Meaning and Origin of the Name Miles

The meaning of Miles is solider or merciful, and in some translations, mild and peaceful. The name Miles has many different roots. Both the English and Germans derived it from the name Milo. It also has roots in old Slavic leading back to the name Milu.


The popularity of Miles was at its highest ever in 2014, where it reached the 108th spot for popular boy names in the US. It has risen in popularity through the years first due to Jazz master Miles Davis, and now has become a popular moniker with celebrities having babies. Joan Cusack, Lionel Ritchie, and Mayim Bialik all used the name for their children.

History and Famous People Called Miles

The name Miles goes far back in history, in fact, the first translator of the Bible from its native language into English was a monk named Miles Coverdale. Miles, or possibly spelled Myles, Standish was one of the Pilgrim fathers.

It has been used in literature for decades including Miles Hendon in Mark Twain’s work The Prince and the Pauper, and as the name of a young child in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. The name has also been used in popular movies and television including Murphy Brown, Avatar, and 24.

There are many great male celebrities with the name including the following Miles Davis who was a famous African American trumpet player along with Miles Austin who is a famous NFL player and Miles Luna a famous director.

Variations in the Name

Other spellings of the name includes Myles, Miels and Myels. In Dutch the related name is Milan, Italian it’s Milena and in Russia it would be Milan or Milena. Although the name is suggested as a male name don’t be discouraged with naming your baby girl Miles.

Useful Resources

Discover the meaning and origin of other boys’ names on our website.