- Meaning: The name Jacob was taken from the Old Testament. It means “supplanter,” which can be interpreted as a person who seizes, circumvents, or usurps. In Hebrew, the name can also translate to “may God protect”.
- Gender: Jacob is typically a name given to boys. There are female iterations of it as well, such as Jacobina, Jacobine, or Jacqueline.
- Origin: Jacob is a late-Latin name. It was associated with the name James, though they came about at the same time. In its early form, Jacob was pronounced and written in Hebrew form, Iokobos. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, twin brothers with the names Jacob and Esau were born.
- Pronunciation: The most popular way in the US to pronounce Jacob is “JAY-kuhb.” Other pronunciations emphasize other syllables or make the ‘j’ a ‘y’ sound, such as “YA-kuhb.”
- Popularity: Jacob is a very popular name. It is often in the top five names given to boys in the US, if not the number 1.
- Nicknames: Jaap, Jake, Jay.
- Variations: Jac, Jakob, Jakobus, Jakov, Jakobo, Jakubina, Jakub, Jacobo,
- Namesakes: Patriarch Jacob of Alexandria, Greek patriarch of Alexandria.
- What Does the Name Jacob Mean?
- What Is the Origin of the Name Jacob?
- How Popular Is the Name Jacob?
- How Do I Pronounce Jacob?
- Is Jacob a Boy or Girl Name?
- Variations of Jacob
- Nicknames for Jacob
- Similar Names to Jacob
- Middle Names for Jacob
- Sibling Names for Jacob
- Famous People Named Jacob
- Jacob in Popular Culture
- Jacob FAQs
What Does the Name Jacob Mean?
The name Jacob is from the Old Testament. It means “supplanter,” which can interpret as a person who seizes, circumvents, or usurps. Jacob is traditionally given to boys but serves as a less common last name.
The name is related closely to the name James as well. Many characters in the bible had the names interchangeably depending on which version it was. In Hebrew, the name can also translate to “may God protect.” (1)
What Is the Origin of the Name Jacob?
Jacob is a late-Latin name. It was associated with the name James, though they came about together. In its earliest form, Jacob was pronounced and written in Hebrew as Iokobos.
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, twin brothers Jacob and Esau were born. Jacob went on to hold onto his brother’s heels as they were born, supplanting him (2).
How Popular Is the Name Jacob?
Jacob is a very popular name and one of the most popular names ever. From 2000 to 2010, Jacob was the single most popular name in the US for new male babies.
How Do I Pronounce Jacob?
There are a few ways to pronounce Jacob, the most popular way in the US is “JAY-kuhb.”
Other pronunciations emphasize other syllables or make the ‘j’ a ‘y’ sound, such as “YA-kuhb.”
Is Jacob a Boy or Girl Name?
Jacob is traditionally a boy’s name. There are also female iterations of the name, such as Jacobina, Jacobine, or Jacqueline.
Variations of Jacob
For a name as globally spread as Jacob, there are endless variations.
Some, but definitely not all of, them include:
- Yākūba nē
Though these names are recognizable, none are quite as popular as the Jacob we know. Again, these are just a small sample of the many variations—a testament to its global popularity.
Nicknames for Jacob
But for how many variations there are, only a few nicknames exist.
Some of those nicknames include:
Similar Names to Jacob
There are also a handful of names similar to Jacob, many of which are also biblical.
Some of those similar names include:
Middle Names for Jacob
Some of the most common first/middle name pairings for Jacob include:
Sibling Names for Jacob
Similar to middle names, many names go great alongside Jacob.
For a brother:
And for a sister:
Famous People Named Jacob
There are also many famous people named Jacob. Some of the most famous include:
- Patriarch Jacob of Alexandria: A Greek patriarch of Alexandria.
- Saint Jakov: Archbishop of Serbs (1286–1292)
- Saint Jacob of Alaska: A missionary of the Orthodox Church.
- Saint Jacob of Nisibis: The Bishop of Nisibis.
Jacob in Popular Culture
Today, many Jacobs are characters in pop culture as well.
You might recognize:
- Jake the Dog: Fictional character in the TV series Adventure Time.
- Jacob Marley: A fictional character from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
- Jacob Harper: Actor from the television series, Two and a Half Men.
There might be some other questions in your mind about the name Jacob. Let’s look at some.