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Updated July 9, 2024

Table of contents

Boy name origins & meanings

What does Michael mean and stand for?


  • Hebrew: Who is like God?
  • English: Gift from God

Gender: Male

Syllables: 2

Pronunciation: The name Michael is pronounced mye-kuhl

The name Michael has been derived from the biblical figure by the same name, and comes from the Hebrew phrase "Mi-kha-el" meaning "Who is like God?" It reflects a rhetorical question implying that no one is like God. Michael is an archangel in the Old Testament, known for being the leader of the heavenly armies. It is a widely revered name in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, symbolizing strength and protection.

How Popular Is The Name Michael

Family name origins & meanings

English, German, Dutch, and Jewish: from the personal name Michael, ultimately from Hebrew Micha-el "who is like God?" This was borne by various minor Biblical characters and by one of the archangels, the protector of Israel (Daniel 10:13, 12:1; Rev. 12:7). In Christian tradition, Michael was regarded as the warrior archangel, conqueror of Satan, and the personal name was correspondingly popular throughout Europe, especially in knightly and military families. In English-speaking countries, this surname is also found as an Anglicized form of several Greek surnames having Michael as their root, for example Papamichaelis "Michael the priest" and patronymics such as Michaelopoulos.

Michael in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Michael Scott from The Office - The bumbling, yet endearing regional manager of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch known for his inappropriate humor and heart of gold.
  • Michael Corleone from The Godfather - The reluctant son who takes over his family's crime syndicate, becoming a powerful mafia boss.
  • Michael Bluth from Arrested Development - The only responsible member of the Bluth family, attempting to keep his dysfunctional relatives and their real estate business afloat.
  • Michael Myers from Halloween - The iconic, masked serial killer character who first appeared in the 1978 horror film, stalking the streets of Haddonfield.
  • Michael Knight from Knight Rider - A high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by his artificially intelligent car, KITT.

Popularity of the Name Michael

According to data from the Social Security Administration, Michael has been a consistently popular name in the United States. It has maintained its popularity over the years, often ranking among the top names given to newborns. 

Michael has historical significance with notable individuals bearing the name. For instance, Saint Michael is a prominent figure in religious contexts, known as an archangel. In popular culture, actors like Michael B. Jordan and Michael Fassbender have brought recognition to the name through their work in movies and television. 

Additionally, writers such as Michael Crichton and Michael Connelly have made significant contributions to literature, further adding to the name's cultural relevance. Fictional characters named Michael have appeared in various media, including the TV series The Office and the film The Godfather, contributing to the name's familiarity in mainstream entertainment.

Where Is the Name Michael Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Michael

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Mic
  • Micah
  • Micki
  • Mike
  • Mikey
  • Miko

Michael Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

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