Ariel Name Meaning: Origin, History, and Significance

Origins of the Name Ariel

If you are interested in the name Ariel, you may be curious about its origins. In this section, we’ll explore the various roots and meanings of the name Ariel.

Biblical References

The name Ariel appears in the Bible several times. In the Old Testament, Ariel is used as a name for Jerusalem, and is translated as “lion of God”. In addition, the name Ariel is also attributed to spirits and angels in English literature.

Hebrew Origin

The name Ariel has Hebrew origins, derived from the words “ari” meaning “lion” and “el” meaning “God”. The male form of the name, אריאל, is pronounced “ah-ree-EL”, while the female form, אריאלה, is pronounced “ah-ree-EL-ah”.

Jerusalem Connection

As mentioned earlier, Ariel is used as a name for Jerusalem in the Old Testament. Some linguists have also derived the name Ariel from the Hebrew word אראיל, which means “altar” or “alter-hearth”. This word is used by the prophet Ezekiel in the Bible.

In addition to its biblical and Hebrew roots, Ariel is also a popular name in Judaism and Israel. The name has been used for both boys and girls, and has variations such as Ariella and Arielle.

Overall, the name Ariel has a rich and varied history, with connections to the city of Jerusalem, the lion of God, and the Hebrew language.

Gender Associations

When it comes to the name Ariel, it is considered a gender-neutral name, meaning it can be used for both boys and girls. However, historically, Ariel was more commonly used as a male name. In recent years, the name has become increasingly popular as a female name. Here’s a breakdown of the gender associations with the name Ariel.

Male Usage

Ariel is a Biblical Hebrew name that means “lion of God.” In the Bible, Ariel is used to describe the city of Jerusalem. This masculine association with the name makes it a popular choice for boys. However, it is important to note that Ariel is now considered a gender-neutral name, and its use for boys has decreased in recent years.

Female Usage

While Ariel has traditionally been used as a male name, it has become increasingly popular as a female name in recent years. The name’s association with the Disney character Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” may have contributed to its rise in popularity as a girl’s name. The name’s meaning, “lion of God,” also gives it a strong and powerful connotation, which may be appealing to parents of girls.

Gender-Neutral Usage

As mentioned earlier, Ariel is now considered a gender-neutral name. This means that it can be used for both boys and girls. The name’s meaning, “lion of God,” gives it a powerful and majestic connotation that can appeal to parents of both genders. Additionally, the name’s association with the city of Jerusalem and the Disney character Ariel gives it a whimsical and playful feel, making it a great choice for parents who want a name that is both strong and fun.

In summary, Ariel is a gender-neutral name that can be used for both boys and girls. While historically used as a male name, it has become increasingly popular as a female name in recent years. The name’s meaning, “lion of God,” gives it a powerful and majestic connotation that can appeal to parents of both genders. Whether you choose to use Ariel as a boy’s name, a girl’s name, or a gender-neutral name, it is a timeless and beautiful choice.

Popularity of the Name Ariel

If you’re considering naming your child Ariel, you might be wondering how popular the name is. In this section, we’ll take a look at the popularity of the name Ariel in the United States and around the world.

Popularity in the United States

According to data from the Social Security Administration, Ariel is a fairly popular name in the United States. In 2021, it was the 222nd most popular name for girls and the 560th most popular name for boys.

The popularity of the name Ariel has fluctuated over the years. It enjoyed a surge in popularity in the late 1980s and early 1990s, thanks in part to the release of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” in 1989. The name peaked in popularity for girls in 1991, when it was the 66th most popular name.

Global Popularity

Ariel is also a popular name in other parts of the world. In Israel, for example, it is a common name for both boys and girls. It is also a popular name in Spanish-speaking countries.

However, the popularity of the name Ariel can vary widely depending on the country and culture. In some places, it may be seen as a more masculine name, while in others it may be considered more feminine.

