Hebrew or Egyptian
"drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved"

Miriam Origin and Meaning

The name Miriam is girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning "drop of the sea, bitter, or beloved".
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. Miriam is currently the Number 1 girls' name in Israel.

Miriam is the Old Testament form of the Hebrew Maryam. The original meaning of Maryam is uncertain, but theories include "drop of the sea" (from Hebrew roots mar "drop" and yam "sea"); "bitter" (from Hebrew marah "bitterness"); and "beloved" (from the Egyptian root mr).

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 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.

One notable namesake is South African singer Miriam Makeba. More relaxed nicknames: Miri, Mira, and Mimi.
# 261 in the US

Miriam Rank in US Top 1000

Miriam Popularity

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Famous People Named Miriam

  • MiriamBiblical sister of Moses
  • (Ellen) Miriam HopkinsAmerican actress
  • (Zenzile) Miriam MakebaSouth African singer and activist
  • Miriam MargolyesEnglish,Australian actress
  • Miriam StoppardEnglish medical writer
  • Miriam OremansDutch tennis player
  • Miriam Leslie (born Miriam Florence Folline)American publisher and author
  • Miriam Katherine McDonaldCanadian actress
  • Miriam Arlene StockleySouth African,British singer
  • Miriam Lau (Kinyee), Hong Kong politician
  • Miriam Yeung (Chinwah), Hong Kong actress and singer
  • Miriam "Mira" Weinsteinmother of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein; half of the namesake for his production company Miramax
  • Miriam Melanie BryantSwedish,Finnish singer,songwriter
  • Miriam O'CallaghanIrish TV and radio broadcaster
  • Miriam Weeks aka Belle KnoxAmerican adult film actress and student
  • Miriam Blennerhassettmember of the Irish music group Anuna

Miriam in Pop Culture

  • Miriam Forciblea retired actress in "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman
  • Miriam "Miri" Linkey in film "Zack & Miri Make a Porno"
  • Miriam PatakiHelga's mother on the series "Hey Arnold!"
  • Miriam Pelhamcharacter in Miriam's Well by Lois Ruby
  • Miriam Fishercharacter in "Freak" by Marcella Pixley
  • Miriam Millermain character in "Miriam" by Truman Capote
  • Miriam Blaylockcharacter in 1983 film "The Hunger"
  • Miriam bat Mordecai in The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence
  • Miriam Leveirs in D.H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers"
  • "Miriam" Finnish film and its main character
  • Miriammain character in H. Rider Haggard's, Pearl Maiden
  • Miriam Reinosomain character and antagonist of the Argentinian teen series "Caídos del Mapa"
  • MIRIAMEnglish Vocaloid
  • Miriam 'Miri' Ammermanprotagonist in Judy Blume's novel In The Unlikely Event
  • Miriam "Mim" Possiblegreat,great,aunt of Kim Possible on "Kim Possible"
  • Miriam Kentcharacter on TV's "H2O: Just Add Water"
  • Miriam Beaksa character from the Nickelodeon cartoon "Harvey Beaks"
  • Miriam "Midge" Maiselcharacter on TV's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"