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Gender: F Meaning of Miriam: "wished-for child" Origin of Miriam: Hebrew Miriam's Popularity in 2014: #305

The oldest-known form of Mary, serious and solemn Miriam has been a particular favorite of observant Jewish parents. But we can see it extending beyond that sphere into the next wave of Old Testament names post-Rachel, Rebecca, Sarah, Hannah, and Leah.

In the Old Testament, Miriam appears in Exodus as the older sister of Moses and Aaron, a prophetess who led the triumphal song and dance after the crossing of the Red Sea and deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians. Miriam is the Old Testament form of the Hebrew Maryam.

Miriam is an artistic character in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun and in Henry James's The Tragic Muse, Miriam Rooth is a talented young half-Jewish actress, Miriam Leviers is a farm girl in D. H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers, and Miriam is the eponymous central character of a haunting Truman Capote short story.

Miriam is a Top 100 name in Spain and Portugal and Number 290 on Nameberry. One notable namesake is South African singer Miriam Makeba. More relaxed nicknames: Miri, Mira, and Mimi.

Famous People Named Miriam

Miriam, Biblical sister of Moses
(Ellen) Miriam Hopkins, American actress
(Zenzile) Miriam Makeba, South African singer and activist
Miriam Margolyes, English-Australian actress
Miriam Stoppard, English medical writer
Miriam Oremans, Dutch tennis player
Miriam Leslie (born Miriam Florence Folline), American publisher and author
Miriam Katherine McDonald, Canadian actress
Miriam Arlene Stockley, South African-British singer
Miriam Lau (Kin-yee), Hong Kong politician
Miriam Yeung (Chin-wah), Hong Kong actress and singer
Miriam "Mira" Weinstein, mother of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; half of the namesake for his production company Miramax
Miriam Melanie Bryant, Swedish-Finnish singer-songwriter
Miriam O'Callaghan, Irish TV and radio broadcaster
Miriam Weeks aka Belle Knox, American adult film actress and student

Pop Culture References for the name Miriam

Miriam Forcible, a retired actress in "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman
Miriam "Miri" Linkey, character in film "Zack & Miri Make a Porno"
Miriam Pataki, Helga's mother on animated series "Hey Arnold!"
Miriam Pelham, main character in Miriam's Well by Lois Ruby
Miriam Fisher, character in "Freak" by Marcella Pixley
Miriam Miller, main character in "Miriam" by Truman Capote
Miriam Blaylock, character in 1983 film "The Hunger"
Miriam bat Mordecai, character in The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence
Miriam Leveirs, character in D.H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers"
"Miriam," 1957 Finnish film and its main character
Miriam, main character in H. Rider Haggard's, Pearl Maiden
Miriam Carey, victim of US police brutality (Rest in Power)
Miriam Reinoso, main character and antagonist of the Argentinian teen series "Caídos del Mapa"
Miriam, side character and antagonist of the fantasy teen series "H2O: Just Add Water"

Miriam's International Variations

Mariam, Miri, Mirit (Hebrew/Israeli) Mirjam (Finnish) Mimi (French) Maryam (Arabic)