I can't think of many people who go by the Hebrew name Adam. Any guesses why?
Pischei Teshuvah (Yoreh De'ah 265:6) cites the opinion of Mabit, that it is best not to use names of people from before Avraham. There are indeed opposing opinions cited in PT there, and after all we see that Noach is used often enough; but this may have reduced the use of the name Adam.
It's also possible that it had to do with it being commonly used as a non-Jewish name.
Like the Zohar says, even a sefer Torah in the heichal has mazal (except ein mazal le-yisrael). Trends in names come and go. As it happens, a trend which Jews have settled in for centuries is to name after people. This is almost sufficient to limit names to those which are already in use. There aren't too many Natronais around these days either.
Personally, I think "Adam" as a Hebrew name is not popular because it does not sound nice in Hebrew. Are you saying "Adam", or "Red" or "ground"? Then there is the whole Edomite thing. But honestly, I think it's just because it doesn't sound nice. It also sounds rather boorish in Hebrew. Even the Israelis I know who have the name "Adam" pronounce it the english way and not the hebrew way.
It's sort of like the naming your kid 'Butch' today.
I once read a tshuva from Reb Moshe Feinstien ZT"L about names and he said that a name needs a kabbala in order to give it. So the traditional names like Avraham, Yitzchak, Chaim, etc. are OK; on the other hand, although we find Reb Yishmael in the Gemorah, no one today can give that name, since it fell out of use. Also names like "Yom Tov" while common should only be given if your family has a tradition for using that name. So if you want to name your child Adam because it was a name in your family over the generations then go ahead.
I don't recall the exact tshuvah but I am sure you can easily find Rav Moshe's opinion in the Yad Moshe. What constitutes a kabbala and when it starts I also can't answer for you.
My family nickname is Adam so I've wondered about this. Notwithstanding any other answers, here are some rambling thoughts:
- It occurs to me that the name "Man" as in the photographer Man Ray is fairly uncommon in English. One can call ones dog "Dog" but it is ironic because it is a bit strange.
- He really was "the man"; Early in Beresheit we have Ha-Adam. So at least at first it isn't a personal name. Already the second human Hava/Eve had a name. As we know, Frankenstein was a doctor and there is Frankenstein's monster. But that creature is "the monster" and not "your table is ready Mr. Monster."
- And we still have the generic usage as in the Shalom Hanoch song אדם בתוך עצמו הוא גר
But yes it does get used, just not that often. There is an Israeli peace activist Adam Keller, I can't think of any others.
On an unrelated note, in Kabbala there is both Adam Rishon (first) and Adam Kadmon, related to Adam Kadmoni (original) .
First of all, it is impossible to prove that something does not exist if you are not aware of other . One of my Hebrew names is Adam, and it was given to me by my parents. They are not God-hating people, and therefore they knew that naming me such a name would not be in violation of any part of our sacred Masoretic tradition.