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Judah Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Judah Overview

  • Meaning: The biblical name Judah means “praise” or “praised.”
  • Gender: Judah is considered a gender-neutral or unisex name. It has been more popular as a masculine name in modern times.
  • Origin: Judah originally comes from the Hebrew name Yehuda (or Yehudah) and is a biblical name.
  • Pronunciation: Judah is pronounced “JOO-duh.” The name rhymes with the words “Buddha” or “Bermuda.”
  • Popularity: Judah has become a popular name since first breaking into the top 1000 in the United States in 1997, and was 183rd in 2021.
  • Nicknames: J, Jay, Jah, Judd, Judi, Judo.
  • Variations: Giuditta, Ioudas, Iudas, Jitka, Jude, Judit, Judite, Judith, Juta, Jutta, Yehudah, Yidel, Yudif.
  • Namesakes: Judah, son of Jacob, Judah Friedlander, Judah Maccabee, Judah Nagler.

What Does Judah Mean?

The name Judah means “praise” or “praised.” Judah comes from the Hebrew word “yadah,” which translates as praise.

What Is the Origin of the Name Judah?

Judah is an anglicized version of the Hebrew boy name Yehuda (or Yehudah). Its first recorded appearance is in the Hebrew Bible. This name refers to Judah, son of the patriarch Jacob, in the Book of Genesis (1).

The Book of Genesis states that Judah was a leader and founder of the Tribe of Judah, a group making up one of the 12 tribes of Israel (2).

In Christianity, Judah is seen as an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Judah is also related to the masculine name Judas, as both originally come from the Hebrew name Yehuda.

How Popular Is the Name Judah?

Although the name Judah dates back to biblical times, it has only recently become a popular given name in the United States. From 1880 to 1996, the name Judah did not once break into the top 1000 choices for boys.

In 1997, Judah was ranked at 1000 for the first time and steadily gained popularity until entering the top 300 in 2010. The name occupied the 183rd spot in 2021 (3).

Despite Judah being considered a gender-neutral name, the name has never been in the top 1000 names for girls and so has gone unrecorded as a feminine name.

How Do I Pronounce Judah?

Judah is pronounced “JOO-duh.” The name rhymes with the words “Buddha” or “Bermuda.”

Is Judah a Boy or Girl Name?

Judah is considered a gender-neutral or unisex name. It has been more popular as a masculine name in modern times, as the feminine variations like Judy, Judith, or Jodi have been more popular as alternatives.

Variations of Judah

Since the name Judah has biblical roots, it has had many variations over time and in many languages:

  • Giuditta (Italian)
  • Ioudas (Biblical Greek)
  • Iudas (Biblical Latin)
  • Jitka (Czech)
  • Jude (English)
  • Judit (Hungarian)
  • Judite (Portuguese)
  • Judith (Danish, French)
  • Juta (Latvian)
  • Jutta (German)
  • Yehudah (Hebrew)
  • Yidel (Yiddish)
  • Yudif (Slavic)

Nicknames for Judah

Judah is a short boy’s name, so the list of nicknames is limited, but there are still some fun nicknames that friends can use, such as:

  • J
  • Jay
  • Jah
  • Judd
  • Judi
  • Judo

Similar Names to Judah

If you are especially interested in Judah, you will surely love some of these other names with biblical origins:

Middle Names for Judah

Judah works well with traditional middle names as well as some trendier, modern options, including:

Sibling Names for Judah

Pairing a sibling name well with Judah is easy enough, particularly given its ability to adapt to all kinds of options. Among the best to consider are:

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named Judah

While many famous people named Judah are from biblical and ancient history, there are some modern-day celebrities of note too, such as:

  • Judah (son of Jacob): biblical figure and son of the patriarch Jacob.
  • Judah Loew ben Bezalel (Rabbi Loew of Prague): Jewish philosopher, mystic, and scholar.
  • Judah Folkman: American biologist who founded the biological field of antiangiogenesis.
  • Judah Friedlander: American actor well known for his role on the tv series “30 Rock”.
  • Judah ha-Nasi: Jewish rabbi and 2nd Century editor of the Mishnah.
  • Judah (Judas) Iscariot: one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.
  • Judah Maccabee: Jewish leader who led a revolt against the Seleucid Empire, inspiring the story of Hanukkah.
  • Judah Lewis: American actor well known for his role in the movie “The Babysitter.”
  • Judah Nagler: musician for the indie-pop band “The Velvet Teen.”

Judah in Popular Culture

Since Judah has only become popular recently, there are not as many pop culture characters named Judah, but some examples include:

  • Agent Judah Campbell: Character from the movie “Dragon Wars.”
  • Judah: Character from the novel and movie “The Master and Margarita.”
  • Judah: Character from the movie “Twin Tied.”
  • Judah: Character from the movie “Pocket Full of Game.”
  • Judah Ben-Hur: Character from the movie “Ben Hur.”
  • Judah Earl: Character from the movie “The Crow: Die Rache der Krӓhe.”

Judah FAQs

You may still have questions about the name Judah, so continue reading to see the answers to some popular queries.

What Is the Significance of Judah, Son of Jacob?

Judah was the son of the patriarch Jacob. He was the founder of the tribe of Judah, one of the most significant of the 12 tribes of Israel. The group settled south of Jerusalem and became the most powerful group in the region. It also produced King David and King Solomon, two of the most famous leaders of this time.

Is Judah a Classic Name?

Judah is thousands of years old, so it’s safe to describe it as a classical name. However, as it has only gained popularity in recent decades, it still feels relatively modern. Its religious significance and beautiful meaning, “praise,” also give it a charming and powerful quality.

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