Spotlight on: Amos

Amos Lee

Some names are bombarded with associations. There’s Amos and Andy, Famous Amos, Amos Diggory from the Harry Potter series, and then soulful folk singer Amos Lee hit the scene.

The last association makes Amos seem more likely on a person, not just a character or a package of cookies. The fact that Amos Lee was actually born Ryan Anthony Massaro doesn’t make the name any less worthy.

If Oscar’s multiple associations can negate each other, then the same can happen with Amos. Amos also happens to be Biblical, which gives any name automatic heft in my book. Amos is one of the 12 minor prophets in the Old Testament and author of the Book of Amos. The Hebrew meaning is “borne by God.” Amos was also popular among the Puritans.

Amos belongs to the same group as Ferdinand  and Thaddeus . This is the group of underused vintage names that were a lot more prevalent over a century ago, but never became extremely popular.

At the end of the 19th century Amos almost reached the top 100, peaking at 105 in 1880, the earliest year data is available. Amos declined steadily through the years and has wavered in-and-out of the lower run of the top 1000 since 1998. Amos last ranked in the top 1000 in 2009 at 999, the next to the last spot available!

Amos boasts maximum style in few letters and syllables. Amos also has that A going for it, just like Aidan, Archer, Atticus, and Arlo.

For sibling matches I just love the idea of Amos and Ione, but the repetitive o sound may be too much for some people. Ida or Ina may work better. For a brother, I found myself needing some help and I went to Nymbler. I like Enoch. Both names are Biblical, peaked around the same time, the turn of the 20th century, and are somewhat obscure. With Amos, other short vowel names seem to complement him nicely.

Amos is more prevalent than it may seem, but not necessarily as a first name. Amos is a surname, some famous examples are singer Tori Amos, and actor John Amos, as well as a place-name. Amos, California, Amos Quebec, a Washington DC neighborhood, and an ancient city in Turkey all bear this name.

Amos, like Aloysius  is going on our watch list. As a baby name, Amos is a solid choice with quite the résumé.

Readers: Do you agree with my statement? How do you feel about Amos?

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  1. I think Amos is really cute … I know someone with a (very handsome) brother named Amos, and they call him Moss for a nickname, which is so cute.

    I did some searching and some real life siblings of Amos:

    Brothers – Malachi, Caleb, Kane, Isaac, Boaz (I think everyone went Biblical!)

    Sisters – Millie, Scarlett, Stella, Gabrielle, Trista (any popular girly name?)

    I do think an Amos needs a sister with a very feminine name. Oh and definitely NOT Tori!!! 😉

    • I like all of the brother and sister matches, but Trista seems a little out of place.

      Oh boy, I would definitely not want to see sister/brother Tori and Amos.

  2. Amos has been the name I’ve been planning (should I have a son) for years 🙂 I’ve got a sister & brother name too, but I do hope I get a little Amos!

  3. We’re having a baby Amos. His sister is Evelyn. I have a small worry about him being mocked and called anus, but I think we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it. There are nicknames: Am, Mo, Moss…

    • As a Amos I can assure you that they will be called anus but with any adversity comes growth and strength.

      As for nicknames my sister and brother (Amy & Andy, not kidding, that is our names) call me Moose as in A-moose.

  4. Our 1 yr old son is Amos so we obviously love the name. We thought we’d nn him Mo but instead we usually call him Ame or Moose!

  5. Our 2-year-old is Amos! We thought we might nickname him Mo but instead we find ourselves calling him Ame for short. The name is perfect on him and we get many compliments on it.

  6. Audrey Wall says:

    This is very interesting as I named my son Amos (he is four years old), and is named after a very special uncle of his!!!


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