When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

Gabriel Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Gabriel including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Gabriel Overview

  • Meaning: Gabriel means “God is my strength” or “mighty man of God.”
  • Gender: Gabriel is traditional a male name
  • Origin: Gabriel is a Hebrew name.
  • Pronunciation: In American English, Gabriel is pronounced “GAI-bree-ull.”
  • Popularity: The name Gabriel is quite popular in the United States, but has been slightly declining in recent years.
  • Nicknames: Gabbie, Gaby, Gabe, Gabri, and Gibby.
  • Variations: Gabrian, Gabriella, Gabrielle, Gavriel, and Gavril.
  • Namesakes: Gabriel García Márquez (writer), Gabriel Byrne (actor).

Gabriel is an ancient name that has been used for thousands of years. It remains popular, but have you ever wondered about its origins and meaning? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

What Does Gabriel Mean?

Gabriel is an anglicization of the Hebrew “Gavriel.” In Hebrew, Gabriel means “God is my strength.” Another more literal translation would be “mighty man of God.”

The name of Gabriel is most associated with the angel described in both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament. Gabriel is one of the first two angels mentioned in the Book of Daniel. He helps Daniel interpret visions from a prophecy (1).

In Christianity, proclaims the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary. In the Islamic tradition, Gabriel is the angel who visited Muhammed.

Gabriel is associated with good news thanks to his role as a messenger of God. As a result, the name often has a cultural meaning of hope, holiness, and heroism.

What Is the Origin of the Name Gabriel?

Gabriel is a Hebrew boy’s name derived from two parts: “gabar” and “el”.

“Gabar” is a Hebrew verb that roughly translates as “to be mighty.” Hebrew words related to “gabar” help clarify its meaning within the name Gabriel. Some of these words include “geber,” which means “man,” and “gibbor,” which equates to “mighty man.”

“El” means ”God” or “of God.” It comes from the Hebrew term “Elohim,” which is often used to refer to God. You can find many popular Hebrew names that end in “el.”

How Popular is the Name Gabriel?

The name Gabriel appears to have been first used and popularized by the Hebrew scripture tradition. It has been used in English-speaking cultures for hundreds of years, but only gained meaningful popularity in the last century.

In the United States, the name Gabriel has increased in usage over the past 100 years (2).

In 1920, Gabriel was in the top 500 male baby names in the United States, making it a common but still not heavily preferred name. Its popularity steadily rose until it reached its most recent peak in 2010 as the 21st most popular male baby name in the country.

For the last decade, the name Gabriel has seen a minor decrease in popularity but has remained in the top 50 baby names.

How Do I Pronounce Gabriel?

In American English, Gabriel is pronounced “GAI-bree-ull,” with emphasis on the first syllable. The “a” is pronounced like the vowel sound in “face,” as opposed to the vowel sound in “fall.” Other linguistic cultures may have slightly different pronunciations.

Is Gabriel a Boy or Girl Name?

Generally speaking, Gabriel is far more common as a boy’s name. It is based on a masculine religious character and the name means “mighty man of God.” However, Gabriel is sometimes used as a girl’s name, and there are many feminine variations of the name.

Variations of Gabriel

There are many variations of Gabriel, accounting for both cultural and gendered versions.

Some variations of Gabriel include:

  • Briella (Italian)
  • Gabor (Hebrew)
  • Gabrian (Hebrew)
  • Gabriella (Italian)
  • Gabriele (Hebrew)
  • Gabrielle (French)
  • Gabrielli (Hebrew)
  • Gabriello (Hebrew)
  • Gavriel (Hebrew)
  • Gavri’el (Hebrew)
  • Gavril (Hebrew)
  • Gavrilo (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Gabriel

Gabriel is easy to turn into a nickname. Some people named Gabriel exclusively use their nickname as their name. A few examples include:

  • Bree
  • Brie
  • Briel
  • El
  • Gab
  • Gabbi
  • Gabbie
  • Gabby
  • Gabe
  • Gabes
  • Gabey
  • Gabri
  • Gaby
  • Gibby
  • Ree
  • Riel

Similar Names to Gabriel

There are many names from Abrahamic culture that have a similar tone and meaning to the name Gabriel. For instance, the name Zechariah is Hebrew for “God’s man” or “God remembers.”

Similar names to Gabriel include:

Middle Names for Gabriel

Gabriel is such a classic name that it’s easy to find a middle name that pairs well with it. One option would be to find another spiritual name, while an alternative option is to find a short, modern name to bring balance to the older, longer name.

Some ideas for middle names for Gabriel include:

Sibling Names for Gabriel

Many names would work well as sibling names for Gabriel. Often, these are classic, traditional names, such as from the Bible and other ancient texts. Some of these include:

For a brother:

And for a sister:

Famous People Named Gabriel

There have been many famous people named Gabriel, including:

  • Gabriel Byrne: An Irish film actor.
  • Gabriel García Márquez: Colombian novelist and winner of Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Gabriel Heinze: An Argentine soccer player.
  • Gabriel Iglesias: American comedian who is better known as “Fluffy.”
  • Gabriel Macht: An American actor known for his role in “Suits.”

Gabriel in Popular Culture

In addition to famous people in real life, there are also several fictional characters named Gabriel.

Notable examples in popular culture include:

  • Gabriel Oak: Character in “Far from the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy.
  • Gabriel: Recurring character in “Supernatural.”
  • Gabriel Van Helsing: The main character in “Van Helsing.”
  • Gabe Duncan: Character in “Good Luck Charlie.”

Gabriel FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about the name Gabriel.

Is Gabriel a Unique Name?

Gabriel is quite a popular name in the present-day United States and would not be considered unique. However, if the popularity of the name Gabriel continues to trend downward, it may eventually become so.

Is Gabriel a Mexican Name?

Gabriel is a popular name in many communities, including Hispanic cultures. For instance, many of the most recognizable celebrities named Gabriel come from a Spanish-speaking background.

Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?