Ezra is primarily a boy's name that means "help" or "helper" in Hebrew. The name may derive from the longer Hebrew name "Azaryahu," which means "God helps."
The most famous Ezra was a Hebrew prophet, scribe, and priest who wrote the book of Ezra in the Bible. He's most notable in Jewish tradition for leading a group of Israelite exiles back into Jerusalem and helping rebuild the ancient city. A tomb in Al-Uzair, a small town in Iraq, is Ezra's purported burial place and a sacred site for Jews and Muslims alike.
The name Ezra also appears in other languages – most commonly as Uzair in Arabic, Esdras in Greek and Latin, Lezra in many North African cultures, and Ezrin or Ezdrin in Slavic languages. Azra, Ezera, and Ezrah are other derivatives of Ezra, too.
While Ezra has appeared in the Social Security Administration's list of the 1,000 most popular boy's names since 1900, it has fluctuated in popularity over the past century. It nearly fell off the list entirely in the '60s – but has been steadily climbing through the ranks since the early '90s, cracking into the top 100 in 2015 and then making the top 50 in 2020.
Ezra is considered a gender-neutral name, though many more boys hold the name. As a girl's name, it broke into the Social Security Administration's top 1,000 names in 2018.
Overall, Ezra is trending in a positive direction. In fact, many religious names that once fell off in popularity are now making a comeback. Ezra appears to be one of those names that is recapturing parents' attention.
Ezra Hendrickson : American former professional soccer player
Ezra Jack Keats : American author and illustrator best known for his children's book The Snowy Day
Ezra Klein : American journalist and co-founder of Vox
Ezra Koenig : Grammy-nominated American musician; lead singer of the band Vampire Weekend
Ezra Miller : Actor best known for their roles in the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower and the Fantastic Beasts series
Ezra Stiles : American educator, one of the founders of Brown University
Ezra Vogel : Former sociologist and professor at Harvard University
Ezra Pound : poet
Ezra Butler : football player
Ezra Lincoln : baseball player
Ezra Sutton : baseball player