Meaning: Its source is a Hebrew expression meaning "Who resembles God."
Languages: This boy's name is used in Dutch and French.
Popularity: The name Michel ranked 627th in popularity for males of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Narrative: In the Jewish and Christian scriptures and other religious writings, the archangel Michael is identified as captain of God's army, humanity's intercessor with the divine, and an eternal recorder who tracks our deeds and misdeeds in a great heavenly book. He is often depicted carrying a flaming sword, and sometimes guarding the gates of Paradise.
The consistently high popularity of this name in the U.S. cannot be attributed with certainty to any one factor. It may be due simply to the pleasant sound of the name. It is also possible that no one has ever devised a more congenial nickname for a boy than Mike!
- Michel Ney (born 1769, died 1815)
French military leader.
- Personally commanded assault after assault at Waterloo; convicted of treason and executed by firing squad after Napoleon''s abdication, though legends tell of his escape to America (see list of Generals of the Napoleonic Wars)
- Michel Larocque
- 1977-79, 1981 Vezina Trophy winner (see list of Vezina Trophy Winners)
- Michel Theatro
- 1900 Olympic track and field gold medal winner for Marathon (see list of Olympic Gold Medalists in Miscellaneous Track Events)
Stage and Screen
- Michel Blanc
Actor, writer and director.
- Winner of the 1986 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor award, for Tenue de Soirée (see list of Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Winners)
- Michel Brault
Cinematographer, director and writer.
- Winner of the 1975 Cannes Film Festival Best Director award, for Les Ordres (see list of Cannes Film Festival Best Director Winners)
- Michel Piccoli (born 1925)
French actor, writer and director.
- Winner of the 1980 Cannes Film Festival Best Actor award, for A Leap Into the Void (see list of Cannes Film Festival Best Actor Winners)
The Literary World
- Michel Guillaume St. Jean de Crèvocoeur (born 1735, died 1813)
French-American farmer and essayist.
- Wrote Letters from an American Farmer (see list of Writers of the Restoration and 18th Century)
- Michel duCille
- 1986 Pulitzer Prize winner for Spot News Photography (see list of Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography)
- 1988 Pulitzer Prize winner for Feature Photography (see list of Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography)
- Michel Laurent
- 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner for Spot News Photography (see list of Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography)
- Michel de Montaigne (born 1533, died 1592)
- Influential prose stylist (see list of Writers of the 16th Century)
Meaning: Its source is Michael, a Hebrew name meaning "Who resembles God."
This spelling is usually reserved for boys in French-speaking cultures.
Popularity: The name Michel ranked 2222nd in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
Though this name appears on the 1990 U.S. Census lists, it is used by only a small percentage of the general population.
Narrative: The French feminine forms of this name have been adopted by a large number of European languages. Though ultimately derived from the Hebrew original, their closest ancestor is the male French name Michel.
Awareness of this name was undoubtedly boosted by the immense popularity of Lennon and McCartney's 1965 ballad ''Michelle.'' Clearly addressed to a French girl (the lyrics rhyme her name with ma belle -- ''my beauty''), it reinforced the exotic, romantic impression this name can make.