The name appears in the Old Testament as the name of the brother of Moses, (Exodus 6:16-20). Aaron was appointed by God to be the spokesperson for Moses and was also the first High Priest of the Israelites.
The name is of debated origin and meaning, many sources agree that it is of an unknown Egyptian source. It has also been linked with the Hebrew har-on meaning “exalted” or “mountain of strength” but this has often been debunked as a folk etymology.
In most of the Western World, its usage as a given name was exclusive among Jews until after the Protestant Reformation, when it became quite fashionable among Christians. Among Eastern Christians, the name has always been in usage.
The name is also popular among Muslims, in the forms of Haroun, Haron or Harun. It is borne by Harun al-Rashid, a 9th-century Caliph.
Currently, Aaron is the 50th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). His rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 69 (Australia, 2008)
- # 65 (Belgium, 2008)
- # 62 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
- # 55 (England/Wales, 2008)
- # 12 (Ireland, 2008)
- # 158 (the Netherlands, 2009)
- # 7 (Scotland, 2009)
Other forms of the name include:
- Haroun/Haron/Harun هارون (Arabic)
- Aaron/Aharon Аарон/Ахарон (Belarusian/Bulgarian)
- Aihran (Breton)
- Aaron Ααρών Ааро́н (Catalan/English/Estonian/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Romanian/Russian/Slovene/Ukrainian)
- Aron Арон (Croatian/Danish/Norwegian/Polish/Serbian/Swedish)
- Árón/Áron (Czech)
- Aäron (Dutch)
- Aharon אַהֲרֹן (Hebrew)
- Áron (Hungarian/Slovak)
- Aronne (Italian)
- Aroni (Kiswahili)
- Aaronas (Lithuanian)
- Aarão/Arão (Portuguese)
- Aarón (Spanish)
- Áárọ́nì (Yoruba)
The name was borne by several Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic saints.
An obscure Spanish feminine form is Aárona.
The designated name-days are: July 1 (France/Poland).
- Scofield Reference Bible, Proper Names