Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Mariam

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Greek
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 603
MARE-ee-әm; MAR-yam
Simple meaning:
Beloved, Rebellious

Characteristics of Mariam

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Mariam

Mariam is the Ancient Biblical Greek (Μαριαμ) rendition of the Biblical Hebrew Miriam (מִרְיָם). Miriam is the more commonly used English version of this old Biblical name, but the Greek form of Mariam is also in use. Miryam is believed to have come from Egypt originally, derived from the Egyptian element “mry” meaning “beloved”. There are other unproven theories as to the name’s etymological meaning, including “rebelliousness” and “wished for child” (which essentially means “beloved” anyway). In the Book of Exodus from the Old Testament, Miriam is the older sister of Moses and Aaron. During the time of Moses’ birth, the Pharaoh had orders in place to kill all newborn Israelite boys. In order to save his life, Moses’ mother (Jochebed) set the infant afloat in a reed basket on the Nile River. Miriam was appointed to watch over the baby, and when she saw the Pharaoh’s daughter take pity on the child and retrieve him from the water to take him home, Miriam offered to find an Israelite woman to nurse him for the princess (thus cleverly returning Moses to his own mother). As an aside, ancient women belonged to an early version of the La Leche League in that a typical weaning would happen between the ages of three and six. After that, Moses was returned to Pharaoh’s court, but not before understanding his Hebrew heritage from his “real” family. Miriam is also considered a prophetess in Judeo-Christian tradition and one who fearlessly helped lead the Israelites out of Egypt (well, actually God did most of the work by sending the Ten Plagues upon Egypt and giving Moses the power to part the Red Sea). After the Israelites crossed the Red Sea safely, Moses sent the waters back down on Pharaoh’s army and drowned them. At which point in time, Moses and his sister Miriam lead their people in a victory song [Exodus 15]. Later in the Bible, Miriam and Aaron become a little huffy that Moses was getting all the attention, accolades and decision-making power among the people [Numbers 12]. “Has the Lord not spoken through us also?” Miriam and Aaron indignantly ask each other. Apparently the Lord didn’t appreciate their insubordination, so Miriam was struck down with leprosy. God then restored Miriam’s health after Moses uttered these five words on behalf of his sister: “O God, please heal her”. Although the Lord granted Moses’ wish, He still made Miriam suffer for another week of punishment (sort of a harsher version of a “time-out” from your Father). Despite Miriam’s “rebelliousness” she is still greatly “beloved” in the Jewish tradition and her ancient name has been long used in honor of this strong and feisty woman. Arguably one of the first women-libber’s, we can’t really blame old Miriam for wanting more power. The name Miriam was eventually embraced outside of the Jewish community when Puritans adopted it during the Protestant Reformation. Today, Miriam is a high ranking name in Austria, Spain and Catalonia. The spelling of Mariam is most popular in Catalonia, Spain where it enjoys Top 100 status.

Popularity of the Name Mariam

Mariam pales by comparison to the traditional Hebrew spelling of Miriam when it comes to spelling this name. Mariam existed sporadically on the American female naming charts during the late 19th century and early 20th century, but would generally fall on and off the charts as each year passed. The spelling of Mariam reappeared on the Top 1000 list in the early 1990s and it seems she’s here to stay this time. The “Mar-“ prefix (as opposed to the “Mir-” prefix) suggests the name might be pronounced MARE-ee-әm instead of MIR-ee-əm. Then there’s also the Arabic or Iranian spelling of Maryam. If you’re a traditionalist, we say stick with Miriam. But Mariam is a perfectly legitimate spelling as well. It just comes down to preference. Mariam is considered more ancient Biblical Greek (vs. Hebrew) and it’s also a variant transcription of Maryam used in the Arabic world (مريم).
Popularity of the Girl Name Mariam
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Mariam

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Mariam

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Mariam

    Mariam We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Mariam.

  • Popular Songs on Mariam

    Popular Songs on Mariam

    Mariam - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Mariam.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Mariam

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Mariam

    Mariam - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character named Mariam.

  • Famous People Named Mariam

    Famous People Named Mariam

    Famous People Named Mariam - Mariam of Vaspurakan (medieval Queen Consort of Georgia); Mariam uz-Zamani (Indian princess); Mariam Usman (Nigerian weightlifter)

  • Children of Famous People Named Mariam

    Children of Famous People Named Mariam

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Mariam - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Mariam.

  • Historic Figures

    Mariam - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Mariam - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Mariam.

Personality of the Girl Name Mariam

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Mariam

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