Biblical name (apparently meaning ‘talkative’ in Hebrew) borne by a character mentioned in a genealogy (Genesis 36:11). It has been occasionally used from Puritan times down to the present day, especially in America. More often, however, it is of Arabic origin, as in the case of the film actor and international bridge player Omar Sharif (b. 1932 in Egypt).
Muslim (widespread throughout the Muslim world): from the Arabic personal name Aḥmad ‘the most praised’, elative adjective from ḥamid (see Hamid). This is an epithet of the Prophet Muhammad. In the Qur’an (6:16) Jesus foretells the arrival of Aḥmad (the Prophet Muhammad) in the words: ‘I have brought good news about a messenger who will come after me, whose name will be Aḥmad’.