Jacob Name Meaning

Lastest Updated March 15, 2024
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What is Jacob name meaning? Where does this name come from? How does the name affect a child’s future? These are common questions from many parents who intend to name their children Jacob.

Names carry not only familial connections but also culture and personality. That is why modern parents are paying attention to looking up name meanings before naming their children. Today, let’s explore the true meaning of the name Jacob.

Jacob A Good Name
Is Jacob a good name? And how does its meaning relate to the Bible?

An Overview Of This Name

This table includes a short description of key points in the article and provides readers with an overview of the name Jacob.

MeaningJacob is a Hebrew name meaning “supplanter” or “may God protect”.
OriginJacob originates from a Hebrew name Ya’akov mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Also, it can stem from the Late Latin “Iacobus”.
GenderJacob is traditionally a boy’s name. As for the female versions, they usually add feminine suffixes such as -ine and -ina into the name. 
PopularitySince the 20th century, the name Jacob has stayed among the 400 most popular male names. From 1999 to 2012, it had been the most frequently picked name for boys in the United States.
VariationsJacobus, Jakob, Jakub, Jakov, etc.
NicknamesJay, Jaap, Jake, Jack, etc.
Similar NamesJayden, Joseph, Joshua, Judah, etc.
Sibling NamesFor Brothers: Benjamin, Daniel, Ethan, William, etc.
For Sisters: Grace, Hannah, Rebekah, Hazel, etc.
Middle NamesAaron, Caleb, Elias, Ashton, etc.

What Does The Name Jacob Mean?

People widely acknowledge Jacob (pronounced as jay-kuhb) as a masculine given name mentioned in Genesis. Plus, Jacob can also be a surname. The most common meaning may be “supplanter”, which can be understood as one seizing the place of another.

To be more specific, the name Jacob can come from many different roots in Hebrew. It can be derived from the word meaning “to follow”, “to behind”, and “to supplant” or from a word meaning “heel”. Many believe Jacob also means “may God protect”.

The Origin Of The Name Jacob

Jacob can come from the Late Latin “Iacobus” and “Greek Iakobos”. Besides, it has its root in the Hebrew name Ya’akov, the name of an important patriarch. Its meaning is based on the folk of this patriarch in the Bible.

In the Book of Genesis, Jacob is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and has an older twin brother named Esau. Jacob was given his name because as a newborn, he grabbed Esau’s heel. This name also implies that he would be the “supplanter” and take his brother’s place.

The story describes that when his father Isaac went blind, Jacob, with his mother’s aid, deceived his father into blessing him rather than Esau. Later, Jacob became a patriarch of the Israelites, and his name changed to Israel.

Jacob had twelve sons, becoming the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and a daughter named Dinah. He is considered a significant figure in Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (1).

Is Jacob A Boy Or A Girl Name?

The name Jacob is commonly a male name. In addition, adding some feminine suffixes such as -ine and -ina can make it become a name for girls.

The Popularity Of The Name Jacob

The name Jacob always seems to be one of the most popular for boys in the United States. It has remained among the top 400 most common male names since the 20th century.

More surprisingly, the Social Security Administration data shows that during thirteen years, from 1999 to 2012, the name Jacob was the no.1 most commonly-used masculine name. I believe that not many names can break this record.

In the following years, the rank of the name Jacob slightly dropped but still stayed in the top 30 most used names. In 2021, it came in 24th place with 8,397 newborns named Jacob in America (2).

Name Variations

This name is not only common in America but also many countries. The name can be written in almost all languages you are aware of. Here are some notable variants.

  • Jacobus (Afrikaans, Dutch)
  • Jakob (Afrikaans, Croatian, German, Hungarian, etc.)
  • Jakub (Albanian, Belarusian, Bosnian, Czech, etc.)
  • Jakov (Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian)
  • Jaco (Dutch, Portuguese)
  • Yakup (Turkish)
  • Yakub (Arabic, Indonesian, Malay, etc.)

Suggested Nicknames For Jacob

Calling children nicknames is a way to show your affection to them. These cool and fun nicknames for Jacob below won’t disappoint your expectations.

  • Jay
  • Jaap
  • Jake
  • Jack
  • Cubby
  • Kobe

Names That Are Similar To Jacob

Similar To The Name Jacob
Find out other outstanding options that are similar to the name Jacob.

Are you in search of similar names to Jacob? I have listed some suggestions below. They can be names that sound similar or have the same Hebrew root as Jacob.

Jaydenjay-denThankful and God will judgeHebrew
Josephjo-sephHe will add or fame taken awayHebrew
Joshuajah-shoo-ahGod is my salvationHebrew
Adamah-damEarth and soilHebrew
Isaaceye-zik(He) will laughHebrew
Samuelsam-yoo-ulAsked of God, God has set, or God has placedHebrew

Sibling Names For Jacob

If you are finding Jacob’s sibling names, let’s consider these names below. These names somehow show the connection between Jacob and his siblings.

