now 11th) in the girls’ top 10.

Martin (was 20th) replaces Javier (now 11th) in the boys’ top 10.

Here are the 2013 baby names rankings for Spain, if you’d like to compare.

And, just for fun, let’s also check out the nearly 5 million foreign nationals living in Spain. The most common first names among expats (grouped by nation of origin) are:

Female Expat Names Male Expat Names
1. Fatima (Morocco), 18,493 females
2. Maria (Romania), 12,547
3. Elena (Romania), 10,629
4. Khadija (Morocco), 8,339
5. Mariana (Romania), 7,535
6. Mihaela (Romania), 6,050
7. Ana Maria (Romania), 5,265
8. Aicha (Morocco), 5,208
9. Naima (Morocco), 4,963
10. Daniela (Romania), 4,823
1. Mohamed (Moroccan), 40,658 males*
2. Mohammed (Moroccan), 19,401
3. Ahmed (Moroccan), 15,003
4. Said (Moroccan), 9,513
5. Gheorghe (Romanian), 9,399
6. Vasile (Romanian), 9,045
7. Ioan (Romanian), 9,035
8. Rachid (Moroccan), 8,956
9. Youssef (Moroccan), 8,583
10. Mustapha (Moroccan), 7,468

*The total for Mohamed is even higher when you factor in the 2,436 Mohameds that came from Algeria.

Sources: Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, And the most common expat name in Spain is…

Popular Names in Dubai – Mohammed, Mariam

Here are two recent sets of name rankings out of the United Arab Emirates.

In mid-2013, the UAE’s Ministry of Health released “year to date” baby name rankings topped by Mariam/Fatima and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Mariam (tie)
2. Fatima (tie)
3. Aiysha
4. Sara
1. Mohammed
2. Abdullah
3. Ahmed
4. Ali
5. Khalid
6. Saeed
7. Omar
8. Rashid

Earlier this month, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of Dubai — one of the 7 emirates in the UAE — released lists of popular girl names and boy names according to a survey of school registration records. I’m not sure what age range the records covered, but these lists were also topped by Maryam and Mohammed:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Maryam
2. Sara/Sarah
3. Fatima/Fatma
4. Ayesha
5. Noor
1. Mohammed
2. Ali
3. Omar
4. Ahmed/Ahmad
5. Abdulla/Abdullah

One Dubai student named Mohammed was quoted as saying, “It is common to see four or five students share Mohammed as their first name in a class of 25 to 30 students. We usually get called by our second name.”

(I wonder where Hamad fell on these lists…)

Sources: Mohammed most popular name for boys, The baby names that Dubai happens to loves the most

Named Shirley? Join the Club.

Seriously — join the Shirley Club.

The Shirley Club, exclusively for people named Shirley, was created in Australia in 1996 by a woman named Shirley Brown.

More than 120 Shirleys showed up at the inaugural Shirley convention in Alice Springs in 2001, establishing a Guinness record for the most people with the same name in one place. (The record was soon broken by a Maria gathering Spain, then by a Mohammed gathering in Dubai.)

Here’s the website for original Shirley Club, and here’s the link to Shirley Club USA, founded in 2009 by Shirley Rose.

According to the Shirley Club USA FAQ, people with alternative spellings of the name are also eligible for membership: “Even if you spell it Shirlee, Shirlie or some other unique way, if you look up when someone calls out “Shirley”, then you qualify!”

Name Quotes for the Weekend #15

betty white quote, "I love Cadillacs and name them after birds."

From an interview with Betty White in Parade Magazine:

Ask White if she still drives and she replies, “Of course!” She owns a silver Cadillac nicknamed Seagull. “I love Cadillacs and name them after birds.” Her previous ride, the pale-yellow Canary, was preceded by the green Parakeet.

From an article about how political preferences influence baby name choices in the Washington Times:

“If innovative birth names first appear as expressions of cultural capital, then liberal elites are most likely to popularize them, especially given that liberals are typically more comfortable embracing novelty and differentiation,” the study said. “Sometime afterwards, the name will diminish as a prestige symbol as lower classes begin adopting more of these names themselves thus sending liberal elites in search of ever new and obscure markers.”

When elite liberal parents do search for novelty, the authors write, they are “less likely to make up a name rather than choose a pre-existing word that is culturally esoteric (e.g., ‘Namaste,’ ‘Finnegan,’ ‘Archimedes’), because fabricating a name would diminish its cultural cachet.”

After all, they note, “the value of cultural capital comes, not from its uniqueness, but from its very obscurity.”

From an article on Chinese names in the LA Times:

In China, unusual names are viewed as a sign of literary creativity, UCLA sociology professor Cameron Campbell said.


“Picking a rare character is kind of like a marker of learning,” Campbell said, while in the United States, one-of-a-kind names are sometimes viewed as odd.

From an article about keeping your baby’s name a secret in the StarPhoenix:

“With our first we did not keep the name a secret. We told everyone. Then at 36 weeks, my cousin got a puppy which she named the same name as I had picked for our baby. When I asked why she used the name she choose she said she had heard it somewhere and really liked it but couldn’t remember where. I was devastated. Baby ended up coming at 37 weeks and we had not yet picked a new name! After that we kept the names quiet until they were born.” – Nicole Storms

From an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates (b. 1975) at Bookslut:

Last month, on the blog he writes for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates explained the origin of his first name:

[F]or the record Ta-Nehisi (pronounced Tah-Nuh-Hah-See) is an Egyptian name for ancient Nubia. I came up in a time when African/Arabic names were just becoming popular among black parents. I had a lot of buddies named Kwame, Kofi, Malik (actually have a brother with that name), Akilah and Aisha. My Dad had to be different, though. Couldn’t just give me a run of the mill African name. I had to be a nation.

