Miriam meaning, girlMiriam

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What does Miriam mean?

Miriam \m(i)-riam\ 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.


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

For more on this name, see also related girl names Marianne and Mireio.

Miriam has 22 more related variations 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.


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)

Displayed below is the birth name popularity of Miriam for girls. Miriam reached its apex rank of #150 in the U.S. during 1910-1919, and is at #305 currently. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)

Top 1000 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 a year ago), Mara (#695), Maria (#115), Mariam (#568), Marian, Mariana (#331), Mariann, Marianne, Marie (#579), Mariel, Marin, Marion, Marita, Marla, Mary (#120), Maryam (#597), Mimi, Mitzi, Moira, Muriel and Myriam are the prominent varying forms of Miriam (#305 a year ago). This girl name reached the peak of its popularity during the years 1950-1959 and has become significantly less popular since, with versions such as Marie, Marla, Mitzi, Muriel and Myriam becoming somewhat dated. The more fashionable birth names here are Malia (#345), Mara (#695), Mariam (#568), Mariana (#331) and Maryam (#597), with Mariana enjoying a rebound in popularity. (Top 1000 Birth Names Records, 2014)

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Malia, Mara, Maria, Mariam, Marian, Mariana, Mariann, Marianne, Marie, Mariel in U.S.

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Marin, Marion, Marita, Marla, Mary, Maryam, Mimi, Miriam, Mitzi, Moira in U.S.

Top 1000 baby names ranking of Muriel, Myriam in U.S.

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

Similar Names

Suggested similar baby names are Miran, Miriana and Mirna. These names tend to be less commonly used than Miriam.