Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Miriam

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 292
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Miriam

  • Multi-talented
  • Intuitive
  • Oneness
  • Idealistic
  • Philanthropy
  • Independent
  • Perfection

Etymology & Historical Origin - Miriam

Miriam is a Hebrew name (Miryam), which is believed to have been an Egyptian name originally, derived from the element “mry” meaning ‘beloved’. There are other unproven theories as to the name’s etymology, including ‘rebelliousness’ and ‘wished for child’. The name Miriam is borne from the Bible, specifically the book of Exodus in the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, as 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 the princess to find an Israelite woman to nurse him (thus cleverly returning Moses to his own mother). Oh, and 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. Miriam is also considered a prophetess in Judeo-Christian tradition who bravely 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 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 indignant that Moses is getting all the attention and seems to be making all the decisions [Numbers 12]. “Has the Lord not spoken through us also?” they huffily ask each other. Apparently the Lord didn’t appreciate their insubordination, so Miriam was struck down with leprosy. Not to fear, Moses to the rescue! By uttering five words: “O God, please heal her” the Lord grants Moses’ wish, but not without making Miriam suffer for another week of punishment (sort of a harsher version of a “time-out” from your Father). In any case, Miriam is greatly revered in the Jewish tradition and her name has long been in use 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. Miriam was more widely adopted among English-speakers after the Protestant Reformation. Today, Miriam is a high ranking name in Austria, Spain and Catalonia.

Popularity of the Name Miriam

Miriam has had a long and successful run on the U.S. popularity charts. She has mainly enjoyed moderate to high popularity, but her usage appears to be consistent. Miriam is a name long associated with the Jewish people, but the Protestants showed an equal respect to this strong Biblical character. Given the story of Miriam from the Bible, we like the meaning ‘rebelliousness’ most for this name. This spirited lady was a leader among the women Israelites. She demonstrated bravery and energy while the grumbling Israelites questioned their God during their exodus from Egypt. Then this little go-getter wanted more power and credit for being chosen by God. So the Lord took her down a notch or two. We still love that moxie of hers! Yes, Miriam is an “old-lady” name based on today’s fashions – kind of like Wilma, Esther or Gladys. Miriam will never be a trendy name. This is one for observant Jews and/or contrarian parents who like real meaning behind their name selections, rather than following the fashions of the day. Miriam is so uncool she’s cool.
Popularity of the Girl Name Miriam
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Miriam

  • Popular Songs on Miriam

    Popular Songs on Miriam

    Miriam - a song by King Diamond

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Miriam

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Miriam

    A Little Girl Named Miriam (Dina Rosenfeld) - Clever and brave, little Miriam is a true heroine. When King Pharoh doesn t want there to be any Jewish baby boys, Miriam watches her own baby brother and finds a way to keep him at home. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Dancing Miriam (Lisa Diamond) - This is a children's book about how Moses parted the Red Sea and his sister, Miriam, led all the women in a dance. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Miriam "Ma" Ferguson: First Woman Governor of Texas (Dr. Judy Alter) - Miriam Ferguson was a quiet, private person who preferred to stay home in her big house in Temple, Texas, and take care of her husband, raise her two daughters, and tend to her flower garden. But in 1923 she was elected governor of Texas, the first woman governor elected in the United States. Her husband, Jim Ferguson, served two terms as governor, but during his second term he was impeached, which meant he could not run again for public office. So Miriam agreed to run to clear his name and restore the family's honor. She served two terms as governor: from 1925 to 1927 and from 1933 to 1935. She and her husband became known as "Ma" and "Pa" Ferguson. Her campaign slogan was, "Two Governors for the Price of One." Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Miriam (Beatrice Gormley) - Though brief biographies of biblical characters abound, young readers are rarely provided with fully realized portraits of key religious figures. Gormley's innovative work of historical fiction offers an accessible look at the life of Miriam, Moses' older sister. The author weaves the contemporary political and geographical setting into her story and explains the tension between the Egyptians and the Hebrews during the reign of Ramses the Great. In this entertaining expansion of biblical events, Gormley describes Miriam's feisty spirit and resourceful, respectful ways. The heroine's emotions are nearly palpable when she saves her baby brother's life by sending him sailing among the rushes and into the arms of Pharaoh's daughter, Princess Bint-Anath. Gormley's novel not only imparts many interesting details but may well send children back to the original Bible passages that were its inspiration. Recommended for ages 9-14.