Coates’s father was a former Black Panther who raised seven children by four mothers, while running an underground Afro-centric publishing house from his basement. When Bill Cosby complained about black parents naming their children “Shaniqua, Taniqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail,” he may very well have been thinking of Paul Coates.

From a blog post about choosing a baby name by Jodi of Jodilightful! (via Abby of Appellation Mountain):

But if we learned anything from the process of naming Niko and watching him become that name, it was this: we could have called him anything we wanted to, and it would have been fine.

From an essay by Craig Salters in the Hanover Mariner:

I was watching the Little League World Series the other day and the team from New Castle, Indiana has a great bunch of kids and much to be proud of.

But, unfortunately, that wasn’t what I noticed first about them. What I noticed was the first names of their lineup card: Mason, Janson, Cayden, Hunter, Niah, Bryce, Jarred, Blake, and Bryce (again).

So no John? No Jimmy, Bobby, Richard, or Chris? There’s nothing wrong with their names — like I said, their parents should be bursting with pride — but, as an apprentice old fogey, it’s hard to get used to.


I myself was named after Craig Breedlove, a daredevil who broke all sorts of land speed records in what was pretty much a rocket on wheels. I absolutely love my name and am proud of my namesake, but I always feel I’m letting Mr. Breedlove down when I putter along Route 3 at 55 miles per hour, content to listen to sports radio and let the world pass me by.

From a tweet by Sherman Alexie (via A Mitchell):

We gave our sons names they could easily find on souvenir cups, magnets & shirts. Childhood is rough enough.

A poem, “Möwenlied” (Seagulls), by German poet Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914):

Die Möwen sehen alle aus,
als ob sie Emma hiessen.
Sie tragen einen weissen Flaus
und sind mit Schrot zu schießen.

Ich schieße keine Möwe tot,
ich laß sie lieber leben –
und füttre sie mit Roggenbrot
und rötlichen Zibeben.

O Mensch, du wirst nie nebenbei
der Möwe Flug erreichen.
Wofern du Emma heißest, sei
zufrieden, ihr zu gleichen.

…and now the translation, by Karl F. Ross:

The seagulls by their looks suggest
that Emma is their name;
they wear a white and fluffy vest
and are the hunter’s game.

I never shoot a seagull dead;
their life I do not take.
I like to feed them gingerbread
and bits of raisin cake.

O human, you will never fly
the way the seagulls do;
but if your name is Emma, why,
be glad they look like you.

Want more name quotes? Check out the name quotes category.

Most Popular Baby Names in Scotland, 2012

The most popular baby names in Scotland were announced last week.

According to the General Register Office, the preliminary winners were Jack for boys and Sophie for girls. Jack has been #1 for five years in a row, and Sophie for eight years in a row.

Here are Scotland’s top 20 girl names and top 20 boy names of January-November, 2012:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Sophie
2. Emily
3. Olivia
4. Ava
5. Lucy
6. Isla
7. Lily
8. Jessica
9. Amelia
10. Mia
11. Millie
12. Eva
13. Ellie
14. Chloe
15. Freya
16. Sophia
17. Grace
18. Emma
19. Hannah
20. Holly
1. Jack
2. Lewis
3. Riley
4. James
5. Logan
6. Daniel
7. Ethan
8. Harry
9. Alexander
10. Oliver
11. Max
12. Tyler
13. Aaron & Charlie [tie]
15. Adam
16. Finlay
17. Alfie
18. Mason
19. Ryan
20. Liam & Lucas [tie]

Some of the names that increased in popularity from 2011 to 2012:

Lola (up 24 places to #63)
Mollie (up 24 places to #68)
Amelia (up 20 places to #9)
Orla (up 19 places to #36)
Hollie (up 18 places to #39)
Georgia (up 13 places to #58)
Lexi (up 12 places to #38)
Lacey (up 12 places to #41)
Poppy (up 11 places to #34)
Harris (up 20 places to #29)
Harrison (up 20 places to #53)
Tyler (up 20 places to #12)
Brodie (up 17 places to #54)
Max (up 15 places to #11)
Mason (up 13 places to #18)
Finn (up 13 places to #66)
Riley (up 11 places to #3)

New to the top 100 are Bella, Darcy, Emelia, Lois, Scarlett and Willow (for girls) and Alex, Blake, Calvin, George, Olly, Sebastian, Shay and Zac (for boys).

Among the names moving downward are Abigail, Chloe, Jasmine and Phoebe (for girls) and Aiden, Jayden and Mohammed for boys. (Aiden is down 16 places to #36; Jayden down 10 places to #40.)

To compare, here’s last year’s post on the top baby names in Scotland.

Scotland’s official rankings will be out after the year ends.

Sources: Jack and Sophie are Scotland’s top baby names, Jack and Sophie top Scots baby names list in 2012, Scotland’s favourite baby names revealed