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Josephine Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Josephine Overview

  • Meaning: Josephine means “Yahweh shall grow.”
  • Gender: The name Josephine is primarily feminine.
  • Origin: Josephine has origins in the Hebrew language.
  • Pronunciation: “jo-ze-feen” or “yo-ze-feen”
  • Popularity: It is currently the 72nd most popular girl’s name in the US.
  • Nicknames: Jo, Fifi, Joss, Josie.
  • Variations: Josephina, Josefin, Josephin.
  • Namesakes: Joséphine de Beauharnais, Josephine Baker, Josephine Foster.

What Does Josephine Mean?

Josephine means “Yahweh shall grow.” It can also mean “Yahweh shall increase.”

What is the Origin of the Name Josephine?

Josephine has a Hebrew origin. It is the feminine form of the masculine name, Joseph.

How Popular is the Name Josephine?

Josephine is currently the 72nd most popular name in the United States. The name is at its most popular level since the early 1930s. The last time Josephine was ranked higher than 75th most popular in the United States was 1934.

According to the Social Security Administration, Josephine was at its most popular in 1916 when it was the 21st most popular name in the United States (1).

How Do I Pronounce Josephine?

You can usually pronounce Josephine like “jo-ze-feen.”

However, the “j” is sometimes pronounced as a soft “y” sound. So, it may be “yo-ze-feen.”

Is Josephine a Boy or Girl Name?

Josephine is the female version of the masculine name, Joseph. It is occasionally used for boys.

Variations of Josephine

Josephine is a name that has versions throughout the world and in several languages.

Honor your heritage by choosing a version of Josephine from your background or mix things up with an alternative spelling.

  • Gosephine (alternative spelling)
  • Iosiphina (Greek)
  • Jocapin (Tamil)
  • Josefien (Dutch)
  • Josefina (Spanish)
  • Josefine (alternative spelling)
  • Josephin (alternative spelling)
  • Josephina (Spanish)
  • Joséphine (alternative spelling)
  • Josepin (alternative spelling)
  • Josette (French)
  • Josiane (French)
  • Josipa (Croatian)
  • Jozefina (Croatian)
  • Jozyefina (Mongolian)
  • Seosaimhin (Irish)
  • Yosefine (alternative spelling)
  • Yosephina (alternative spelling)
  • Yosephine (alternative spelling)

Nicknames for Josephine

One of the big benefits of the name Josephine is that it lends itself to countless nicknames. This quality means that a person named Josephine has the opportunity to make their name whatever they want it to be. They can try the cute “Josie” or the unisex, “Jo.”

  • Effy
  • Ephine
  • Fi
  • Fifi
  • Fina
  • Fine
  • Fine
  • Jay
  • Jo
  • Jo-Z
  • Joan
  • Jojo
  • Jose
  • Josie
  • Joss
  • Pepi
  • Phini
  • Posy
  • Sepf
  • Sophie

Similar Names to Josephine

If you love some aspects of the name Josephine, but would rather not choose the name itself, consider some similar names.

These names have several syllables and the potential for fun nicknames. These names are also old-fashioned in a similar way to Josephine.

Middle Names for Josephine

Since Josephine is a multisyllabic and versatile name, you may want to add some contrast with a short and simple middle name.

Consider middle names with only one or two syllables or starting with a vowel.

Sibling Names for Josephine

When choosing a name for Josephine’s sibling, it is a good idea to find one that evokes the same complexity and versatility. Choose names that have several syllables and possibilities for nicknames.

You may also want to choose one that was popular in Victorian times, to elicit that same elegantly old-fashioned feel.

Famous People Named Josephine

Josephine has been a quite popular name throughout history. It is especially popular with royalty. However, it is shared by singers, authors, actresses, and more. If you name your child Josephine, they will be in inspiring company.

  • Joséphine de Beauharnais: French Empress Consort.
  • Josephine Baker: American dancer and singer.
  • Josephine Bakhita: Catholic Patron Saint of Human Trafficking.
  • Joséphine-Charlotte of Belgium: Princess of Belgium, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
  • Josephine Bell: English author.
  • Josephine Brunsvik: Hungarian countess.
  • Josephine Butler: British feminist and reformer.
  • Josefine Cronholm: Swedish jazz singer.
  • Josephine Foster: American folk singer.
  • Josephine Hopper: American painter and model.
  • Joséphine Jobert: French actress and singer.
  • Josephine Langford: Australian actress.
  • Josephine Lucchese: American opera singer.
  • Josefine Öqvist: Swedish footballer.
  • Josephine Ruffin: Civil rights activist and suffragist.

Josephine in Popular Culture

Josephine is a name given to some of the most beloved characters throughout fiction. Jo March and Joey Potter are some popular coming-of-age characters in books and on television.

  • Josephine “Jo” March: Character in the Louisa May Alcott novel “Little Women.”
  • Josephine “Joey” Potter: Character in the television show “Dawson’s Creek.”
  • Josephine Balsamo: Main antagonist in Maurice Leblanc’s “Arsène Lupin” novels.
  • Josephine “Jo” Karev: Secondary character in the television drama “Grey’s Anatomy.”
  • Josephine: Daughter of Captain Corcoran in the “H.M.S. Pinafore” opera.
  • Josephine Anwhistle: Second cousin of the Baudelaire children in “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
  • Josephine “Lena” Duchannes: Protagonist in the “Caster Chronicles” novels.
  • Josefina Montoya: A doll in the American Girl Collection.
  • Josephine Bloom: Character in the 2013 film “Big Fish.”

Josephine FAQs

Still on the fence about Josephine? These frequently asked questions might help you decide!

Does Josephine Have Religious Significance?

Josephine has some significance in Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Judaism. This importance is partially due to the Hebrew origin of the name, and partially due to the role that the masculine form of this name has in the Christian bible.

In Catholocism Josephine Bakhita is the Patron Saint of Human Trafficking. She was a slave in Sudan in the 1800s, and she later became a nun.

Do Any Names Have the Same Meaning As Josephine?

The only name that shares the exact same meaning as Josephine is its masculine counterpart, Joseph.

Some similar biblical girl names that have related meanings include Hezekiah, which means “God gives strength,” and Dorothy, which means “gift of God.”

Some names have a similar meaning to Josephine of “increase.” Names that mean “increase” include Clarita, Aflah, and Fitore.

Is There a Masculine Form of Josephine?

The masculine form of Josephine is Joseph. Some other versions of Joseph include Josef, Yoseph, Yosef, Josep, Jef, Josephus, Hovsep, Joseba, Giuseppe, Josif, Jozef, and Yusup.

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