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What does Miriam mean?

Miriam Pronunciation of Miriam [miri-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.

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.

Creative forms:
(female) Mirima, Muriam, ..

(male) Mirima, Mirom, ..

Middle name pairings:
Miriam Jailyn (M.J.), ..

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)

Miriam reached its apex rank of #146 in the U.S. in the 1910s, and is at #294 currently. (2015 Birth Statistics)

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

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

Which version is better?

with its variant forms and related girl names. Malia (#313 via latest list), Mara (#739), Maria (#109), Mariam (#563), Marian (#1104), Mariana (#296), Mariann, Marianne (#1985), Marie (#564), Mariel (#1839), Marin (#1471), Marion (#1527), Marita, Marla, Mary (#124), Maryam (#567), Meriam, Mimi, Mirian, Mitzi, Mitzie, Moira (#1645), Muriel and Myriam are the prominent varying forms of Miriam (#294 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 0.7%, 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.

See names
in meaning and etymology.