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What does Miriam mean?

Miriam [mi-ri-am] as a girls' name is pronounced MEER-ee-em. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Miriam is "star of the sea".

From Miryam, an older version of the name Mary. Other possible meanings are "wished-for child", "rebellion" or "sea of bitterness". Biblical: the sister of Moses, who saved his life as a baby when she hid him in a basket among the rushes at the river's edge for the Pharoah's daughter to find. The name was revived in the 18th century. Singer Miriam Makeba.

Associated with: star, sea, biblical, life, river, 18th century.


Miriam has 18 variants: Mairim, Mariam, Maryam, Meriam, Meryam, Mimi, Mirham, Mirian, Mirja, Mirjam, Mirjana, Mirriam, Miryam, Mitzi, Mitzie, Miyana, Miyanna and Myriam.

Affiliated girl names: Marianne and Mireio.

Miriam has 22 more relations via Mary: Malia, Mara, Maria, Marian, Mariana, Mariann, Marice, Marie, Mariel, Marin, Marion, Marita, Marja, Marjan, Marla, Marya, Mayria, Meriel, Moira, Morag, Murial and Muriel.

Kreatif forms:
(female) Miriammy, Mirimy, ..

(male) Mirima, Mirom, ..

How popular is Miriam?

Miriam is a very prominent first name for women (#285 out of 4276, Top 7%) but an unusual surname for all people. (2000 U.S. Census)


Ranking and usage % can show different trends depending on the distribution of names that year.

Displayed below is the birth name popularity of Miriam for girls. Miriam reached its apex rank of #146 in the U.S. in the 1910s, and is at #305 currently. (2014 Birth Statistics)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Miriam name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Miriam outside U.S.

Displayed below is a comparison of the popularity of the girl name Miriam and related names. Malia (#345 via latest list), Mara (#695), Maria (#115), Mariam (#568), Marian (#1264), Mariana (#331), Mariann, Marianne (#1883), Marie (#579), Mariel, Marin (#1402), Marion (#1539), Marita, Marla, Mary (#120), Maryam (#597), Meriam, Mimi, Mirian, Mitzi, Mitzie, Moira (#1672), Muriel and Myriam are the prominent varying forms of Miriam (#305 via latest list) ranked in the Top 2000. These forms of Miriam were favored by parents a century ago (adoption of 9.4%) and have become significantly less popular since (adoption 0.6%, 93%). Mary has been the most prevalent, though Mara has become trendy as well, while versions such as Mary are no longer trendy.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Miriam, Malia, Mara, Maria, Mariam in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Marian, Mariana, Mariann, Marianne, Marie in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Mariel, Marin, Marion, Marita, Marla in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Mary, Maryam, Meriam, Mimi, Mirian in U.S.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Mitzi, Mitzie, Moira, Muriel, Myriam in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Maria, Mariam, Mary, Maryam outside U.S.

Similar Names


Suggested similar names are Eirian, Kiria, Kiriah, Mairin, Mariah, Marial, Mariane, Marien, Marina, Marine, Marinn, Marna, Marnia, Maryan, Meirna, Merial, Merna, Mira, Mirah, Miran, Mirana, Miri, Miriana, Mirka, Mirla, Mirna, Mirra, Mirta, Moria, Moriah, Morine, Morna, Muirna, Murna, Myriah, Myrna, Siria and Tirian. These names tend to be less commonly used than Miriam.