You probably know a few people with this name!
Only a few names have topped the U.S. charts over the past 100 years, but Irish name Michael has been the most popular for an impressive 44 years over the past century.
Data collected by the U.S. Social Security Administration shows that the most popular baby names of the past century are John, Robert, James, Michael, David, Jacob, Noah, and Liam.
Michael held the top spot from 1954 - 1959, and then again in 1961 - 1998. The reign of Michael was only interrupted in 1960 when David was the most popular baby name.
That’s a whole lot of Michaels!
In Irish, Michael becomes Mícheál, which loosely translates to “who is like God.” Somewhat surprisingly, Mícheál registered in the top 100 baby names in the 1950s on U.S. naming charts.
Aside from Michael, many of the most popular boys names of the past century have Irish equivalents: John becomes Seán or Eoin; Robert becomes Roibeárd; James becomes Séamus; David becomes Daithi; and Noah becomes Nóe.
There are lots of famous Irish men with the name Michael - Irish revolutionary leader Michael Collins, Irish actor Michael Fassbender, and current Irish president Michael D. Higgins are just a few.
In 1958, at the height of the Michael boom, one very famous Irish American was born in Chicago - Irish dance phenom Michael Flatley!
Nowadays, Michael has slipped out of the top ten most popular baby names in the U.S. and ranked as number 12 in 2017. However, another Irish name claimed the top prize for 2017 - Liam!
Liam, the Irish form of William, made an impressive climb to the top of the charts in a relatively short amount of time. The name barely charted until the early 1990s, with some pointing to Liam Neeson as a reason for its quick climb during that period. It wasn’t until 2006 that Liam even cracked the top 100 names, making it’s climb to the top even more impressive.
It’s no surprise that with Liam’s popularity there’s several faces famous with the name, including Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, British pop star Liam Payne and English rocker Liam Gallagher.
What’s your favorite Irish baby name? Let us know in the comments!