One of the most common names today is Mike. Of course, Mike is short for Michael. Many people often misspell this name as Micheal.
If your name is pronounced “Mike-ul”, it’s Michael. But if your name is pronounced “Mee-hall”, it’s spelt, Micheal. Both of them are names that people have.
In this article, I want to speak about where this name came from, why there are two different versions, who are some of the Michaels you might know, and what are some of the nicknames that someone called Michael might have.
So, if you’re called Michael, be prepared to learn a lot about your own name.
As with many of the names that we have come to be familiar with, Michael has its origins in the Bible.
The name Michael is a rhetorical question.
“Who is like God?”. To which the answer is of course “there is none like God”.
It goes to show the significance of the Bible that even though it’s thousands of years old, we are still naming our children after characters within it. It’s also interesting that one of the most common names is a rhetorical question.
Of course, Michael is not the only name that has its origin in the Bible.
Who was St Michael
Unlike many of the other people in the Bible, Michael wasn’t a person who had a strong faith in God, or a great king.
He was an angel, so he lived in Heaven with God. But he was no ordinary angel, he was an archangel. A type of angel more powerful than the others, and acts as a kind of angel leader.
St Michael has gone onto become the patron saint of the Military and the police. Which is why so many Christian officers like to carry a small picture of St Michael.
The most famous Michael is probably Jackson. He started his career in the boyband The Jackson 5, before going onto have his solo career, which came to an abrupt end when his life did.
Recently, some allegations against him have come out, so we’re not too sure if he really deserves a spot in the “Michaels hall of fame”.
Michael Jordan is one of the most famous basketball players in history. Any team he played for would have been guaranteed to win a few trophies with him on the court. Since leaving the game, he’s gone onto running one of the most successful shoe companies of all time.
And finally, we have Michael Phelps. One of the greatest Olympic swimmers that has ever swum. He’s pretty much a human fish.
Many people called “Michael” don’t tend to go by that name. Instead, they prefer to shorten or change their name to something that sounds more modern and slick.
The most obvious one is Mike. Mike is one of the most common names in America.
Many of us don’t think of Mickey as a nickname for Michael, but Mickey has its origins in the biblical name. The most famous Mickey that most of us will know is, of course, Mickey Mouse.
And finally, we have Mitchell (sometimes shortened to Mitch).
There is a name that’s spelt similarly to Michael. And that is the Irish name of Micheal.
Although, this name is pronounced nothing like “mike-ul”. This name is pronounced like “mee-hall”.
Even though the pronunciation is slightly different, the origin is still the same. It’s a biblical name, coming from the name of the Archangel and the patron saint of police and Military. However, this interpretation of the name is nowhere near as common as “Michael”.
You’ll be unlikely to find a non-Irish person called “Micheal”.
Why the two names?
If St Michael is only one person with one name, it begs the question as to why two names come after this one character?
As many of you know, the Bible is not written in English, it’s in Hebrew. But not the modern Hebrew which is spoken today, it’s written in Ancient Hebrew, also known as Biblical Hebrew.
In the original language, the name sounds similar to Mika-El. Which the Anglosphere has interpreted as Michael, and the Irish have interpreted as Micheal.
There are likely names in other languages that originate from Mika-El too.
Although you’re far more likely to meet someone called Michael than you are to meet someone named Micheal, there are a few people who are called the latter.
Micheal O’sIadhail is a famous Irish poet who has helped shape the course of Irish literature. He’s the Irish version of Shakespeare.
In America, Micheal Bergstrom is an Oklahoma State senator who was elected in 2016. His family has their origins in Ireland.
And Micheal Ferland is a Canadian Ice Hockey player whose family also comes from Ireland.
I can assure you that all three of these Micheals get called “Michael”, and I doubt any of them care.
Other Biblical Names
The Bible is full of names that we still use today.
Abraham means “father of many nations”. Which is cool when you consider that Abraham Lincoln was a key player in making sure that the United States of America didn’t split up.
Jacob means “to follow”. Which is what Jacob did to God in the Bible.
Daniel means “God is my judge”.
And Matthew means “Gift of Yahweh”, or “Gift of God”.
If you’re wondering whether you should spell it as “Michael” or “Micheal”, it all depends on how you pronounce it.
If it’s Mike-ul, it’s “Michael”. But if it’s “Mee-Hall”, then it’s “Micheal”.
Both of these names come from the Biblical name of “Mika-El”, a name that means “Who is like God?”. But different cultures have translated that name differently.
The most famous Michaels today are probably Jackson, Jordan, and Phelps. And the most famous Micheals are O’Siadhail, Bergstrom, and Ferland.
The name “Michael” has since been shortened to “Mike” and altered to “Mickey” and “Mitchell”. But it’s still one of the most common names on the planet, common in the USA and the UK.