Baby Name Ethan

The ancient name has become a modern favorite for parents.

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Ethan as a baby boys' name has exploded in popularity over the past decade, with little clue as to what caused his meteoric rise up the charts. Knowing the original Hebrew meaning of Ethan is "strong, safe and enduring," it's easy to understand why parents would choose this name for their son.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the name is briefly mentioned throughout, with one of the most notable references being Ethan the Ezrahite who was known for his great wisdom, closely compared to King Solomon, who authored Psalm 89.

Remarkable, Sudden Popularity of Ethan

Despite its recent performance, historically speaking, Ethan has not been all that popular of a name. After the Revolutionary War, the name did pick up slightly in popularity , likely due to the war hero Ethan Allen. However, browsing the Social Security Administrations Popular Baby Name lists reveals that Ethan did not begin consistently appearing in the top 1000 baby names until 1956.

But then something happened in 1989. Ethan rocketed up the chart, landing at position 87 with more than 4,000 Ethans born than year. It steadily and quickly climbed the charts, cracking the Top 50 Names in 1997, and the Top 10 in 2002, where it's remained since. Ethan was notched at No. 6 on the SSA chart in 2014.

Why Is Ethan So Popular?

It's hard to ascertain how Ethan rose so quickly, but one theory is that it was caused by actor Ethan Hawke, who appeared in the 1989 Academy Award-nominated movie Dead Poets Society, which starred the late Robin Williams.

It was that year that the name began its ascent, and Hawke remained a popular actor through the early 1990s, with role in the films Alive, Reality Bites, and Training Day which may have helped increase his moniker's status.

Middle Names for Ethan:

Since it begins in a vowel and ends in a consonant, Ethan is a little tricky to match with a middle name.

Some tried and true middle names seem to pair well, including Ethan Charles, Ethan William and Ethan James. With that last one, you get the possible bonus nickname of E.J. 

Sibling Name Suggestions

Another Biblical name, a name beginning with the letter "E", or a name with two syllables would be good choices for Ethan's brother or sister. For a girl, names like Sarah, Olivia, Emma or Ava are nice options, and possibilities for boys include Adam, Caleb, James and Noah.

Baby Name Trends:

Over the past several decades, Biblical names have been part of a popular naming trend for boys. We may also consider the "Hollywood" factor, as this generation of parents does seem to be very interested in turning to star-power for baby naming inspiration.

Well-Known Ethans

Ethan Allen was an American Revolutionary War hero, politician and writer. He is credited with founding the state of Vermont, and for capturing Fort Ticonderoga from the British, along with Benedict Arnold.

Actor Ethan Hawke, who may have been partly responsible for the name's resurgence as noted above, has been nominated for four Academy Awards and  appeared on screen and stage.

Ethan Coen is one half of the Coen brothers directorial team, responsible for such movies as Blood Simple, O Brother Where Art Thou? Raising Arizona and Fargo.

Then there's the fictional Ethan Frome, title character of Edith Wharton's 1904 novel set in rural New England.

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