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Ezra Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Ezra including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Ezra Overview

  • Meaning: Ezra means “helper.” 
  • Gender: Ezra is traditionally a male name 
  • Origin: The name Ezra originates from the Biblical figure Ezra, a priest and scribe who helped restore the Jewish faith in Jerusalem.
  • Pronunciation: Ezra is pronounced ez-ruh
  • Popularity: The name Ezra is at present a very popular boys’ name in the U.S.
  • Nicknames: Ez. Ray, Ezzy
  • Variations: Ezrah, Esera, Azra
  • Namesakes: Ezra Pound, poet

What Does Ezra Mean?

The name Ezra is interpreted to mean “helper,” “aid,” or “salvation.”

What is the Origin of the Name Ezra?

The name Ezra is of Hebrew origin and is a Biblical name (1). Many parents of faith choose to use Biblical names for their children to honor their spiritual traditions or to pay tribute to an ancestor of that same name.

The Ezra of the Bible is a highly respected figure. He was a Jewish scribe and priest who lived in Babylon during the time of the Persian leader Artaxerxes (2).

There were many Jews in exile in Babylon during that time, and they longed to go back to their ancestral home of Judea. King Artaxerxes gave Ezra the responsibility of teaching the laws of God to the people. Ezra also guided a large group of Jewish people back to their homeland.

After arriving in Jerusalem, Ezra embarked on a harrowing journey, attempting to teach the people there how to live by God’s laws and turn their backs on the sins they had been committing. Ezra and his helper Nehemiah eventually built the walls of Jerusalem to keep the people safe and guided them to make a covenant with God.

How Popular is the Name Ezra?

The popularity of the name Ezra has been on quite the upswing in recent years, but it hasn’t always enjoyed such popularity. In the records we accessed, going back to 1880, we can see that the name was popular during pioneer days in the U.S. due to a heavy Christian religious influence in the nation during those times.

We see a jump in the number of people named Ezra being born between 1915 and 1930. This could be due to the influx of Jewish immigrants who arrived from Europe in the early years of the 20th century.

The name started to trend again in the mid- ’70s, and it’s a straight upwards climb from there! Why? Perhaps it was the influence of the first generation of what we now would call “hipster” parents (3).

Moms and dads who wanted to draw on tradition brought back old-fashioned names to make their children stand out in a sea of Michaels and Jennifers.

These parents are likely what caused the name Ezra to reach its peak of popularity in 2012.

At present, it is still a very popular name, holding the 44th spot in the top 100 baby names. The name retains higher popularity in religious communities like Orthodox Jewish, Amish, and Mennonite.

How Do I Pronounce Ezra?

In English, the name Ezra is pronounced ez-ruh.

Is Ezra a Boy or Girl Name?

For most of the history of the name Ezra, it was exclusively a male name and still is used for baby boys much more frequently than for baby girls.

Lately, however, there has been some movement toward the name for girls. The fact that it ends in the letter “a,” as many feminine names do, caused some parents to feel that it could be a lovely name for a girl.

In addition, today’s movement toward a more gender-neutral way of raising kids has removed some of the rigid gendered lines between toys, activities, and even names.

Variations of Ezra

Most of the variations of Ezra are pronounced the same as the original but have somewhat different spellings. The name “Uzair” is the Arabic form of the name found in the Koran.

  • Ezrah (Hebrew)
  • Azra (Arabic)
  • Ezerah (Hebrew)
  • Uzair (Arabic)
  • Esrah (Australian)

Nicknames for Ezra

Ezra is a short name and is cool enough to stand on its own, but if you want to nickname an Ezra, you can try:

  • Ezz
  • Ezzy
  • Ray
  • Zee

Similar Names to Ezra

Here are some names that are similar to Ezra. Some are similar because they are Biblical names; others are similar in sounds/letters in the name.

Middle Names That Go With Ezra

One of the best things about choosing the name Ezra is that it pairs well with long and short middle names. Give these a try:

For boys:

For girls:

Sibling Names for Ezra

Siblings with an Ezra amongst them have plenty of options for names, whether old-fashioned or more modern:

For boys:

For girls:

Famous People Named Ezra

Ezras have an illustrious history as authors and actors:

  • Ezra Jack Keats: Groundbreaking children’s author, best known for his book “The Snowy Day.”
  • Ezra Miller: Actor, recently seen in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Stand.
  • Ezra Pound: Early modernist poet.
  • Ezra Klein: Journalist and podcaster.
  • Ezra Cornell: Founder of Cornell University.

Ezra in Popular Culture

While not as popular as other names like Jack or John, there are still plenty of pop culture characters who sport the name Ezra.

  • Ezra Fitz: Character in the television show Pretty Little Liars.
  • Better Than Ezra: A 90’s band.
  • Ezra Bridger: Character on the Disney series Star Wars Rebels.

Ezra FAQs

Will the Name Ezra Still Be Popular When My Baby Is in School?

As noted earlier in the article, the name is currently in the top 100 boys’ names. It’s hard to say if the name will stay where it is. Plenty of cultural elements affect the movement of names, but if the name feels right to you, its place on the popularity charts shouldn’t matter much.

Will Naming My Daughter Ezra Always Get Her Mistaken for a Boy on Paper?

Our world has been adapting to unisex names for the last few years, and this trend is likely to continue.

Not everyone will assume your daughter’s gender just based on her name. However, if you like the sound of the name but want to make it read more feminine, you can try variants like Esrah, Esera, or Azrah.

What Are Some Good Twin Names That Have Similar Sounds to Ezra?

If you like names with matching sounds for twins, think about options like Emma, Eliza, Alexander, Asher, or Elijah.

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