For Brothers

Here are some suggested options for Jacob’s brothers. Many of them relate to many important figures in the Bible.

  • Benjamin: It’s associated with the name of one of the United States Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. With its root in Hebrew, Benjamin can translate to “son of the right hand”.
  • Daniel: Ranked the 16th most common name in America in 2021, Daniel is of Hebrew origin and indicates “God is my judge”. Daniel is notable in the Hebrew Bible as a Jewish prophet in Christianity.
  • Ethan: Ethan is a masculine name indicating “firm”,” enduring”, “strong”, and “long-lived”. It’s also the name of a biblical character. He is well-known as a wise singer at King David’s court.
  • William: The name originates from the Germanic Wilhelm and refers to “vehement protector”. The name became popular after William the Conqueror conquered and became the first Norman king of England in 1066.
  • Julian: Taken from the Roman name Julianus, Julian is interpreted as “youthful”, “shiny”, and “juvenile”. There was a Roman emperor named Julian, reigning from 361 to 363. People also call him Julian the Apostate since he opposed Christianity.
  • Andrew: Andrew is a variant of the Greek name Andreas. Its meaning can be “warrior”, “courageous”, “strong”, or “brave”. Besides America, the name is also popular in other English-speaking countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.
  • Nathan: Nathan can be a Hebrew given name or a nickname for Nathaniel. It means “he has given” and is associated with two figures: Nathan, son of David, or Nathan, a prophet in the Bible.

For Sisters

These simple but elegant girl names are best to name Jacob’s younger sisters. These pretty names are commonly used in many countries.

  • Grace: Derived from the Latin gratia, Grace refers to “gracious”. According to Greek mythology, Graces or Charites are three goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, fertility, etc.
  • Hannah: Meaning “favor’” or “grace”, Hannah is of Hebrew origin. In the Books of Samuel, Hannah is described as the mother of Samuel, a prophet by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In addition, some variations of the name include Hanna, Chana, Anne, Ann, etc.
  • Rebekah: Rebekah, also known as Rebecca, is a Hebrew name meaning “to tie” or “to bind”. The form Rebekah is used in Genesis, while the spelling Rebecca appears in the Latin Vulgate.
  • Phoebe: Phoebe is a Greek girl name coming from the masculine form Phoebus. Parents like to pick this name for their girls since it means “shining” or “bright”. Plus, Phoebe refers to a Titaness in Greek mythology.
  • Hazel: The name means “hazel”, a type of tree producing nuts. Hazel is common in English-speaking countries from America to Ireland. Hasel, Hazelle, and Heizle are some variations.
  • Lily: Coming from the name of a type of flower, Lily also symbolizes “innocence” and “purity” in Christianity. Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the name has been common in English-speaking countries and some European regions.

Some Recommendations For Middle Names

Discover some middle names fitting Jacob the most. You won’t have to look up the name meanings because I will include them all below.

Names Are Suitable
Which names are suitable when paired with the name Jacob?
  • Aaron: Aaron, also spelled Aron, carries the meaning of “mountaineer” or “mount of strength”. It’s renowned as the name of a prophet, high priest, and Moses’ older brother in Abrahamic religions.
  • Caleb: “Faithful” or “whole-hearted” is the meaning of this Hebrew masculine name. Following the Biblical account, Caleb can be either the son of Jephunneh or the son of Hezron.
  • Elias: Elias can be a variant of the Hebrew name Elijah which means “My God is Yahweh”. Some also interpret it as “the Lord is my God”, “the strong Lord”, etc. In the 9th century BCE, there was a prophet named Elias in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
  • Ashton: It’s a unisex name with an English origin. People believe Ashton comes from a place name meaning “ash tree town”. This name is predominantly given to boys in England, Wales, Canada, and Australia.
  • Asher: The meanings of the name Asher are varied. It can mean “an ash maker” in English and Germanic or “ashman” in German. Nevertheless, its widely accepted meaning can be “”happy” or “blessing” in Hebrew.
  • Leonardo: The name Leonardo is equivalent to Leonard. Parents can understand its meaning as “strong as a lion”. When mentioning the name, people think of Leonardo da Vinci, an Italian genius, scientist, engineer, and painter.
  • Esteban: Esteban relates to the Greek name Stephanos meaning “wreath”, “crown”, “reward”, “honor”, etc. Famous name bearers are mostly footballers, including Esteban Granero, Esteban Fuertes, Esteban Alvarado, etc.
  • Peter: This name is believed to be a derived form of the Greek Petros. It can be a strong boy’s name due to the meaning “stone” or “rock”. The name has an association with Saint Peter or Peter the Rock, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Chris.
  • Wilder: It’s a surname or a given name rooted in English and German. The name meaning indicates “wild” or “untamed”. Parents usually choose this name and wish their child will be wild, free, and enthusiastic.
  • Ruben: Ruben, a variant of Reuben, conveys “behold” and “a son”. In the Book of Genesis, Reuben is the first son of Jacob and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Reuben.
  • Henry: This name is notable as a royal name of many emperors during the high medieval period in Germany, England, and France. Its meaning is “home ruler”, and its origin is still arguable.

