baby name BramThe baby name Bram fits with brisk, brief boy names like Jack and Cole, but also sweeping romantic heroes, like Tristan and Sebastian.

Thanks to Leela for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


Bram comes from Abraham, the Biblical patriarch name. In Hebrew, it means “father of many,” which is, of course, Abraham’s story.

When he’s first introduced in the Old Testament, his name is Abram. The addition of the extra syllable comes after God tells him he’ll be the father of nations. Abraham is significant in Judaism and Islam, as well as Christianity.

The name has a long history of use, especially in the east and among Jewish families.

Protestant parents embraced Abraham following the Reformation, and it appears steadily in the US.

Most notably, it’s the given name of the sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln. Others include entrepreneur Abraham Abraham – not a typo! – who founded the Brooklyn department store Abraham & Straus. The flagship store on Fulton Street still operates as a Macy’s today.


But the baby name Bram isn’t all about Abraham.

It can also come from English surnames like Bramwell and Bramley. In this case, Bram comes from the Old English brom – broom or gorse. It refers to shrubs with long branches and yellow flowers. Tied together, the branches were good for sweeping – hence, a broom. But gorse was also used for many things, including a yellow dye.

Fun fact: the Plantagenets – the royal house that ruled in Europe, including England for three centuries – derived their name from the Latin Plante Genest. Genest or genista referred to broom.

Canadian children’s musical trio Sharon, Lois & and Bram performed from the 1970s onward. The Bram is musician Bramwell Morrison.

Jane Hissey’s Old Bear stories also includes a teddy bear named Bramwell.


Some sources suggest that Bram means raven. In our age of Leo and Wren, that feels incredibly appealing.

Except it’s Bran – with an N, not an M – that means raven. Figures in both Irish and Welsh legend answer to the name.

So there’s no meaningful connection between the bird and the name.


Still, it’s easy to see why we mix up ravens and the baby name Bram.

Raven feel just a little bit haunting, thanks to Edgar Allan Poe’s poem. And Bram, of course, brings to mind Dracula author Stoker.

Born Abraham in Dublin in 1847, the author spent many years researching folklore before writing his masterpiece.

The novel debuted in 1897. While it was popular, it wasn’t considered a masterpiece.

In fact, Stoker died nearly penniless.

1922’s Nosferatu, the first vampire movie, revived interest in Dracula. The German movie was a sensation. So was the law suit filed by Stoker’s widow. Together, it created renewed interest in the novel.

Movie adaptations continued, with Bela Lugosi creating the most famous Hollywood version of the Count in 1931.

Vampires haven’t rested since.


In the US, the baby name Bram is rare. It borders on unknown, with just 36 births in 2019. (And rarely more than 50 in a single year.) It has never cracked the US Top 1000.

In Belgium and the Netherlands, it’s a different story. The Dutch especially embraced Bram, where it ranked in the Top Ten until recently. It fits right in with so many short boy names in favor there: Sem, Daan, Luuk, and Mees, to name just a few.


The baby name Bram appeals because it’s two things at once.

Thanks to Stoker, Bram feels romantic and storied. It’s a surprising name from an earlier era.

But sound-wise, Bram fits right in with short, high-energy boy names like Max and Finn.

For parents after something different but with roots, and brief but with plenty of style, the baby name Bram offers an intriguing possibility.

What do you think of the baby name Bram? Do you like it better as a nickname or a stand-alone?

First published on October 28, 2008, this post was revised on December 14, 2009. Additional revisions followed on February 16, 2021.

boy name Bram

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. Our son Bram D@vis @llen was born this October! We are constantly asked how we came by the name. I’m surprised how many people ask “who?” when we bring up Bram Stoker. My husband and I like short names that are easy to spell, read and pronounce (although we have already gotten Brahm a few times) with bonus points for literary or nature references (our first two are Lily and Reed). Abraham just didn’t ring a bell for us, but Bram fits our little guy perfectly!

  2. While I know this site is devoted to human/baby names, I was surprised to see Bram here, as it is my Saint Bernard’s name. And as another poster above me mentioned, I get “What? Bran?” all the time. It actually gave him his nickname “Bram Muffin”.
    Luckily, being Canadian I can use the Sharon, Lois and Bram reference easily.

  3. This one is on our “long” list, my hubbie says he feels “wishy washy” about it, but thinks it could grow on him. So I keep it on the list and bring it up every now and then. I love the shortness to it and the halloween images it brings up. Honestly halloween is my favorite holliday, and although i am not a gothic princess, I love the names depth. I love Graham, but my hubby nixes that because he thinks “cracker”, and was called a white cracker as a kid, so needless to say he has bad associations… Bram has the same short sweetness and I love that it is nickname proof and unpopular but rcognizable and spellable… so i am still holding onto the hope that by the time we have a child, that is a son, Bram will have moved up on the list.. especially if he is born in October!

  4. You’ve made me see Bram in a different light. I think I’ll be able to overlook my first impression of “bran, I mean Bram”.

  5. I was named after Bram Fischer. Bram is my full first name though, not an abbreviation.

    My children’s names are Reilly (girl), Cantor, and Briar (both boys). Cantor was named after the mathematician.

  6. I like Bram as a full name also- Abraham is great but it is a bit much for me.
    And at Bram above, I love that your son is named after the mathematician Cantor! Very cool!

  7. I think it’s amusing that while Bram is being discussed, Bela comes up. I love how those two are linked! 😀 While I am thoroughly charmed by Bram, just Bram, not Abraham or Abram and Bramwell’s iffy (but he may like it, There was one on Dark Shadows (Played by the same guy who played Barnabas, Jonathan Frid)! Google ‘Bramwell Collins’ and you’ll find him.

    I adore Bela (said BAY-law) but it’s far too close to the masses of Bella’s out there and I’m a touch afraid he’ll be mistaken for a girl full time. I could happily nickname a boy Bela.

    Back to Bram. My first assocation is as everyone else’s, Bram Stoker. But I’m also reminded of the nasty in “Sleepy Hollow”: Bram Bones. I think he was changed to Brom something or other in the Depp version of the film, but in the stories I read as a kid, he was Bram Bones. Ichabod Crane’s foil.

    I might just casually mention Bramwell to him, see what he thinks. I could love happy with a son named for Stoker and I’m a thousand p[ercent sure the Vampire fan he is would lve it (The Dark Shadows link would probably seal it. (Maybe I should toss together a few combos first?) 😀

    Bram gets a full :thumbsup: from me, he’s smart, strong, snappy & snazzy. Warm and not too forbidding, too. He’s wonderful!