For the last 14 years, Jack was the most common boy’s name in England and Wales. Last year, though, Oliver overtook Jack to take the top spot. There’s a more interesting story, though, in the statistics: over 7,000 newborn boys in Britain were given one of 12 variations of the name Mohammed, such as Muhammad or Mohammad. Combined, these forms place it in the top 5. 

This shouldn’t come as a surprise: overall, based on statistics gathered from governments around the world, Mohammed is likely the most common male name on the planet. Hundreds of millions of people answer to it in some form.

The name literally means “the praiseworthy.” In English, the earliest form of the name was “Mahum,” which was used confusedly for “an idol.” “Achmed” and “Hamid” are also common variations.

By far the most famous bearer of the name was born in Mecca, in approximately 570 of the Common Era. Muslims believe that an angel sent from God dictated the Koran to him. He is the founder and primary prophet of Islam.

Other popular boy’s names on the British list include Alfie, Harry, and Joshua. The names of male sovereigns and monarchs also made the list. In 2009, there were 16 newborn Kings, 68 Princes, and 4 Lords.

(In related news, the top boy and girls’ names in the U.S. were influenced by the “Twilight” vampire series. Learn what the favorite names are, here.)

In the U.S., the name Mohammed ranked 643, but orthographic variations had different rankings. Learn the meanings of some of the more popular U.S. surnames, here. You probably know the meaning and origin of Smith, but what about Garcia?

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  2. Dylan -  May 17, 2012 - 3:05 am

    I don’t get how a muslim name is the top five in England. It doesn’t make any sense, because the princes’ names are Harry, Charles, and Will, I think it makes sense that those are the most popular names.

  3. Uma -  May 16, 2012 - 4:10 pm

    Muhammed means one praise worthy and one that praises. It was the name of the last Prophet sent to the world (peace and blessings of God All Mighty be upon him), who joins the brotherhood of Prophets and Messengers sent by God All Mighty which began with Adam….followed by many to including Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Lot, Ishmeal, Zacharia, Moses and Jesus who came right before Muhammed (peace & blessing be upon them all) it says so in the original bible (go find it or read the latest revelation unchanged; the Quran).
    They are the examples to mankind we should follow their example and none are part of divinity and our Lord is ONE absolute not divided or multiplied. Not begotten nor one that begets. For He himself has commanded/corrected His servants to cease following scriptures that were changed by those that want to rule according to laws other then His.
    How can you mention the name without mentioning his legacy (Islam). Muslims name their children after all of Gods Prophets because they were exemplary leaders, we dont deny or reject any of their (authentic) messages.

  4. Omid -  May 16, 2012 - 3:32 am

    Notice: Correction . . .

    According to Muslims; Mohammad is nor the primary prophet of Islam but the last prophet of the world.

  5. Grammargirl -  May 14, 2012 - 3:31 pm

    This is a very interesting topic. To me, Muhammed is a very beautiful name, I know quite a lot of Muhammed’s.

  6. Helga -  March 23, 2012 - 9:26 am

    Native Brits are now a minority. Too sad!

  7. Baby Club -  December 6, 2010 - 9:34 pm

    I’m agree that Mohammed has a lot of name variations. The total could be number one soon in England.

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  9. gak -  November 21, 2010 - 5:26 am

    I think it is interesting But RICH DURT spell moslem is incorrect ,Muslim is correct spelling .MUhammad is first come in real name ,like ……..Muhammad Fahad khan, Muhammad salman ,Muhammad hasnain etc.but identity name is FAhad ,salman javad etc.

  10. Taimoor -  November 19, 2010 - 8:13 pm

    This is interesting and this is an example of increment in the rise of Islam. I am not being biased but if you look at the statistics you will be convinced that Islam is on the rise.
    There will come a day when Islam will conquer the hearts of people worldwide in a fashion that will be heart melting =)

  11. Aviendha -  November 19, 2010 - 2:14 pm


    “Names influenced by “Twilight” make the top list
    now that’s sad”

    I’d have to agree. I’m all for names being influenced by books and influentual characters, but really?? Twilight? Not that I don’t like the books, if not so much the movies, but I would hardly call the series influential.

  12. Michael Dadona -  November 19, 2010 - 6:37 am


    From what I observe as an agnostic person, it’s not about the meaning alone in Arabic language for Mohammed or Muhammad or Mohammad. It also derives from the combination of the four Arabic characters; Mim, Ha, Mim, and Da; a symbolic shape of human is lying down (horizontally) with one leg “kicking” upwards.


    If that shape orientates 90° to the left, the new shape forms as one human is walking. This is the intriguing factor which able to transmogrify an imagination to belief. The “hidden” life element for why Muslims more using the name of Mohammed or Muhammad or Mohammad.

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