I was surprised to learn that 直美 isn't spelled out using katakana and, according to Wikipedia:

Naomi (なおみ, ナオミ), pronounced [naomi] is a Japanese name. Though it is a unisex name, it is primarily used by women. Naomi can be spelled using hiragana, katakana, kanji, or a combination of kana and kanji. For example;

  • なお美
  • ナオ美
  • 直美
  • 尚美
  • 直己
  • 尚己
  • 直実
  • 尚実
  • 奈緒美

...my question is, did the Japanese name predate (or develop separately from) the Western name? Is this just a coincidence?

1 Answer 1


This is probably just a coincidence. The "Western" name appears to be of Hebrew origin, whereas in Japanese なお nao is a common unit that combines with suffixes like 子 ko (Naoko) or 美 mi (Naomi) indicating a female given name.

  • 1
    – chocolate
    Dec 29, 2020 at 13:22
  • @Chocolate え〜 面白い!
    – mig81
    Dec 30, 2020 at 7:51

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