“Mohammed” is one of the top baby names in Britain. What is its precise definition?

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.

  8. AIDS | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  December 1, 2010 - 1:12 pm

    [...] are still alive in the minds of their loved ones — and whenever the film is viewed. — Coincidence or Conspiracy need not be misconstrued — it’s simple enough without secrets — to [...]

  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.

  13. amy-lou -  November 19, 2010 - 4:45 am

    I have found that christopher is very common in the u.s

  14. L.T. -  November 18, 2010 - 12:30 pm

    say what?

  15. stlyesoswagga -  November 18, 2010 - 9:16 am

    who ever comments on this beter get alife

  16. ghostinthesky -  November 17, 2010 - 3:33 pm

    twilight is a great movie!!! who am i kidding it sucked more than the book! and guess what? i never even read or seen it.

  17. xxxxTHE MANxxxx -  November 17, 2010 - 1:50 pm

    I like turtles.

  18. DragonDefender -  November 17, 2010 - 12:50 pm

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

  19. KEVINJURESFOES -  November 17, 2010 - 10:41 am

    We now know the short form for ‘Mohammed’ and, we presume also for ‘Lawrence’,
    Yet how to complete this triumvirate? A challenge: diminish “Curliorita.”

  20. cb -  November 17, 2010 - 10:23 am

    Some people have been asking about checking out where their name stands in the list of popular names. If you are in the USA you can go to this web site and see if your name is on the list and how it ranks.


    You can also see how names are ranked by state.

    In your web brower type in “Social Security baby names”.

  21. Mr. DoC -  November 17, 2010 - 10:08 am

    Read the paragraph and decide what type of organization is being used. I had just moved to New York and was not happy with living there the rest of my life. By the time I was fourteen, I had decided I would return to Texas to fulfill my career as a teacher. For the next four years, I took courses in Spanish while all my friends took French. I took electives in English so I could be an English teacher. I even received permission to tutor at another school during my lunch hour.

  22. mark v -  November 17, 2010 - 8:57 am

    “There is a third pronunciation of the “TH” combo in English. How about ‘pothead?”

    Compound word, you arent pronouncing that together. They are still distinctly separate.

  23. Kate -  November 17, 2010 - 7:33 am

    The number of Marys in my family is dizzying – from Mary to Mary Lee to Marie to Marianne to Maryalice – I could go on and on and on …

  24. David -  November 17, 2010 - 7:01 am

    Several generations ago, in the 1800s, the German immigranst who settled the area where I live had a fairly common practice of naming the boys with the same first name (often the same as the father’s). Johann Karl, Johann Wilhelm, Johann Friedrich, Johann Jakob Jingleheimer Schmidt, etc. sometimes adding multiple middle names (like 3 or 4) I assume to distiguish them. Many then were called by their middle names. Seems kind of pointless, unless you are trying to make some kind of a statement… But then, I grew up in a era when individual identity was way more important than family identity, so that figures that I would think that.

  25. MOHAMMED | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  November 17, 2010 - 6:49 am

    [...] “MO HAM” sounds as though we be hungry. — “MOHAMMED” the GOUT is coming on — at least until the Elixir of PURE BLACKCHERRY juice — We drank it by the quart — Just one — and the pain and gout would disappear. — We learned that from Peter Rabbit — the owner of the store — a ways back in 1989 — Chip Gibson taught us more. — A former Navy Seal cured himself of a brain tumor — at least that’s what he said. — Chip became a homeopathic nutritionist and then a Rehoboth Judge. — His wife an attractive nurse. — Charles Albert researched wrote papers and a book and we collaborated on a screenplay called “IMMUNE” — about the origin of AIDS. — We was Norman Iland and he Alberta Charles — We had some positive reaction from a producer and the film guy at FOOLS SALE — but the TOXIC AVENGER said it was too political — and soon they threw me out to fail. — HIV started in the Congo with Small Pox Eradication — The CIA and WHO gave it to a few mixed with the helpful pox vaccination. — Health care workers from Haiti — took it all back home — And then the Doctor from Russia and New York got Blood from the Congo for some kinda sorta Hep B vaccination trial — G-nome — the Gays and Hemophiliacs met with devastation. — But this is about Mohammed — we drove a taxi with him — not exactly with him — for the PURPLE GANG — nice guy but what a crook — To B’MORE or LESS not mundane. — We still don’t understand why the State is the overseer — the reason so many are ripped off whether a tourist or in college after too much beer. — The B’MORE or LESS police will arrest you if maybe you complain — because Taxis are under STATED PUBLIC SERVICE TRANSPORTATION — though in the City it’s an understaffed Maryland MTA mobility game — that contracts with VEOLIA to compete against the TAXIS — No wonder MOHAMMED was a thief — the whole deal is quite insane. — HAMMID the Persian was our dentist at the dental school — and he even gave us a nice shirt when done because we showed for all the appointments on time — even though he was a student — we took him for no fool. — And then there’s Robert Gallo — it’s all somehow connected. — We saw him speak at the Uni in Princess ANN where tough questions were rejected. — He ripped HIV discovery off of French Colleagues — Now French Company Veolia rules the roads and other French Nukular pleas. — To wrap things up about Mohammed and how he wrote the KORAN as dictated by some Angel — and then invented ISLAM based in MECCA — but like a virus spread throughout the world. — We’ll say Rousseau does not have fleas. — There’s medicine for everything — except for the need to belong — to something greater than we are — that simply takes submission and lots of faith. — ZIPPY THE PINHEAD THE MUSICAL would not be allowed to be seen by a Muslim and as we’ve learned — music and photos aren’t allowed — or maybe later we’ll be burned. — As we act because of the will of ALLAH or JESUS or YAHWEH — We’d rather stick with ZIPPY, or a horse. — What’s it all about, Alphie? – We ain’t that proud, of course. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  26. Dickie -  November 17, 2010 - 6:23 am

