Miriam Name Meaning & Origin
Origin of the name Miriam:
Hebrew name of debated meaning. Many believe it to mean "sea of bitterness" or "sea of sorrow." However, some sources cite the alternative definitions of "rebellion," "wished-for child," and "mistress or lady of the sea." The name is borne in the Bible by the sister of Moses and Aaron. After the Exodus, she came to be known as a prophetess to the people.
From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.
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Name Lists Featuring Miriam
- Spanish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Spain 2014
- Italian Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Italy
- German Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Germany 2014
- Israeli Girls Names: Most Popular Girls Names in Israel 2014
- Austrian Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Austria, 2010
- Spanish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Spain, 2010
- Portuguese Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Portugal 2012
- Spanish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Spain 2012
- Austrian Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Austria 2012
- Spanish Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Spain
- German Girls Names: Most Popular Names for Girls in Germany
- Israeli Girls Names: Most Popular Girls Names in Israel
Contribute your knowledge to the name Miriam
- Comments and insights on the name Miriam
- Personal experiences with the name Miriam
- Nicknames for Miriam
Mira, Mimi, Miri, Mim, Mitzie
Mim, Miz, Mij, Mimi, Midge, Pip
My great-great-granddaughter's name is Miriam, but her son always refers to her as "The Keeper of the Fleshly Prison." It's more of a title, but I feel that it could be a good nickname.
- Meanings and history of the name Miriam
Very interesting that some of the Miriam meanings have actually referred to other Hebrew females in a similar way...Mara means "bitter", although that was Naomi's sarcastic joke when referring to the enormous loss of her husband and three sons as well as the possibility of starving to death. "Sea of Sorrow" is similar to Rachel's original choice of the name Ben-oni (son of my sorrow), who Jacob renamed Benjamin (right hand man)after she passed away, doing away with the negative energy altogether and keeping it close enough to make it a joint decision. Hebrew names always interested me as I have two (Deborah Elizabeth) myself.
"What's in a name?" - Shakespeare's young Romeo may have waxed philosophical on how little her name mattered to him because he loved her, but I feel that even though we did not choose them ourselves they usually say a whole LOT about the person who wears them. And to think I might have been Sarah had my Aunt not named my cousin a few months before I was born.
My name is Miriam and I have always heard "sea of bitterness"....ugh! I hated that." But then I heard "songbird" because apparently, before Miriam let Moses float away in the Nile, she sang to her little baby brother to comfort him. I like that way better!
Miriam sounds rare, sweet and exotic! However, according to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, the original Hebrew literally means "bitter" or "rebellious." But that doesn't seem to affect it's popularity in the Middle East. Bear in mind that Miriam's parents were slaves, and the name they chose for their baby was probably less an oman of her personal character and more a reflection of their own attitude at that time. Miriam (despite her bout with leprosy) was a devoted sister, a worship leader and a prophetess. Most people are ignorant of the fact that Mary is merely the Greek version of Miriam and shares the same meaning. In light of which, it really is a distinguished name for a woman! (That goes for all you Mollies, too.)
I've found it also as "strong" or "strong waters" and as "their rebellion." I like that for our girl.
- Famous real-life people named Miriam
Miriam Hopkins, American actress
Miriam Margolyes, English actress
Miriam Leslie, American author
Miriam Makeba "Mama Africa", South African singer and civil rights activist.
- Miriam in song, story & screen
Miriam ben Mordecai in The Roman Mysteries
Miriam Blaylock in 1983 movie The Hunger
Miriam Leveirs in D.H. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers
Miriam, the kleptomaniac mother in Bee Season
Miriam "Miri" Linky, one of the title characters of Kevin Smith's film "Zack & Miri Make a Porno"
"Miriam", a song by Norah Jones