Confused byMiriam

I have recently started to fall in love with the name [name]Miriam[/name], but I am confused by it’s meaning. Nameberry lists the meaning as “wished-for child,” yet it also says it is the oldest form of [name]Mary[/name]. Nameberry lists [name]Mary[/name] and pretty much all of it’s variations as meaning “bitter.” Why the difference in meaning, does anyone know?

Bonus question!
Give me a one or two syllable middle name for [name]Miriam[/name], preferably with an English/Welsh/Irish/Scottish origin :slight_smile:

I looked up the name on Wikipedia, and it says [name]Miriam[/name] has various meanings, among those being “Rebellious”, “wished-for child”, “bitter”, or “strong waters.” I’m not sure why the difference in meaning, but according to this, it says the Hebrew meaning is unclear. It might be derived from an Egyptian name. It’s really quite interesting.

[name]Miriam[/name] combos:
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Elspeth[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Aoife[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Alva[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Blaine[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Clodagh[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Eadaoine[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] Fionla
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Alwyne[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Caitriona[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Greer[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Leith[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] Nellina
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Bronwen[/name]
[name]Mirian[/name] [name]Delyth[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Edwynna[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Guinevere[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Isolde[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Nerys[/name]

I hope that helps!

  • [name]Athena[/name]

[name]Miriam[/name] is the original Hebrew form of [name]Mary[/name]. The actual meaning is unknown, but there are several theories. Behind the Name is a much better resource than Nameberry when it comes to looking up etymology and meaning.

From French wikipedia (Sorry I’m too lazy to type this out because it’s long but the translation is pretty accurate)

"Myriam* It was also suggested the etymology of the ancient Egyptian Miriam (Hebrew: “מִרְיָ”” , Modern Hebrew “Miriam” , Tibèrien “Miriam” ⇒ meaning “wish child” , “bitter”, “rebel”, the Sanskrit मारयति [ mariati] “kill,” or perhaps the origin of the ancient Egyptian “MRIT” (merit): “Loved” , the Egyptian “mry”: “Love, love” , of “marah” in Hebrew : “sour” and ancient Hebrew “mar-yam” or the name derives from the ancient Egyptian " Mérytamon " or “Meryt-Amun” ⇒ "the Beloved of Amun ".

* this is the French spelling of Miriam.

I trust behindthename more than any other source. If it’s not on there, it’s not a name to me.

Thanks everyone, very helpful… I love the suggestions of [name]Miriam[/name] [name]Greer[/name].

[name]Mara[/name], in the Bible, who was also [name]Naomi[/name] and different person than [name]Miriam[/name] OR the [name]New[/name] Testament [name]Marys[/name], definitely took her name to mean “bitter” and that’s addressed in the Bible itself. But [name]Miriam[/name] (who would have been older than [name]Mara[/name], chronologically) has a lot of folklore surrounding her name and a lot of different linguistic explanations.

And [name]Miriam[/name] is a different name than [name]Mara[/name], in Hebrew. Maybe related… and maybe just sound similar? Because [name]Naomi[/name] didn’t choose the name [name]Miriam[/name], which she would have known in the time period.

[name]Mary[/name] in the [name]New[/name] Testament - who came way after both [name]Mara[/name] and [name]Miriam[/name] - would have both the meanings attributed to her in her life, and those that came after. By that I mean all the medieval sources that cite [name]Mary[/name] as meaning “star of the sea” and stuff like that would have come long after [name]Miriam[/name] and really I wouldn’t back-formulate them to apply to [name]Miriam[/name], only [name]Mary[/name]/[name]Marie[/name] and its name-descendants?

Anyway, sorry for going on, here’s some UK middles:
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Clare[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Niamh[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Carys[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Mairead[/name]
[name]Miriam[/name] [name]Rhonwen[/name]