First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Ham mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Ham

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ham
noun Ham
  1. [Anat] The region back of the knee joint; the popliteal space; the hock.
  2. The thigh of any animal; especially, the thigh of a hog cured by salting and smoking."A plentiful lack of wit, together with most weak hams." [Shak.]

Etymology: AS. ham; akin to D. ham, dial. G. hamme, OHG. hamma. Perh. named from the bend at the ham, and akin to E. chamber. Cf. Gammon ham

noun Ham
  1. Etymology: Short for hamfatter

    a person who performs in a showy or exaggerated style; -- used especially of actors. Also used attributively, as, a ham actor.
  2. The licensed operator of an amateur radio station.
verb Ham
To act with exaggerated voice and gestures; to overact.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. Meat cut from the thigh of a hog (usually smoked)
  2. An unskilled actor who overacts
  3. A licensed amateur radio operator
  4. (Old Testament) son of Noah
  5. Exaggerate one's acting

From Biblical Hebrew חָם.

  1. (biblical) A son of Noah and the brother of Japheth and Shem.
  2. Various place names, including suburbs of London (East Ham, West Ham, and between Richmond and Kingston), a hamlet in Kent and a village in Wiltshire.

Ham was also found in the following language(s): Luxembourgish

Notable Persons Named Ham

Ham was born as the child of Noah in 1557.


Hàm Nghi was royalty. He holds the title Emperor of Vietnam. He was most active from 1884 to 1884. Hàm was born on August 3rd, 1872 in Huế. He left this life on January 4th, 1943.


Han Da-min is an actor and actress. She has had major accomplishments since 2006. Han was given the name Ham Mi-na on November 1st, 1983 in South Korea. Han is also known as Hahn and Daa-min.


Ham Richardson was a tennis player. Ham was born on August 24th, 1933 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He died on November 5th, 2006.



Ham Lini is a prime minister. He was most prominent from 2004 to 2008. Ham was born on December 8th, 1951 in Pentecost Island.


Notable Persons With the Last Name Ham

Mary Katharine Ham is a journalist. Mary was born on April 5th, 1980 in Montgomery, Alabama, USA.


Ham was born as the child of Noah in 1557.


Ken Ham is a young earth creationism, christian apologetics, evangelism, young earth creationist, christian apologist, and evangelist. He holds the title Founder, President, CEO, Entrepreneurship, President (corporate title), and Chief executive officer. Ken was given the name Kenneth Alfred Ham on October 20th, 1951 in Cairns.


Pete Ham was a rock music and power pop singing and songwriter. He plays Guitar, Piano, and Vocals. His career lasted from 1961 to 1975. Pete was given the name Peter William Ham on April 27th, 1947 in Swansea. He left this life on April 24th, 1975.


Greg Ham was a musician, singing, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and actor. He plays Keyboard instrument, Saxophone, Flute, Hammond organ, Synthesizer, and Piano. His most notable accomplishments were from 1979 to 2012. Greg was given the name Gregory Norman Ham on September 7th, 1953 in Melbourne. Greg is also known as Greg Ham. He passed away on April 19th, 2012.


Johnny Lee is a country music, pop music, and nashville sound singing. He plays Vocals. He was most active from 1976 to 1976. Johnny was given the name John Lee Ham on July 3rd, 1946.


Where is the name Ham popular?

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Popularity of Ham as a last name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Ham as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in South Carolina, New Hampshire, or Maine.

Common last names for Ham

  • Nguyen
  • Wong

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Ham U.S.
  White 66.22% 64.26%
  African American 11.61% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 16.41% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.40% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 1.66% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.69% 16.26%

Of Last Name Ham

People with the last name Ham are most frequently White, African American, or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Ham

  • How Popular is the name Ham? Ham is the 55,709th most popular name of all time. As a last name Ham was the 2,133rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Ham have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 29 babies born with the first name Ham in the United States.
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Ham? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1886 when it was given as a first name to 6 new born babies.
  • When was Ham first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Ham is Saturday, May 17th, 1873.
  • What year had the most people named Ham born? The highest recorded use of the first name Ham was in 1918 with a total of 7 babies.
  • Weird things about the name Ham: Your name in reverse order is Mah. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Hma. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Ham? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 16,980 people with the last name Ham.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Ham? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 6 of them will have Ham as their last name.

What Hams Have Visited This Page?

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Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.