Jacob In Pop Culture

Here are some renowned characters in many genres of films, TV series, and even literature.

  • Jacob Black: A character in the Twilight series.
  • Jacob Palmer: A character in the romantic comedy film Crazy, Stupid, Love in 2011.
  • Jacob Huismans: A character in the fantasy adventure film The Golden Compass in 2007.
  • Jacob Woods: A character in the legal thriller film Runaway Jury in 2003.
  • Jacob Mayer: A character in the historical drama film Little Women in 1994.
  • Jacob Marley: A character in Charles Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol in 1843.

Famous Jacobs

This name can be the last name or a given name. In addition, many notable people bear the name Jacob. They come from many parts of the world.

As A Surname

Famous name bearers are varied in different professions. They can be a king of a country, artists, or activists.

  • Anund Jacob (c. 1010–1050): King of Sweden
  • Claus Jacob (born 1969): German scientist
  • Irène Jacob (born 1966): French-born Swiss actress
  • John Edward Jacob (born 1934): American activist
  • Violet Jacob (1863–1946): Scottish writer
  • Louis Léon Jacob (1768–1854): French admiral
  • Charles Donald Jacob (1838–1898): American politician and diplomat

As A Given Name

Many people associate the name Jacob with one of the two brothers who wrote the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, Jacob Grimm. Besides, there are still many notable persons named Jacob. Let’s see how many of them you know.

  • Jacob Grimm (1785–1863): German author, philologist, and folklorist
  • Jacob Bekenstein (1947–2015): American and Israeli theoretical physicist
  • Jacob Burckhardt (1818–1897): Swiss historian of art and culture
  • Jacob Riis (1849–1914): Danish-American social reformer, journalist, and photographer
  • Jacob Sartorius (born 2002): American singer
  • Jacob Bertrand (born 2000): American actor
  • Jacob Tremblay (born 2006): Canadian actor


Along with the facts already mentioned, you can widen your knowledge about the name Jacob with this little-known information.

Jacob is a cognate of James. They have the same root and meaning. James was also mentioned in the New Testament as the apostle James (son of Alphaeus), James the Great, or James the Just.

The name Jacob appears 16 times in the Quran (the religious text of Islam). Also, the Islamic variant of the name Jacob is Yaʿqūb.

In America, there is Jabob city located in Jackson County, Florida. Besides, they also found places named Jacob in many countries, such as Mozambique, Haiti, France, New Zealand, etc.

Some notable saints named Jacob include Saint Jacob of Alaska (a priest and a missionary of the Orthodox Church), Saint Jacob of Nisibis (the Bishop of Nisibis ), and Saint Jakov (the Serbian Archbishop).

If you are looking for feminine forms of Jacob, they can be Jacoba, Jacobina, Jacobine, Jacqueline, Jaclyn, etc.

Jacob Is Always A Good Name Option

All in all, Jacob is a classic name for every parent to choose for their baby. It refers to a legendary hero in the Bible. What do you think about this name? Remember to leave a comment to let me know your thoughts.

You can send this article to your family to discuss if this name suits your baby-to-be. Or share the post on social media to help other parents learn about this name. I hope you will find the perfect name for your baby soon.


  1. En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Jacob – Wikipedia.
  2. Social Security. 2022. Popularity of a Name.
Helen Doanna

Helen Doanna

Editor in Chief, Educational Specialist, and Senior Content Creator


Child Development Specialist, Child-care Coordinator, Family Support Specialist, Content Writer, Communications Specialist, Educational Consultant, STEAM Teacher


1. University of Social Science and Humanity, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Faculty of Literature and Journalism
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2. University of Social Science and Humanity, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Education Faculty
  • Focus: Core knowledge of social sciences and humanities – the root for the development of progressive values of education, Multicultural communication in education, Contemporary education in the context of globalization, Learning in the digital technology era, Basic issues of STEAM education, Classroom Management, Special education.

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Helen is an experienced educational specialist and content creator, known for her innovative approach to children’s learning. With a background in literature and child development, she composes engaging educational content for SimpleKids.net. Her work emphasizes creativity, engagement, and simplicity, aiming to make learning enjoyable and accessible for children and their families.

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