The name Moses ranked 476th in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 472nd in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name has fluctuated in use, it has been quietly present throughout the last century.
An alternate meaning, ''drawn out of the water,'' recalls the scriptural story of the infant Moses being saved from the Nile by Pharaoh's daughter. Other authorities connect Moses with Eyptian dynastic names such as Rameses (''born of the god Ra'').
The biblical Moses, who led the Jews out of Egypt, is naturally an important factor in the popularity of this name, but not to be forgotten is ''the second Moses.'' Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204), also known as Maimonides, was a Jewish scholar born in Moorish Spain. He served as court physician to Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt, and was famous for his library of writings (in both Hebrew and Arabic) on logic, mathematics, medicine, law and Jewish theology.