Mentioned in the New Testament, Thomas is a masculine name of Aramaic origins. Through rigorous research, I’ve learned the meaning of the name Thomas and what it represents.
Meaning of the name Thomas: The meaning of the name Thomas is “twin.” Etymologists believe that Thomas was derived from the Aramaic name Ta’oma, which means “twin.” Therefore, twin boys are often given the masculine name Thomas.
Origins of the Name Thomas
The origins of the name Thomas can be traced back to the Greek New Testament. First published by Dutch Renaissance scholar Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus in 1516, the Greek New Testament described one of Jesus’s 12 apostles as Thomas. Also referred to as Didymus or “Doubting Thomas,” Thomas the Apostle traveled away from the borders of the Roman Empire – as far as India, according to the New Testament – to spread the word of Jesus.
Etymological evidence suggests that Thomas is a derivative of the Aramaic name Ta’oma. In the Aramaic language, Ta’oma was used as a masculine given name.
Thomas wasn’t a popular name prior to its use in the Greek New Testament, though it was still used as a given name. It’s unknown when exactly the name Thomas first appeared. Around the 11th century, however, the name Thomas began to emerge in Europe, specifically Great Britain. And by the 14th century, the name became a little more popular. But it was the Greek New Testament published in the 16th century that truly made Thomas a common given name.
The popularity of the Name Thomas
Thomas has consistently ranked as one of the top boys’ names in the United States for well over a century. In 1880, it was the 8th most popular boys’ name in the country, with birth records showing that 2,534 newborn boys were named Thomas. In 1920, Thomas was the 11th most popular boys’ name in the United States. By 1960, Thomas began trending again, ranking as the 9th most popular boys’ name in the country. In 2011, Thomas the 63rd most popular boys’ name in the United States.
To put the popularity of Thomas into perspective, the U.S. Social Security Administration recently said it was the 9th most popular boys’ name in the country over the last century. In the United Kingdom, Thomas is also a popular boys’ name. In 2017, it ranked as the 13th most popular boys’ name in the United Kingdom.
Popular variants of the name Thomas include Tom, Tommy, Tomas, and Thom.
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