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GuidoReni MichaelDefeatsSatan.jpg
German: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl, -ʔɛl]
Word/nameHebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל‎ (Mikha'el)
Meaning"Who is like God?", "there is none like God", or "there is none as famous and powerful as God" [1]
Other names
Nickname(s)Mic, Mich, Micha, Mick, Mickey, Micki, Mickie, Mike, Mikey, Miki, Mikki, Mico, Miko, Mikha, Misha, Mischa, Mitch, Mitt, Micci
Related namesMachiel, Maicon or Maycon, Michaela, Michelangelo, Michal, Michał, Micheal, Mícheál, Michel, Michele, Michelle, Michiel, Miguel, Mihael, Mihai, Mihailo, Mihajlo, Mihalis, Mikhalis, Mihály, Mihangel, Mihkel, Mihovil, Miika, Mikael, Mikail, Mikal, Mikel, Miķelis, Mikhail or Mihail (Михаил), Mihails, Maikls, Mikkel, Mikko, Miklós, Mishael, Misho, Mitchell, Mykael, Michol, Michole

Michael is a masculine given name derived from the Hebrew phrase מי כאלmī kāʼēl, 'Who [is] like-El', in Aramaic: ܡܝܟܐܝܠ (Mīkhāʼēl [miχaˈʔel]). The theophoric name is a rhetorical question – "Who [is] like [the Hebrew God] El?",[1] whose answer is "there is none like El", or "there is none as famous and powerful as God." This question is known in Latin as Quis ut Deus?. Although sometimes considered erroneous, an alternative spelling of the name is Micheal.

Patronymic surnames that come from Michael include Carmichael, DiMichele, MacMichael, McMichael, Michaels, Micallef, Michaelson, Michiels, Michalka, Michels, Mihály, Mikeladze, Mikhaylov, Mikkelsen, Mitchell, Michalski, Mykhaylenko and Mikaelyan.



The name first appears in the Hebrew Bible in the Book of Numbers, 13:13 where Sethur the son of Michael is one of 12 spies sent into the Land of Canaan. Michael is the name of an archangel in the Book of Daniel 12:1.


The archangel Michael is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, the Oriental Orthodox Church, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. For the Roman Catholic Church, 29 September is the feast day of the three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. For the Orthodox Church, 8 November is the feast day commemorating the archangels Michael and Gabriel, as well as the whole host of angels, while the Monday of each liturgical week likewise corresponds to the "Bodiless Powers." In the Coptic Orthodox Church, his main feast days are 12 Hathor and 12 Paoni, with lesser feast days on the 12th day of each month of the Coptic calendar.


According to Islam, Michael (Mika'el) is an archangel who brings down rain to the earth by the decree of Allah. He was created from light[2] and the one entrusted with the sustenance of creatures, and is also one of the most prominent angels. As the Angel of Mercy, he asks Allah to forgive people’s sins.[3]


Michael (and its variants) is one of the most common given names for men in the world. In the United States, Michael was the most popular name of the 20th century, ranking No. 1 from 1954 to 1998 (with the exception of 1960, when it was second to David). It was among the top three most popular names for each year since 1953, only falling out of the top five in 2011 for the first time since 1949.[4]

In 2014, Michael was the 20th most popular name in Northern Ireland,[5] 27th in Canada[6] and 42nd in Australia.[7] In England and Wales, Michael ranked 53rd in 2011 and 2012.[8] Michael ranked as the eighth most popular name for boys in Ireland in 2013.[9]

Variants of Michael rank among the most popular masculine names in multiple countries. It was the third most popular in Finland from 2010 – March 2015 (as Mikael),[10] seventh in Russia in 2009 (as Mikhail),[11] 14th in Spain in 2012 (as Miguel),[12] and 15th in Denmark (as Mikkel).[13]

People named Michael[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Campbell, Michael Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of First Names
  2. ^ "Angels and their attributes". Arab News. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Malaikah - Muslim beliefs - Edexcel - GCSE Religious Studies Revision - Edexcel". BBC Bitesize. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Top 5 Names In Each Of The Last 100 Years". United States Social Security Administration. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Top 100 Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2014". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Baby Names in Canada". Today's Parent. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Baby Names Australia 2014" (PDF). McCrindle Market and Social Research. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Top 100 names for baby boys in England and Wales". United Kingdom National Statistics. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Irish Babies' Names". Central Statistics Office of Ireland. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Most popular first names by decades". Population Register Centre of Finland. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  11. ^ Названа десятка самых популярных имен [Ten Most Popular Baby Names]. DNI (in Russian). 9 February 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Nombres más frecuentes (Hombres)". Instituto Nacional de Estadística. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Sofia og William indtager igen førstepladsen" (PDF). Statistics Denmark. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015.