Pronunciation English: /ˈmaɪkəl/
Gender Male
Word/Name Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל‎ (Mikha'el)
Meaning "Who is like God?"[1]
Other names
Nickname(s) Mike, Mick, Mikey, Mickey, Mickie, Mic
Related names Michel, Michaela, Michelle, Michele, Mickie, Miguel, Mike, Mikey (disambiguation)Mikey, Mitch, Mitchell, Mitchel

Michael is a given name that comes from the Hebrew: מִיכָאֵל / מיכאל‎ (Mikha'el), derived from the Hebrew question מי כמו אלוהים? (Hebrew pronunciation: [mi kəmo ʔelohim]) meaning "Who is like God?"[1] In English, it is sometimes shortened to Mike, Mikey, or, especially in Ireland, Mick. In Russian language, it is Mikhail and Mykhailo in Ukrainian.

Michael is one of the Archangels.

Female forms of Michael include Michele, Michelle, Michaela, Mechelle, Micheline, and Michaelle, although Michael is occasionally seen as a female name, with women named Michael including actresses Michael Learned and Michael Michele. Another form is Mychal, which can either be a male or female name. Surnames that come from Michael include Carmichael, Dimichele, MacMichael, McMichael, Micallef, Michaelson, Mikhaylov, Mykhaylenko, Michaels and Mitchell.



The name first appears in the Bible, Numbers 13:13, where Sethur the son of Michael is one of twelve spies sent into the Land of Canaan. The Archangel Michael, referred to later in the Bible (Daniel 12:1), is considered a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. 29 September is the feast day of the three archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.


Michael is a popular name in the United States, and has been in the top three most popular name given to male babies in the U.S. for each year since 1954.[2] It is in the top 50 most popular boys' names in England and Wales.[3] The name has been popular in Orthodox Christian countries, and was borne by several rulers of the Byzantine and Russian Empires. In recent years, Michael has been the most popular name in the Philippines,[4] the second most popular name in Finland (Mikael)[5] and ranks among the top ten names in Denmark (Mikkel)[5] and Ireland.[6] It is the 23rd most popular name in Canada,[7] and the 37th most popular in Mexico (in the form of 'Miguel').[8]

Short form and other versions

"Mike", "Mick", "Mikiel", "Mikey", "Mikael", "Mic", "Mishka" (common in Russia) and "Mickey" are short forms of, or nicknames for, Michael as a given name. "Mick" is commonly associated with Irish people.

The Irish language version of the name Michael is usually spelt Mícheál but is also sometimes spelt Micheál or simply Micheal. Meik and Maik are German short forms of Michael. The German pronunciation of both variants is identical to the English pronunciation of "Mike", since both are directly derived from their English counterparts. Similarly, the Welsh versions "Meical" and "Meic" are pronounced in the same way as their corresponding English analogues. Michiel (mee-KHEEL) is Dutch and the Dutch given name "Chiel" is a variation of Michiel. Mikael, Mikell, Mikkel are Scandinavian.[9] In Swedish, "Micke" is a nickname for "Mikael" (also spelt "Michael").

In Greek "Μιχάλης" ("Michalis" or "Mihalis") is an everyday common form of the "Μιχαήλ" ("Michail" or "Mihail"). "Miķelis" is the Latvian form for Michael. In Russian, "Миша" ("Mischa" or "Misha") is a shortened form of "Михаил" (Mikhail). "Мишка" (Mishka) is a common diminutive form, "Миха" (Mikha) is an informal shortened form, and "Михайлович" (Mikhaylovich) is a patronymic form that can be shortened to more informal "Михалыч" (Mikhalych). Michal is Czech and Slovak. Michał is Polish; Miko is Slavic.[9] Mëhill or Mhill is the Albanian for Michael. The first belongs to the southern (Tosk) dialect, the second to the northern (Gheg) dialect. In Hebrew, "מיכה" (Mikha) is a common shortened form of "מיכאל" (Mikha'el). In Arabic," میکائیل" (Mikā'īl).

Miquel (or Quelo in its shortened version) is the Catalan form for Michael.

Miguel is a Spanish and Portuguese form; Michel is French and popular in the Netherlands.[9] In French, both forms are popular: Michel and Mickaël.

Rulers named "Michael"

Byzantine emperors

Abkhazian rulers

Russian rulers

King of Poland

King and Princes of Portugal

Rulers of Romania

Tsar of Bulgaria

British Royal Family

See also


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