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Isaiah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Isaiah Overview

  • Meaning: Isaiah means “God Saves” or “God is salvation,” depending on the translation.
  • Gender: Isaiah can be used for both boys and girls. However, it is by far most common among boys.
  • Origin: Isaiah originated from the Hebrew language, precisely the Hebrew phrase Yesha’Yahu.
  • Pronunciation: The name Isaiah is pronounced: “eye-ZAY-uh.”
  • Popularity: Isaiah classifies as very popular, in the Top 100 names for more than a decade.
  • Nicknames: Zay, Iz, Izzy, Iah, Ezzy, Za Za, Sai, Zaya
  • Variations: Esaiah, Issia, Izaya, Isay, Isaiah, Isaya, Isaias, Esa, Ikaia
  • Namesakes: Isaiah Washington, “Grey’s Anatomy.” Isaiah Mustafa, Old Spice commercials. Isaiah Jackson, African American musician.

What Does Isaiah Mean?

The name Isaiah is of Hebrew origin. The name comes from the Hebrew term yesha’yahu, meaning “God Saves.” Isaiah means “Yahweh is salvation” in some other translations, Yahweh being the Hebrew word for “God.”

The name is built from two Hebrew words: Yesha and Yah. Yesha is the Hebrew word for “salvation.” Yah is short for Yahweh, the Hebrew word for “God.”

What Is the Origin of the Name Isaiah?

While there are many translations of the meaning of the name Isaiah, the origin is all the same. The name originates from the Bible, with one of the four major Old Testament prophets. Isaiah the prophet lived circa 8th century BC (1).

Isaiah was known as a truth-telling and honored man of the Old Testament. If you’re looking for a name that bears these traits, Isaiah is an attractive choice.

How Popular Is the Name Isaiah?

Isaiah was first used as an English name during the Protestant Reformation. The name Isaiah is currently one of the most popular in the United States and has been in the Top 100 for more than a decade now.

In 1967, the name Isaiah was ranked number 981 in the United States, and in 1968, the name began to skyrocket in popularity. By 1978, the name rose to number 485. Isaiah peaked at number 40 in 2006 and has maintained this range ever since.

How Do I Pronounce Isaiah?

The name Isaiah is pronounced, “eye-ZAY-uh.” It is not pronounced “is-EYE-ah” or any other way. The emphasis is on the middle syllable and is pronounced with a “z” sound.

Is Isaiah a Boy or Girl Name?

Isaiah is traditionally a strong Hebrew boy’s name. However, Isaiah has been used as a girl’s name in recent culture. In comparison, the Isaiah is given to boys far more often than it is given to girls.

However, if you’re looking for a unique girl’s name with solid meaning, Isaiah absolutely works! I went to high school with a girl named Isaiah and college with two.

Variations of Isaiah

There is a myriad of clever variations for the name Isaiah. Some of the spellings have been modernized; others are traditional spellings outside of the United States.

  • Isaiah (English)
  • Isaias (Biblical – Traditional Hebrew)
  • Esaiah
  • Issia
  • Isiah
  • Izaya
  • Iziah
  • Esa (Finnish)
  • Ikaia (Hawaiian)
  • Isay
  • Issiah
  • Isaya

Nicknames for Isaiah

The name Isaiah is full of fun nicknames for your child, boy or girl. Some of these nicknames are simply a portion of the full name; some are more creative.

  • Zay
  • Sai
  • Iah
  • Iz
  • Izzy
  • Zaya
  • Ezzy
  • Za Za
  • Izzi

As you can see, some of these nicknames are more fun than practical, but it never hurts to have a fun name to use around the house!

Similar Names to Isaiah

As discussed, the name Isaiah has been around for thousands of years. Because of the name’s tenure, it is not surprising that there are multitudes of similar names. Here are a few of those.

  • Irwin
  • Ivan
  • Isadore
  • Immanuel
  • Irving

There are also other Biblical boy names.

Middles Names for Isaiah

In the end, the middle name doesn’t have to match perfectly. After all, many people have family middle names that are passed down from generation to generation. However, here are a few colorful suggestions.

Sibling Names for Isaiah

Isaiah is a prevalent name in the English Christian culture. If the Old Testament trend is what you want to stick with, there are loads of great sibling names. Many of these go hand-in-hand with the list of similar names for Isaiah.

Famous People Named Isaiah

The name Isaiah has been in the top 100 most popular names for years, making the likelihood of famous people sharing the same name as your child highly probable. Here are a few notable Isaiah’s and some that you may recognize.

  • Isaiah Jackson: African American musician who founded the Julliard String Ensemble.
  • Isaiah Mack: American NFL player for the Denver Broncos.
  • Isaiah McKenzie: American NFL player who played for the Buffalo Bills.
  • Isaiah Mustafa: Popular actor, most recognizable for his work in the Old Spice commercials.
  • Isaiah Thomas: American professional basketball player for the Charlotte Hornets.
  • Isaiah Toothtaker: American Rap artist.
  • Isaiah Washington: American actor best known for appearing in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Isaiah in Popular Culture

The name Isaiah is uncommon in popular culture. However, arguably one of the most notable uses of the name in popular culture comes from the comic The Falcon and the Winter Solider. Isaiah Bradley is the first African American Captain America in this comic book story. The character is a part of an all-Black platoon who were forced to endure harsh experimentation.

As mentioned above, the name Isaiah has evident Old Testament ties. Isaiah remains a top-rated option for those looking for a baby name with solid biblical roots.

Isaiah FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the name Isaiah.

Is Isaiah a Rare Name?

Isaiah has been a popular name since the 1990s. However, its spelling is still unusual enough to shield it from being overused.

What Is the Personality of the Name Isaiah?

People named Isaiah are intuitive and empathetic. They are also very protective and supportive.

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