Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic عمر
Meaning: “populous; flourishing; life.”


Gender: Masculine
Origin: Biblical Hebrew
Meaning: “speaker.”

The name can be of multiple origins and meanings, in Arabic, the name is derived from the word, عمر (umr) meaning, “life.”

The name was borne by the second caliphe of the Muslims as well as by a 12th-century Persian poet, Umar Khayyam.

In Hebrew, the name means “speaker” and is found Genesis 36:11 as the name of the son of Eliphaz.

The name may also be possibly related to the Hebrew, Omer, which means “sheaf of wheat” but was also the name of a unit of measuring in ancient times.

Omar is a popular name in Spanish-speaking countries, whether this is a leftover from Moorish occupied Spain or in reference to the Biblical Hebrew character is unknown.

As of 2010, Omar was the 54th most popular male name in Bosnia & Herzegovina. His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 4 (Arab world (2011) (BabyCenter Arabia members)
  • # 4 (Pakistan)
  • # 6 (Iraq, 2007)
  • # 7 (Israel, Muslim boys, 2009)
  • # 7 (Umar, Malaysia, 2011)
  • # 8 (United Arab Emirates)
  • # 9 (Omer, Israel, Jewish intersex names (given to both boys and girls) 2008)
  • # 77 (Catalonia, 2010)
  • # 87 (Spain, 2010)
  • # 175 (United States, 2010)
  • # 252 (Netherlands, 2010)
  • # 289 (France, 2009)

Other forms include:

  • Omeri (Albanian)
  • Omer (Amharic/Kurdish)
  • Umar عمر (Arabic)
  • Omar Ома́р (Albanian/Arabic/Bosnian/Chechen/Dagestani/Kazakh/Kyrgyz/Persian/Russian/Spanish/Tajik/Tatar/Turkmen/Uzbek)
  • Ömər (Azeri)
  • Amar (Berber)
  • Úmar (Catalan)
  • Oumar/Oumarou (Sub-Saharan African)
  • Ömer (Turkish)

In France, the designated name-day for Omer is September 9.

Other notable bearers include: Egyptian born actor Omar Sharif (b.1932); Omar al-Bashir (b.1944) the president of Sudan; and American actor, Omar Epps (b. 1973).




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew חַיִּים
Meaning: “life”

The name is derived from the Hebrew word for life and has been used by European Jews since at least the Middle Ages. The name was often given to sick neonates in the hopes that the child would become healthy by being given an auspicious name.

In Jewish tradition, L’Chaim (to life) is a toast.

Currently, the name is 952nd most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include the Yiddish Hyman and the feminine, Chaya חַיָה,




Zoe, Zoë

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Greek
Meaning: “life.”

The name comes directly from the Greek word for life. It has always been a common name among Greeks and among Greek Jews, it was often used as vernacular form of Eve.

In the Greek Orthodox Church, (and in the Catholic) it is borne by two early Christian martyrs. It was also borne by an 11th-century Byzantine Empress.

In Western Europe, the name did not come into usage till the 18th-century, when there was a widespread revival of the classics.

In modern Catholic Church history, it was borne by a 19th-century French nun, mystic and saint Catherine Labouré (née Zoé Labouré), who introduced the usage of the Miraculous Medal.

Currently, the name is the 58th most popular female name in the United States, (2008), her rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 17 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 25 (Belgium, 2006)
  • # 50 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 83 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 44 (Hungary, 2008)
  • # 25 (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 36 (Scotland, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Zoya Зоя (Aragonese/Macedonian/Russian/Serbian/Ukrainian)
  • Zoë (Dutch/English/German/Scandinavian)
  • Zoe (Catalan/Croatian/Czech/English/Italian/Polish/Spanish)
  • Zoi Ζωη (Greek: Modern)
  • Zoé (French/Hungarian/Portuguese)
  • Zója (Hungarian)
  • Zoja (Polish/Slovak/Slovene)

The designated name-days are: Feburary 26 (Russia), April 13 (Greece), May 2 (France) and October 27 (Czech Republic).

The name is borne by Zoe Saldana (b. 1978) and Zooey Deschanel (b.1980)/


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “protection; life.”

A popular female name throughout Scandinavia, the name is derived from the Old Norse, Hlíf, meaning, “protection” and also happens to coincide with the modern Scandinavian word for “life.”

Liv no longer ranks in the Norwegian top 100, but its two-syllable form of Live, does. Live is currently the 68th most popular female name in Norway, (2008). It was the 5th most popular female name on the Faroe Islands, (2008). In Sweden, it was the 68th most popular female name, (2008) and the 99th most popular in the Netherlands, (2008).

Other forms include:

  • Liv (Danish/Dutch/German/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Lív (Faroese)
  • Hlíf/Hlífa (Icelandic)
  • Liva (Norwegian)
  • Live (Norwegian)
  • Livø (Norwegian: dialectical form from Nord-Gudbrandsdalen)

The name also appears in several compound forms, which include: Elseliv (Swedish), Ingeliv (Swedish/Norwegian), Lífdís (Icelandic), Livunn (Norwegian) and Livny (Norwegian).

The designated name-day in Sweden is January 15.

Liven is a Swedish and Norwegian diminutive form.

In English, the name is occasionally used as a short form of Olivia.

The name is borne by actress and model, Liv Tyler (b.1977).