Overall, the name Ariel has a long and interesting history, and its popularity continues to endure. Whether you’re drawn to its biblical origins or its association with Disney’s beloved mermaid princess, Ariel is a name that is sure to make a statement.

Variations and Nicknames

Common Variations

Ariel is a name that has several variations depending on the region and language. Some of the common variations of Ariel include Ari, Arie, Riel, Arielle, Ariella, Ariela, Arik, and Auri. These variations are often used interchangeably with the original name, and they all carry the same meaning – “lion of God.”


Like many other names, Ariel has several nicknames that are commonly used by family and friends. Some of the most popular nicknames for Ariel include Ari, Arie, Elle, and Riri. These nicknames are often used as terms of endearment and affection, and they can be used by anyone who knows and loves an Ariel.

If you’re an Ariel looking for a unique and fun nickname, you could also consider creating your own. Some ideas for a personalized nickname could include combining your first and middle name, or using a hobby or interest as inspiration. For example, if your middle name is Rose and you love to dance, you could go by “Ari Rose” or “Dance Ari.”

Overall, the variations and nicknames of Ariel offer a way to personalize and make the name your own. Whether you prefer the original name or a variation, or go by a unique nickname, the meaning and significance of the name remains the same.

Ariel in Culture and Literature

Shakespeare’s Ariel

Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” features a spirit named Ariel. In the play, Ariel is a loyal servant to the sorcerer Prospero. Ariel is portrayed as a powerful and magical being who can control the elements and perform incredible feats. The character of Ariel is often seen as a symbol of freedom and liberation, as he is eventually granted his freedom by Prospero.

Disney’s Little Mermaid

In Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel is the main character, a mermaid who dreams of living on land. The character of Ariel is known for her red hair and her beautiful singing voice. The film’s popularity has led to Ariel becoming a beloved character in pop culture.

Ariel in Literature

The name Ariel has appeared in various works of literature throughout history. In Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock,” Ariel is the name of a sylph who protects Belinda’s hair. In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Ariel is a fallen angel who serves as a messenger for God.

Ariel in Pop Culture

Ariel’s popularity in pop culture is evident in various forms of media, including songs, movies, and TV shows. In the TV series “Once Upon a Time,” Ariel is portrayed as a mermaid who falls in love with Prince Eric. The character has also appeared in various songs, including “Ariel” by Dean Friedman and “Ariel’s Song” by John Cooper Clarke.

Overall, the name Ariel has a rich history in culture and literature. From Shakespeare to Disney, Ariel has become a beloved character that continues to capture the hearts of audiences around the world.

Famous People Named Ariel

If you are looking for some famous people named Ariel, you have come to the right place. This section will provide you with some information on actors, musicians, writers, historians, and political figures who share the name Ariel.

Actors and Actresses

One of the most well-known Ariels in the entertainment industry is Ariel Winter. She is an American actress who is best known for her role as Alex Dunphy in the hit television series Modern Family. Other famous actors and actresses named Ariel include Ariel Gade, Ariel Lin, and Ariel Meredith.


Ariel Bloomer, also known as Icon for Hire, is an American singer and songwriter. She is the lead vocalist of the rock band Icon for Hire. Ariel Pink, on the other hand, is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is known for his lo-fi sound and his unique approach to music.

Writers and Historians

Ariel Dorfman is a Chilean-American writer and historian. He is best known for his works on human rights and political oppression. Ariel Durant was an American writer and historian who co-wrote the eleven-volume The Story of Civilization with her husband, Will Durant. Ariel Serena Hedges Bowen is a writer and historian who specializes in the history of the American West.

Political Figures

Ariel Ortega is an Argentine politician who served as a member of the Argentine Chamber of Deputies from 2015 to 2019. Ariel Sharon was an Israeli politician and general who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Israel from 2001 until 2006.

As you can see, there are many famous people named Ariel, each with their own unique talents and accomplishments. Whether you are interested in entertainment, music, writing, history, or politics, there is an Ariel out there who has made a name for themselves in your field of interest.

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