Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

Meaning and Origin

What does the name Bethlehem mean? Keep reading to find the user submitted meanings, dictionary definitions, and more.

Origin and Meaning of Bethlehem

User Submitted Origins


User Submitted Meanings

  1. According to a user from Maryland, U.S., the name Bethlehem is of Hebrew origin and means "The place where jesus was born".
  2. A submission from Maryland, U.S. says the name Bethlehem means "Bethlehem is the town/place where Jesus Christ was born!".
  3. A submission from Minnesota, U.S. says the name Bethlehem means "It is where Jesus was born" and is of Amharic origin.
  4. According to 2 people from Argentina and Puerto Rico, the name Bethlehem is of Hebrew origin and means "House of bread".
  5. A submission from Texas, U.S. says the name Bethlehem means "A common girls' name in Ethiopia" and is of Hebrew origin.
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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Beth"le*hem
  1. A hospital for lunatics; -- corrupted into bedlam.
  2. [Arch] In the Ethiopic church, a small building attached to a church edifice, in which the bread for the eucharist is made.

Etymology: Heb. bēth-lekhem house of food; bēth house + lekhem food, lākham to eat. Formerly the name of a hospital for the insane, in London, which had been the priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem. Cf. Bedlam

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A small town near Jerusalem on the West Bank of the Jordan River; early home of David and regarded as the place where Jesus was born
  2. A town in eastern Pennsylvania on the Lehigh River to the northwest of Philadelphia; an important center for steel production

From Middle English Bethleem, Bedlem, from Old French Bethleem, from Latin Bēthlehēmum, Bēthleëm, from Ancient Greek Βηθλεέμ (Bēthleém), from Hebrew בֵּית לֶחֶם‎ (bet léchem). Doublet of bedlam.

  1. A city in the West Bank, believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
  2. (obsolete) A lunatic asylum.
  3. (architecture) In the Ethiopic church, a small building attached to a church edifice, in which the bread for the Eucharist is made.

Bethlehem was also found in the following language(s): Dutch, German, Latin, and Middle English

Notable Persons Named Bethlehem

Notable Persons Named Bethlehem

Bethlehem Shoals

Bethlehem was born on January 1st, 1978.

Bethlehem Nopece


Notable Persons With the Last Name Bethlehem

Notable Persons With the Last Name Bethlehem

Lael Bethlehem

Lael was born on October 24th, 1967.


Fun Facts about the name Bethlehem

  • How Popular is the name Bethlehem? Bethlehem is the 18,774th most popular name of all time.
  • How many people with the first name Bethlehem have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded 416 babies born with the first name Bethlehem in the United States. That's more than enough people named Bethlehem to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Bethlehem? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1985 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Bethlehem first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Bethlehem is Sunday, September 19th, 1886.
  • What year had the most people named Bethlehem born? The highest recorded use of the first name Bethlehem was in 2015 with a total of 24 babies.
  • Random Bethlehem Factoid: According to the 1996 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Bethlehem is not a popular baby girl's name in California. Imagine that, only 5 babies in California have the same name in 1996.
  • Weird things about the name Bethlehem: The name spelled backwards is Mehelhteb. A random rearrangement of the letters in the name (anagram) will give Ebmheelht. How do you pronounce that?
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