“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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