Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Ethan

Ethan is an ancient Biblical name of Hebrew origin which appears a few obscure times throughout the Old Testament; most often, however, he’s referenced as a wise man whom Solomon surpasses in wisdom (1 Kings 4:31). The authorship of Psalm 89 is also attributed to Ethan the Ezrahite (“I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord”); and Ethan appears four or five times on genealogy lists in the Book of Chronicles. The name (אֵיתָן) in Hebrew means “firm” as in “sturdy, enduring, long-lived”. Despite Ethan’s obscure and insignificant place in the Bible, the Puritans adopted the name around the 17th century after the Reformation. It was the religiously austere practice of Puritans to bestow lesser-known Biblical names on their children as an act of modesty. They then brought these names (e.g., Ethan, Malachi, Micah, Jedidiah, etc) to the New World (i.e., America). Later in American history – during the 18th century American Revolution – patriot and war hero Ethan Allen made a name for himself as the leader of the “Green Mountain Boys”. His written accounts of his exploits were popular in the 19th century during which time Ethan enjoyed revival interest as a boy’s name. Today, in the 21st century, parents are once again flocking to the name Ethan as a top choice for their baby boys. And we're not just talking about here in America. Ethan is a Top 10 favorite in Canada, Australia, Scotland, Northern Ireland and France. It is also a highly ranked name in England, Wales, Belgium and Ireland.

All About the Baby Name – Ethan

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME ETHAN

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME ETHAN

The name Ethan did not show up on the American popularity graphs until the 1950's. By the 1980's it was still only enjoying moderate to low success in terms of popularity. Then BAM! In 1989, everything changed. The name jumped 176 places on the chart and hit the Top 100. By 2002, the name Ethan entered the Top 10 and hasn't looked back. What exactly happened in 1989 to so abruptly change this name's favorability? Hard to say. We do know that Ethan Hawke starred in the wildly successful film, "Dead Poets Society" in 1989 which is when he rose to prominence. Perhaps he took his name with him, and introduced it to millions of Americans who collectively agreed the name was charming. No matter what the reason behind the sudden surge in popularity of the name Ethan 20 years ago, the trend took hold and is showing no signs of waning.

Quick Facts

ON ETHAN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

6

PRONUNCIATION:

EE-thin

SIMPLE MEANING:

Firm, long-lived

Characteristics

OF ETHAN

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Ethan

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME ETHAN

Mattie Silver is a character in Edith Wharton’s 1911 novel, Ethan Frome, and she is the focal point of the novel’s major plot turns. Matttie is a poor cousin of Ethan Frome’s sickly wife, Zeena, who lives with them and earns her keep looking after Zeena. Mattie is a pretty and gracious young girl consigned to a joyless lifestyle, but it is mainly in her contrast with the horrid, shrewish Zeena that she shines. No wonder that, living with these two women, Ethan Frome falls for Mattie! Zeena is a nasty woman, pure and simple, and she is on to Mattie’s almost unconscious aims upon Zeena’s husband. Mattie even goes so far as to suggest a suicide pact between her and Ethan that goes badly awry. Poor Mattie – the wages of attempted sin are high indeed, in her case, but she must have gained some little comfort in knowing that she has pretty thoroughly messed up things for Zeena as well.

Ethan Frome is the central character in Edith Wharton's novel bearing the same name, "Ethan Frome". He is a generally sympathetic protagonist in that we see him as a decent human being, a sensitive man and a lover of nature. He is, however, a victim of a set of circumstances that weaken his emotional strength. He is conflicted between his passion and the social mores of his time and place. He is also constricted by a harsh winter climate of the small New England town in which he resides. The story centers around Ethan, and his endurance of his bitter, shrewish wife, and his passion for another young woman.

Popular Songs

ON ETHAN

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Ethan


Famous People

NAMED ETHAN

Ethan Hawke (actor)
Ethan Coen (director)

Children of Famous People

NAMED ETHAN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Ethan

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME ETHAN

No, we're not talking about the furniture store. Ethan Allen was an actual historical figure dating back to the 1700's. He is most notable as the leader of the "Green Mountain Boys", a group of Vermont patriots who fought valiantly in the American Revolutionary war.