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Isaac Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Isaac Overview

  • Meaning: Isaac means “he will laugh” and “one who rejoices.”
  • Gender: Isaac is primarily a masculine name, but is technically unisex.
  • Origin: Isaac originates from the Hebrew boy’s name “Yitzchaq.” Isaac was the name of an Israeli patriarch from the Book of Genesis.
  • Pronunciation: Isaac is pronounced, “EYE-zhik.”
  • Popularity: Isaac is a very popular boy’s name in the United States. It ranked 39th in 2020.
  • Nicknames: Azi, Eye-zy, Ike, Isa, IseIsey, Issy, Itzik, Iz, Izzy, Zack, Zeke, Zikky.
  • Variations: Aìsàkè, Aizakku, Eshaq, Icaak, Iisakki, Íosák, Isaacius, Isacco, Isak, Isaki, Isaak, Isaák, Ishak, Isḥāq, Iţac, Izaak, Izák, Sahak, Yitzhak.
  • Namesakes: Isaac Asimov, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Isaac Newton.

What Does Isaac Mean?

The name Isaac means “he will laugh.” Other interpretations have said Isaac means “one who rejoices,” “one who laughs,” and “laughter.” Isaac is a boy’s name with a generally positive association.

In the Bible, Isaac was the son of Sarah and Abraham. Supposedly, the townsfolk laughed at Abraham and Sarah for conceiving a child at such an old age. The meaning of the name Isaac may have originated from their laughter.

What Is the Origin of the Name Isaac?

The name Isaac first appeared in the Hebrew Bible, specifically in the Book of Genesis. In Ancient Hebrew, Isaac was written as “Yitzchaq,” deriving from the word “tzachaq” (“he laughed”) (1). “Yitzchaq” translated to “Isaak” in Greek and finally to “Isaac” in Latin.

In the Bible, Isaac was the second patriarch of Israel (2). Like his father, Isaac became a cornerstone of Abrahamic religions that traced their roots to Judaism, including Islam and Christianity. Today, Isaac is particularly popular among these religions.

In Isaac’s most notable Bible appearance, Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Isaac atop a mountain as a test. Because Abraham passed the test, their descendants were blessed and Isaac left the mountain unscathed.

How Popular Is the Name Isaac?

Isaac is a very popular name for boys and has been for several decades. Much of its popularity can be accredited to its religious significance and meanings.

Isaac was a fairly popular name in the early 20th Century but became relatively uncommon for most of the century. In the 1990s, Isaac entered the top 100 names for boys in the United States and has stayed on that list ever since.

According to the Social Security Administration, Isaac was the 39th most popular boy’s name in 2020 (3). Isaac has stayed consistently popular for the last 30 years. Isaac’s biggest drop on the chart was in 2000 when it dropped to 53rd.

How Do I Pronounce Isaac?

The name Isaac is pronounced, “EYE-zhik.” However, that can vary depending on area, culture, and language.

Is Isaac a Boy or Girl Name?

Though technically unisex, Isaac is a much more popular name for boys than girls. While naming a girl Isaac is certainly acceptable, it’s incredibly rare. Instead of Isaac, some parents choose to name their newborn girls with variations like Isaaca.

Variations of Isaac

Being one of the core patriarchs of Abrahamic mythology, the name Isaac has over a hundred variations. Some of the most notable variations of Isaac include:

  • Aìsàkè (Chinese)
  • Aizakku (Japanese)
  • Eshaq (Persian)
  • Icaak (Ukrainian)
  • Iisakki (Finnish)
  • Íosák (Irish)
  • Isaacius (Latin)
  • Isacco (Italian)
  • Isak (Albanian)
  • Isaki (Swahili)
  • Isaak (Dutch)
  • Isaák (German)
  • Ishak (Indonesian)
  • ‘Isḥāq (Arabic)
  • Iţac (Romanian)
  • Izaak (Polish)
  • Izák (Czech)
  • Sahak (Armenian)
  • Yitzhak (Hebrew)

Nicknames for Isaac

Nicknames are a great way to show affection to your newborn. Below are some of the best nicknames for Isaac:

  • Azi
  • Eye-zy
  • Ike
  • Isa
  • Ise
  • Isey
  • Issy
  • Itzik
  • Iz
  • Izzy
  • Zack
  • Zeke
  • Zikky

Similar Names to Isaac

Isaac may not be the name you want to go with. In pronunciation, origin, and meaning, here are some of the most similar names to Isaac:

Middle Names for Isaac

Below are middle names we think go particularly well with Isaac:

Sibling Names for Isaac

Isaac made a great patriarch in the Bible, so there’s reason to believe he’ll be a great sibling too. Below are some of the best sibling names to go along with Isaac.

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Isaac

Many celebrities have given Isaac a positive namesake. Below are some of the most notable people named Isaac:

  • Isaac Asimov: Russian-American writer and biochemistry professor.
  • Isaac Hayes: American singer, songwriter, actor, and producer; best known for writing the Oscar-winning theme from “Shaft.”
  • Isaac Hempstead Wright: English actor best known for playing Bran Stark in the HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
  • Isaac Newton: English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and author; partially responsible for the Enlightenment movement.
  • Isaac Slade: American singer and songwriter; former lead vocalist/pianist of the rock band The Fray.

Isaac in Popular Culture

Below are some of the most notable uses of the name Isaac in popular culture:

  • Isaac Chroner: A character and the primary antagonist in Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn.”
  • Isaac Davis: A character in the 1979 movie “Manhattan.”
  • Isaac Heller: A character in the ABC series “Once Upon a Time;” also known as “the Author” and “the Peddler.”
  • Isaac Henderson: A character in the 1999 movie “The Mummy.”
  • Isaac Lahey: A recurring character in the MTV series “Teen Wolf.”

Isaac FAQs

Below are some of the most asked questions about the name Isaac:

Does the Name Isaac Have Any Color Associations?

Like many names, Isaac has multiple color associations, particularly peach, yellow, apricot, and green. In addition, it has links to jasper, sapphires, jade, and bronze.

Is Isaac a Royal Name?

Isaac was the name of one of the three major patriarchs of Israel in the Bible. Despite this, the name Isaac isn’t particularly royal or noble.

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