Moses

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Debated
Meaning: debated

The name is borne in the Old Testament and in the Qu’ran by the a renowned prophet and law giver, who according to tradition was placed in a basket by his Hebrew mother and found by the daughter of Pharaoh (in Judeo-Christian religion) or the wife of Pharaoh (in Islamic tradition) and raised as an Egyptian prince. It is from this tradition that the name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew element משה (mšh) as stated in  Exodus 2:10:

“[…] she called his name Moses (משה): and she said, Because I drew him (משיתהו) out of the water.” (KJV).

 

It has been suggested that the name is in fact of Egyptian origins, being related to the Coptic elements, mo (water) and uses (saved; delivered) hence: “saved from the water.” Another suggestion is the Egyptian element, ms (child; born) as found in such ancient Egyptian male names as Tuth-Mose and Ram-messes.

The name has always been common among Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians, but did not catch on in the English-speaking world until after the Protestant Reformation. Medieval Jews of England used the Middle English form of Moss.

It is currently the 509th most popular male name in the United States, (2010).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Moses (Afrikaans/English/German/Scandinavian/Welsh)
  • Moisiu (Albanian)
  • Musa موسى Муса (Amharic/Arabic/Azeri/Bosnian/Kabyle/Swahili/Tatar/Turkish)
  • Moisen (Aragonese)
  • Movses Մովսես (Armenian)
  • Moises (Basque)
  • Majsjej Майсей (Belarusian)
  • Moizez (Breton)
  • Moisej Моисей (Bulgarian)
  • Moisès (Catalan)
  • Moisije Мојсије (Croatian/Serbian)
  • Moše (Croatian)
  • Mojžíš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Mozes (Dutch)
  • Mooses (Estonian/Finnish)
  • Móses (Faroese/Icelandic)
  • Moïse (French)
  • Maois (Gaelic)
  • Mose მოსე (Georgian/German/Romansch/Swedish)
  • Mouses Μωυσης (Greek)
  • Moshe מֹשֶׁה (Hebrew/Ladino)
  • Mózes (Hungarian)
  • Mosè (Italian)
  • Müsa Мұса (Kazakh)
  • Mosa (Kurdish)
  • Mûsa (Kurdish)
  • Moyses (Latin)
  • Mozus (Latvian)
  • Mozė (Lithuanian)
  • Мојсеј (Macedonian)
  • Moss (Middle English)
  • Moïses (Occitanian/Provençal)
  • Mojżesz (Polish)
  • Moisés (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Moise (Romanian)
  • Moisej Моісей (Rusyn/Ruthenian)
  • Moiséj Моисе́й (Russian)
  • Muozė (Saimogaitian)
  • Mojzes (Slovene)
  • Muuse (Somalian)
  • Mojsej Мойсей (Ukrainian)
  • Moosõs (Voro)
  • Moishe (Yiddish)
Recently, actress Gwyneth Paltrow bestowed this name on her second child, Moses Bruce Anthony Martin (b. 2006)
Sources