    Miriam in the Desert (Jacqueline Jules) - Miriam, Moses’ sister, is one of the better-known female characters of the Old Testament. Jules takes what is known and extrapolates a story of the Israelites in the desert, rooted in Miriam’s relationship with her grandson, Bezalel. As the people complain about thirst and hunger and fatigue, Miriam comforts them, plays her tambourine, and reminds them that “God is protecting us.” At every chance, Bezalel draws pictures in the sand, and while Moses is up on Mount Sinai, Miriam tells the young artist that he will build an ark to house the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments. Ugliano’s chalky, richly hued desert scenes are populated by flowing figures, with the stately Miriam and fresh-faced Bezalel ever confident in the power of their faith. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Miriam's Tambourine: Jewish Folktales from Around the World (Howard Schwartz) - Most of the themes in this collection are universal: wisdom, foolishness, resourcefulness, love, and courage. The magicians and princesses are familiar, even when a holy rabbi cuts an odd figure as a hero. What gives these tales a characteristically Jewish shape is the moral dimension of their informing faith. Not luck but divine guidance assures the success of the underdog: poverty and persecution are overcome by asserting the ultimate purpose of life. Recommended for all ages.

    Miriams Cup A Passover Story (Fran Manushkin) - Before the seder begins, Miriam Pinsky's mother tells her children the story of Passover and of Miriam's namesake. Looking back to when the Jews were slaves in Egypt, she talks about six-year-old Miriam's foretelling the birth of her brother Moses, "who will set our people free," and about the plagues and the Israelites' escape, about Miriam's leading her people in song to celebrate freedom, and about the well of clear spring water that God created in Miriam's honor. After the story ends, Miriam is given a crystal goblet to be filled with water during the seder to celebrate the prophet. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Big Sister's Secret (Mackenzie Carine) - Miriam and her family lived in the land of Egypt, where they were slaves. The birth of her baby brother, Moses, put them in danger. But they loved and served God and knew that he was watching over them. Find out how Miriam and her people escaped from Egypt and began another exciting adventure. You can read about Miriam and Moses in the book of Exodus. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Miriam

    Famous People Named Miriam

    Famous People Named Miriam - Miriam (sister of Moses); Miriam Hopkins (actress); Miriam Spickler (aka Mimi Rogers/actress); Miriam (Mexican transgender and entertainer); Miriam Ben-Porat (Israeli judge and state comptroller); Miriam Flynn (actress); Miriam Leslie (author, woman suffrage advocate, and philanthropist); Miriam McDonald (actress); Miriam Margolyes (British actress); Miriam Shaviv (literary editor of the Jerusalem Post); Miriam Stockley (English singer); Miriam Toews (Canadian author); Miriam Yalan-Shteklis (Israeli writer and poet); Miriam Yeung (Hong Kong singer-actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Miriam

    Children of Famous People Named Miriam

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

  • Historic Figures

    Miriam - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Girl Name Miriam

The number Nine personality represents the completion or ending of the cycle, and a need for perfection. This is the personality that moves from "self" to a greater understanding and compassion for the human condition and the world order. They want to make the world a better place. Nines are capable of great spiritual and humanitarian achievements. They are courageous and fearless, able to fight great battles on behalf of worthy causes. These personalities will not tolerate injustice. They are compassionate people with a strong sensitivity to others. They are able to both educate and inspire. Friendships and relationships are the lifeblood to the Nine, and they place a high value on love and affection. Nines are often exceptionally gifted artistically, and they have a keen imagination and enterprising mind.

Variations of the Baby Name - Miriam

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