Skip to main content

Updated July 4, 2024

Table of contents

Boy name origins & meanings

  • English : Merciful
  • German : A soldier
  • Irish : Servant

What does Miles mean and stand for?

The name Miles is of German and Irish origin and means "soldier or servant". It is also of English origin and means "merciful". It derives from the German name Milo, and was brought to England by the Normans.

Syllables: 1

Boy name variations

How Popular Is The Name Miles

Family name origins & meanings


English (of Norman origin): via Old French from the Germanic personal name Milo, of unknown etymology. The name was introduced to England by the Normans in the form Miles (oblique case Milon). In English documents of the Middle Ages the name sometimes appears in the Latinized form Milo (genitive Milonis), although the normal Middle English form was Mile, so the final -s must usually represent the possessive ending, i.e. ‘son or servant of Mile’.

English: patronymic from the medieval personal name Mihel, an Old French contracted form of Michael.

English: occupational name for a servant or retainer, from Latin miles ‘soldier’, sometimes used as a technical term in this sense in medieval documents.

Irish (County Mayo): when not the same as 1 or 3, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Maolmhuire, Myles being used as the English equivalent of the Gaelic personal name Maol Muire (see Mullery).

Jewish (Eastern Ashkenazic): unexplained.

Dutch: variant of Miels, a variant of Miele 3.

American: John Miles or Myles (c.1621–83), born probably in Herefordshire, England, was a pioneer American Baptist minister who emigrated to New England in 1662 and had a pastorate in Swansea, MA. Many of his descendants spell their name Myles.


Famous people who gave their babies this name

Miles in Pop Culture

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

  • Miles Morales from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - A teenage superhero in an alternate universe who takes up the mantle of Spider-Man.
  • Miles O'Brien from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - A dedicated and skilled Starfleet officer who serves as Chief of Operations.
  • Miles Halter from Looking for Alaska - A young boy who leaves his boring life behind to attend boarding school, where he meets a fascinating girl named Alaska.
  • Miles Raymond from Sideways - A struggling writer and wine enthusiast who embarks on a memorable road trip through California's wine country.
  • Dr. Miles Bennell from Invasion of the Body Snatchers - A doctor who discovers that the residents of his small town are being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates.

Popularity of the Name Miles

According to Social Security Administration data, Miles has been steadily climbing in popularity, making its way into the top 100 names in recent years. In recent years, Miles has ranked within the top 100 names in the U.S.

The name Miles has historical significance, with famous bearers such as jazz legend Miles Davis contributing to its enduring appeal. In literature and media, characters named Miles include the protagonist of John Green’s novel Looking for Alaska and Miles Morales, the character who takes on the mantle of Spider-Man in Marvel Comics. Miles has also been a popular name in literature, appearing in Mark Twain's The Prince and the Pauper, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance. Renowned actors like Miles Teller have also helped keep this name in the public eye.

Where Is the Name Miles Popular?

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

Nicknames for Miles

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Mi
  • Milo
  • Smiles

Miles Pairs Well With These Middle Names

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

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

People Who Like the Name Miles Also Like

Check out these names that are similar, but still unique to your baby.

Join the Family

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.