The name Noah derives from the Hebrew word 'nahum', meaning 'comfort'. Another explanation is that it derives from the Babylonian/Assyrian verb 'nukhu', which means 'rest' or 'repose'.
It is primarily associated with the Biblical figure Noah, but unlike the names of many other prominent Bible characters, it has historically been a relatively rare name choice.
It is only in recent years that it has gained swiftly in popularity, first in the US in the 1980s and then in the UK - rising from the 225th most popular boys' name in England and Wales in 1996 to 14th today.
Famous people called Noah:
Noah Wyle, American actor best known for ER
Noah Webster, American spelling reformer and compiler of Webster's Dictionary
Noah Baumbach, American screenwriter and film director
Noah Beery Sr. and Noah Beery Jr., American father and son character actors Surnames to avoid Noah with:
Noah ends with an 'er' sound, so surnames beginning with an 'R' sound, ie. Richards or Riley, might cause problems as when said aloud this combination of sounds may result in elision – when two words slurred together end up sounding like one.
Foreign variants include Noé (French), Nojus (Lithuanian), and Noach (Dutch).
Similar English names include Noel, Nolan, Asa and Jonah.
Noa is one of the most common girls' names in modern Israel, although it comes from a different Hebrew root and means 'motion' rather than rest.
Celebrities who named their baby Noah:
Megan Fox, Boris Becker, Billy Ray Cyrus