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

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 Shem

Number of Babies Named Shem

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Shem

Popular Baby Names in the Netherlands, 2015

According to data from Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB), the most popular baby names in the Netherlands in 2015 were Emma and Liam.

Here are the Netherlands’ top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Baby Girl Names Baby Boy Names
1. Emma
2. Julia
3. Sophie
4. Anna
5. Mila
6. Eva
7. Tess
8. Lotte
9. Sara
10. Zoë
1. Liam
2. Sem (a form of Shem)
3. Lucas
4. Luuk
5. Noah
6. Milan
7. Daan
8. Levi
9. Finn
10. Jesse

On the girls’ list, Lotte replaces Isa (which fell from 6th place to 20th).

On the boys’ list, Jesse replaces Bram (which fell from 2nd place to 13th).

Another significant mover of the boys’ list was Liam itself. Liam ranked 17th in 2013, then 9th in 2014, and finally 1st in 2015.

Other names bestowed last year in the Netherlands include Goodluck, Dikshit, Lovelace, Genius, Narbys-Lenay, Rooney, Amen, Islam, Jood, Godmother, Eh, and You.

The top names in 2014 were Sophie and Daan. In 2013, they were Tess and Sem.

Sources: Kindernamen top 20 – SVB, Emma and Liam are most popular Dutch kids names, but what about little Eh?

Names that Mean “Name”

I love coming across personal names that refer to names in their definitions. Some examples:

  • Behnam, meaning “good name” in Persian.
  • Hieronymus, meaning “sacred name,” based on the Greek words hieros, “sacred,” and onoma, “name.”
    • Jerome, the English form of Hieronymus.
    • Jerónimo, the Spanish form of Jerome.
  • Kainoa, meaning “the namesake,” based on the Hawaiian words ka, “the” (singular), and inoa, “name.”
    • Kainoakupuna, “the namesake of one’s ancestor,” with kupuna meaning “ancestor.”
  • Nainoa, which means “the namesakes,” based on the Hawaiian words na, “the” (plural), and inoa, “name.”
  • Nergüi, meaning “no name” in Mongolian.
  • Shem, meaning “name” in Hebrew. (Sem, a variant, is popular in The Netherlands right now.)

Do you know of any others?

Names from Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston

Another cemetery!

The most bizarre name I spotted while reading through headstone inscriptions from Copp’s Hill Burying Ground (est. 1659) was Tickleemanbeck:

Tickleemanbeck, died 1702, Boston

Is that a surname or a first name? Or, was this a mononymous person? A Native American, maybe? I have no idea.

The rest of the more unusual names weren’t all that unusual, really, given the time period. Most of these occurred just once in the records:

  • A: Achsah, Ales, Almeda, Ammi, Annis, Aquila, Archibald, Artor, Asahel, Avis
  • B: Bethesda, Buckland
  • C: Cornelius, Cotton (Cotton Mather), Christiana, Christon, Custin
  • E: Edee, Eliphal, Ellsy, Esdras
  • F: Flora, Fortesque, Furnell
  • G: Gershom, Gibbins, Goodeth
  • H: Harbottle, Hemmen, Henretta, Hephsibah, Hezekiah, Hindreh (called Henry in other records), Holland, Hopestill, Hotton
  • I: Increase (Increase Mather)
  • J: Jemimia, Job, Joses, Judet
  • K: Kathron, Kezia
  • L: Lettice/Lettuce, Love
  • M: Mehetebel/Mehitabel
  • O: Obedience
  • P: Palsgrave, Pelatiah, Philander, Prissilah
  • R: Rosetta
  • S: Seeth, Sewall, Shem (Shem Drowne), Sibella, Silvanus
  • T: Tamazen, Temperance, Theodocia, Tickleemanbeck
  • W: Willmoth

Finally, here are two earlier posts with names from two more historical Boston cemeteries: King’s Chapel (est. 1630) and Granary (est. 1660).


Most Popular Dutch Baby Names, 2011

Last year, over 92,000 baby boys and nearly 88,000 baby girls were born in the Netherlands. The top baby names were…

Boy Names Girl Names
1. Daan
2. Sem* (2010 #1)
3. Milan
4. Levi
5. Luuk
6. Lucas
7. Jayden
8. Thomas
9. Stijn
10. Jesse
1. Emma
2. Julia
3. Sophie (2010 #1)
4. Lotte
5. Isa
6. Lisa
7. Sara
8. Lieke
9. Eva
10. Anna

*Sem is a form of Shem, a biblical name meaning “name,” “fame,” or “renown” in Hebrew. Shem, Noah’s eldest son, was the ancestor of the Semitic peoples — hence the words “semite” and “semitic.”

Source: Top 10 populairste kindernamen, via Daan and Emma most popular Dutch baby names in 2011