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Pronunciation /ˈmkəl/
German: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl]
Gender Male
Word/name Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל‎ / מיכאל‎ (Mikha'el)
Meaning "Who is like God?"[1]
Other names
Nickname(s) Mic, Micha, Mick, Mickey, Micki, Mickie, Mike, Mikey, Miki, Mikki, Miko, Mitch, Mitt
Related names Machiel, Michaela, Michal, Michał, Mícheál, Michel, Michele, Michelle, Michiel, Miguel, Mihael, Mihai, Mihailo, Mihalis, Mihály, Mihkel, Mihovil, Miika, Mikael, Mikel, Mikhail or Mihail (Михаил), Mikkel, Mikko, Misha, Mitchell

Michael /ˈmkəl/ is a masculine given name that comes from Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל‎‎ (Mīkhāʼēl, pronounced [miχaˈʔel]), derived from the question מי כאל mī kāʼēl, meaning "Who is like God?".[1] In English, it is sometimes shortened to Mike, Mikey, Mickey, Micha, or Mick.

Female forms of Michael include Michelle, Michele, Michaela, Mechelle, Micheline, and Michaelle, although Michael is occasionally seen as a female name; women named Michael include actresses Michael Learned and Michael Michele. Another form is Mychal, which can either be a male or female name.

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


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.

The archangel Michael features in the Book of Daniel 12:1, and in the Quran as Mikaeel. He is considered a saint by the Catholic Church, Ethiopian Orthodox Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. For the Roman Catholic Church, 29 September is the feast day of the three archangels: Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. For the Eastern Orthodox Church, 8 November is the day of archangels Michael and Gabriel, and of the rest of the angels.


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.[2]

In 2014, Michael was the 20th most popular name in Northern Ireland,[3] 27th in Canada[4] and 42nd in Australia.[5] In England and Wales, Michael ranked 53rd in 2011 and 2012.[6] Mícheál ranked as the eighth most popular name for boys in Ireland in 2013.[7]

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),[8] seventh in Russia in 2009 (as Mikhail),[9] 14th in Spain in 2012 (as Miguel),[10] and 15th in Denmark (as Mikkel).[11]

In 2005, the double-worded "John Michael" was the ninth most popular name for boys in the Philippines.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Campbell, Michael Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of First Names
  2. ^ "Top 5 Names In Each Of The Last 100 Years". United States Social Security Administration. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Top 100 Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2014". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Top 100 Baby Names in Canada". Today's Parent. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Baby Names Australia 2014" (PDF). McCrindle Market and Social Research. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Top 100 names for baby boys in England and Wales". United Kingdom National Statistics. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Irish Babies' Names". Central Statistics Office of Ireland. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Most popular first names by decades". Population Register Centre of Finland. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Названа десятка самых популярных имен [Ten Most Popular Baby Names]. DNI (in Russian). 9 February 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Nombres más frecuentes (Hombres)". Instituto Nacional de Estadística. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Sofia og William indtager igen førstepladsen" (PDF). Statistics Denmark. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Most Common Filipino Names : 2005". Philippine Statistics Authority. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2015.