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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Moses

Posts that Mention the Name Moses

Nigerian Baby Given 20 Names

Moses and Olukorede Obamo of Nigeria were married 25 years ago. They tried for years to have a baby, but were unsuccessful…until this year.

At the age of 52, Olukorede finally got pregnant. She gave birth to the couple’s first child, a baby girl, in November.

Expectedly, the Obamos threw a lavish party to celebrate the baby who was given more than 20 names, but the most striking of all the names is Obadunsin (It is good to serve God).

So far, I haven’t been able to track down a list of the other 19 names.

Source: 52-year-old woman gives birth after 25 years marriage (h/t A Mitchell)

Name Prediction from 1964

This comes from a newspaper article published in the mid-1960s:

The American melting pot has made something of a stew of old world cultures. Isaac and Rebecca Goldberg are the parents not of Moses and Rachael, but of Donald and Marie. Hjalmar and Sigrid Johanson are the parents of Richard and Dorothy. It seems rather a shame that Axel and Jens, Helma and Ingeborg, not to mention Stanislaus and Giacomo and Pedro and Vladimir have just about disappeared. The custom seems to be for the first generation to anglicize the given name as soon as possible. The next generation or two branches out and we get Pat Johnson, even Angus Puccini. Then, after a few generations, there is a tentative reach backward for the Shawns or even the Seans. Katy’s real name may again be Caitlin, Pat’s Padriac.

The last two sentences are rather prescient. We see many parents nowadays taking that “tentative reach backward” to find a name that pays tribute to their cultural heritage. The key, of course, is finding a name that conforms to modern tastes. Names like Hjalmar and Zbigniew may be legit family names, but they’re probably a no-go. Family names like Giuliana and Liam, on the other hand, fit right in.

Source: “Quite a Problem, Naming the Baby.” Eugene Register-Guard 9 Feb. 1964: 10A.

Tiberian Flood-Survivor Baby Named Noah

The city of Tiberias, named after the Roman Emperor Tiberius, is located on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. On May 14, 1934, heavy rainfall caused severe flooding in the city. The flooding destroyed a great deal of property (including ancient ruins) and killed dozens of people.

Several days later, a baby boy was born…

May 16 – A woman who escaped the recent fatal floods in Tiberias gave birth to a son today. The parents named the baby Noah.

He’s one of several flood-surviving Noahs that I know of. Another is the Noah whose embryo was rescued from Hurricane Katrina floodwaters several years ago.

(Babies with related name-stories include Moses and L’Eau Haute.)

Source: “Baby Is Named “Noah.”” Ottawa Citizen 17 May 1934: 23.

Baby Name Story – Moses

Hurricane Stan hit Central America in October of 2005. In Guatemala, hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed and thousands lives were lost in the mudslides triggered by the storm.

A Guatemalan woman named Natalia Rianda had gone into labor during the flooding. Soon after being rescued, she gave birth to a son. She named him Moses after the biblical prophet who’d also had to contend with a large amount of water once.

Source: Guatemala Presses on with Grim Hurricane Recovery

Baby Name Needed – What Do You Think of Phineas?

A reader named Virginia is expecting a baby in September. For a boy, she’d selected the name Phineas. She liked “that it was unusual without being bizarre,” and that it started with ph. But now she’s not so sure about the name:

All was fine and dandy until I read an article about violence in the Bible. It vaguely mentioned Phineas as a name from the Bible used as a talisman by white supremacists. What!?!

That was a shock to me too. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Phineas Priesthood is “a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years.” I’d never heard of the Phineas Priesthood before–not even when Julia Roberts named her son Phinnaeus a few years ago.

Virginia doesn’t want to give up her favorite name, but she also “can’t live with such an association,” so she was hoping for some name suggestions. Other names she’s considering include Joel and Samuel (for boys) and Sigrid, Phoebe, Elisabeth, and Anne (for girls). All are family names.

First, a few thoughts:

  • I doubt many people are aware that white supremacists use Phineas as a code word. It’s an odious association, but maybe it’s also obscure enough that it’s not worth worrying about…?
  • I really like Sigrid and Phoebe–they’re both significant and unusual. Especially Sigrid. (Phoebe is being used more and more every year, so it might not be unusual for long.)

And now, name suggestions. Here are some unusual-but-not-bizarre boy names that I think Virginia might like:


And some girl names:


What other names would you suggest to Virginia? (And, what’s your take on the Phineas dilemma?)

Update: The baby has arrived! Click here to learn the baby’s name.