    There is a third pronunciation of the “TH” combo in English. How about ‘pothead?’

  27. Paul -  November 17, 2010 - 4:02 am

    Your child in the future is a genius.

  28. Abraham -  November 16, 2010 - 6:50 pm

    I think I’d rather be named Mohammed than Alfie, and I’m not a Muslim, LOL!

  29. Nathan Hunter -  November 16, 2010 - 6:08 pm

    Must be a non-American thing because I have never hear of that name. You did mention Twilight, and a true story is that an indian couple from the town that Jacob Back lives in (can’t think of the name right now) had twins and one was named Bella and on was named Edward. I should know, I mailed a letter to their school once and they replied with a letter that said it. Can’t see why they will lie.

  30. ikillu -  November 16, 2010 - 5:16 pm

    I think its a goods name
    (any paranoid person would notice the grammar mistake- I know)

  31. Cyberquill -  November 16, 2010 - 3:42 pm

    Wanna name your child after the prophet? No problem. Wanna draw the prophet? You’re dead.

  32. Kumail -  November 16, 2010 - 3:07 pm

    Interesting facts and information on the name Mohamed. I like the in depth explanation, by Riah, of the root words of the different variations mentioned in the article.
    Thanks for the insight :)

  33. Riah -  November 16, 2010 - 1:56 pm

    Actually, the vast majority of Arabic words (and names) are all derived from a three-letter root, which in Mohammad’s case is hh, m, d, and means, in its basest form, “To praise, commend, or extol.” Ahmed, Hamid, Hamud, and any other variation of those three letters in that order is derived from that root.

    Anything without those three letters in it, in that order, is derived from a different root. Mahum is actually derived from the root h, m, m. There are three different H sounds in Arabic, the hard H (hh), the soft H (h) and the “spicy” H (kha). The H in Mahum is a different letter entirely from the one in Mohammad’s name, and is pronounced differently (kind of like the way we have two different TH sounds, as in ‘THE’ or ‘THREE’, except whereas we use the same pair of letters to express it, the Arabic language separates the different sound into two different letters). The root in its basest form means “to disquiet, make uneasy, be concerned,” but in another measure it means “important,” and this is what the name Mahum (also Muhim and Ahim) actually means. You can see how an idol is derived from this word, an idol being a very important object, but it isn’t actually included in that root’s definition.

    Likewise, Achmed is a different root (kha, m, d) and is a version of the verb “to abate, put out, calm down, oppress.”

  34. Zana -  November 16, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    I meant to type *in my grandfather’s immediate family I hate comment with tons of typos Sorrry :-)

  35. Zana -  November 16, 2010 - 1:53 pm

    In my grandfather’s and 3 of his siblings all have the first name “John” and my Grandfather named 2 of his sons “John” as well and there is/was NO confusion whatsoever. They found ways to give each individual distinction such as, some are called first and middle names (John Randolph) and some are called by nicknames. So, yeah…Muslims aren’t the only culture that traditionally uses a traditional name.

  36. Rich Durst -  November 16, 2010 - 12:52 pm

    Not terribly surprising, considering the huge and growing Islamic population in Europe.

    I’ve never known many Moslems first-hand, but I’ve always wanted to ask if it ever gets confusing having so many people sharing the same name. In Christian regions of Latin America “Jesus” (hey-ZOOS) is a fairly common name, but nowhere near what Mohammed seems to be for Moslems.


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