Noah, the name of the Old Testament patriarch of the ark, is one of those unexpected fashion hits. It seems Noah has definitely shaken off its ancient image and is now rising rapidly up the popularity charts. In 2009, Noah made it into the Top 10 for the first time in history, and now has risen to Number 4.
As every Sunday school alumnus knows, Noah was deemed the only righteous man of his time, singled out by God to survive the great flood sent to punish the wicked world: a righteous namesake. Noah has risen on the style charts along with other formerly long-beard names such as Abraham, Moses, and even Elijah, unthinkable a generation ago.
Billy Ray Cyrus, responsible for the name Miley, crossed gender lines to call another of his daughters Noah. The feminine homonym Noa -- which sounds just like but is NOT a form of the Biblical male Noah but is a separate female name from the Old Testament -- is currently the most popular girls' name in Israel. And Noah itself, with its vowel ending, is evidence of the trend toward softer sounds in boys' names, along with brothers Joshua and Asher.
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