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Tobias Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

Tobias Overview

  • Meaning: Tobias means “goodness of God” or “God is good.”
  • Gender: Tobias is a masculine name with feminine derivatives.
  • Origin: Tobias is Greek, from the Hebrew name Tobiah.
  • Pronunciation: “toe-BYE-us”
  • Popularity: Tobias is a popular name in the United States, ranking as the 277th most popular name for boys in 2021.
  • Nicknames: Bi, Bias, Thoby, Tobbs, Tobe, Tobee, Tobey, Toby.
  • Variations: Tobia, Tobiah, Tobin, Tobit, Tobyn, Tovin.
  • Namesakes: Tobias Abse, Tobias “Toby” Jones, Tobias “Tobey” Maguire.

What Does Tobias Mean?

Tobias means “God is good” or “goodness of God.” It is a biblical name that comes from Hebrew and has Greek roots.

The Greek name “Tobias” comes from the Hebrew form “Tobiah’ or “Toviyah,” which stems from “’tov,” meaning “good,” and “yah,” which means “God.”

What s the Origin of the Name Tobias?

Tobias can be traced back to ancient Hebrew times. It appeared first as “Tobiah” in the Hebrew Bible and as “Tobias” when the Greeks translated the Bible into their language.

The name Tobias became widespread due to its religious heritage, and it gained further recognition when other languages started to translate the Bible. The Hebrew Book of Tobit popularized the name and introduced the biblical figure of Tobias (1).

How Popular Is the Name Tobias?

Tobias rose in prominence in the 1970s and remained moderately popular in the following years (2). In 2014, the dystopian film Divergent featured a leading character named Tobias. After the movie’s release, the name Tobias soared in popularity in the United States.

In 2021, Tobias was the 277th most common name for boys.

How Do I Pronounce Tobias?

The traditional pronunciation of Tobias is “to-BI-us.” You can pronounce it like the words “toe-bye-us.”

Is Tobias a Boy or Girl Name?

Tobias is traditionally a boy’s name. The origins are from a male figure in the Bible, so most children named Tobias or Toby are boys.

However, the derivative Toby can be used for girls. Famous American actress Toby Wing, for example, was female (3).

Variations of Tobias

You can choose a different version of Tobias, many of which are ancient Hebrew variations. These names include:

  • Tobia
  • Tobiah
  • Tobin
  • Tobit
  • Tobyn
  • Tovin

Nicknames for Tobias

Tobias has many nicknames, and they make cute names for a boy or a girl, such as:

  • Bi
  • Bias
  • Thoby
  • Tobbs
  • Tobe
  • Tobee
  • Tobey
  • Toby

Similar Names to Tobias

These names have similar sounds, meanings, or origins. Many come from Hebrew or have biblical significance, including:

Middle Names for Tobias

Tobias is an ancient name, so might benefit from being paired with a biblical middle name. However, its versatility gives you the option to go with something a bit more contemporary, like:

Sibling Names for Tobias

If you’re considering sibling names to go with Tobias, check out these suggestions:

For a Brother:

For a Sister:

Famous People Named Tobias

Tobias is a great name, as it carries the weight of many famous artists, politicians, and athletes, such as:

  • Tobias Abse: British history professor, wrote about the rise of fascism in Italy in the 20th Century.
  • Tobias Angerer: German cross-country skier who has competed professionally since 1996.
  • Tobias “Toby” Jones: English actor famous for theater, television, and film, including “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Orlando.”
  • Tobias “Tobey” Maguire: American actor famous for the “Spiderman” trilogy, “Seabiscuit,” and “The Great Gatsby.”
  • Tobias Read: American politician famous for his work as the Oregon state treasurer.
  • Tobias Smollett: Scottish author and poet who lived in the 18th Century.

Tobias in Popular Culture

It’s good to be aware of popular cultural references before choosing a name. Fortunately, Tobias is associated with many beloved fictional characters, with some examples including:

  • Jeffery Tobias Winger: Lead character on the sitcom “Community.”
  • Sir Toby Belch: Popular character in William Shakespeare’s comedy play, “Twelfth Night.”
  • Tobias Beckett: Heroic friend of Han Solo in the film “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
  • Tobias Eaton: Also called Four, he is a central character in the book and film series “Divergent.”
  • Tobias Fornell: FBI special agent in the CBS television show “NCIS.”
  • Tobias Fünke: Comedic character from the television show “Arrested Development.”
  • Tobias Wilson: Character on Cartoon Network’s animated sitcom “The Amazing World of Gumball.”

Tobias FAQs

Read on to discover some commonly asked questions about the name Tobias.

Is Tobias a Traditional Name?

Tobias has been around for thousands of years, so it’s safe to say that it is a traditional name. However, that does not mean it should be seen as old-fashioned. In fact, it has never been as popular in the United States as it has been over the past several years.

How Popular Is the Name Tobias in Other Countries?

Despite its Hebrew roots, Tobias is not that common in Israel. However, it is much more common in Scandinavian countries, particularly Denmark and Sweden. There, many prominent figures have borne the name, from politicians to famous soccer players. Elsewhere in Europe, the name has also been a popular choice for boys in Germany and Austria.

Is Tobias a Saint?

Tobias, son of Tobit, is a figure from the Hebrew Bible. In Christianity, he is the patron saint of travelers, pilgrims, and people who are blind (4).

He is canonized as a saint and remembered in many Renaissance-era works of art, which depict him as the patron saint of travelers (5). St Tobias traveled alongside the archangel Raphael, lived to a great age, and was a strong proponent of the virtue of charity.

What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Tobias?

The name Tobias is part of many spiritual traditions, including Judaism, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Christianity.

In Jewish tradition, the term directly translates to “goodness of Yahweh.” However, people of many different spiritual traditions treasure the name Tobias, which generally refers to “good” or “goodness.”

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