Jacob Name Meaning, Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Jacob Name Meaning and Origin

The classic masculine name Jacob is both a popular first name and a lesser-known surname. The name enjoys vast popularity across ethnicities and cultures with numerous variations in different languages. With a religious reference and roots in Hebrew, the name enjoys widespread acceptability even after centuries.

What Does Jacob Mean?

The name Jacob has evidence of having evolved from another popular masculine name, James. James is the English name derived from Iacobus, a Late Latin name, and Iakobos from Hebrew. In Hebrew, the meaning of Jacob is “supplanter,” which can be interpreted as a person who seizes, usurps, or circumvents. Jacob was the name of Hebrew patriarch who was the son of Isaac and Rebecca, and the meaning is often attributed to the circumstances surrounding Jacob’s birth and his life.


Jacob is a Hebrew and Latin origin name derived from Ya’aqov, translated as Iacobus in Latin. The name first appears in the book of genesis in the Old Testament. The narratives of Genesis say Jacob bought his birthright by “supplanting” his elder twin brother Esau. The name can also mean “to follow,” as derived from the Hebrew root “qb,” or it can mean “heel” from the Hebrew word “aqeb.”

In the New Testament, there are several people named Jacob or James in English form. Some of the famous Jacob or James in the Christian context are James, an apostle who is the son of Zebedee, and James the Just, brother of Jesus. Even in the genealogy of Jesus, there are several Jacobs.




  • Jey-Khub
  • Jay-Kuhb


2 syllables


5 letters

Name Variations/Spellings

As Jacob is of Hebrew origin, Jacob name variations are found in several other languages. Here are several other spellings for Jacob in different cultures and with different significances:

Name Origin
Iacobus Latin
Jaco Portuguese
Jacopo Italian
Jago Spanish/Cornish
Jakub Polish
Kubo Japanese
Yaakov Hebrew
Jakob Albanian
Jacobi Basque
Jakub Bosnian, Czech

How Popular Is the Name Jacob?

Jacob has been a trendy masculine name since Biblical times. As per the Social Security Administration data, it is one of the most popular boys’ names over the last two decades. Jacob baby name ranking stayed consistent at rank #1 from 2000 till 2012. In 2013, it was dethroned and pushed to number 2 rank, which it maintained till 2017 when it further slipped to rank #9.

Jacob’s popularity further slipped to rank #13 in the next two consecutive years and ranked #15 in 2020. Though it might have dropped in ranking over the last few years, it still is one of the most popular male names. It is the favorite name for parents looking for a strong traditional name for their baby boy.

Interest in Jacob – Worldwide

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As per Google search trends in the last ten years, Jacob has been at an average of 25 to 28 in the popularity scale over this period. It reached its peak popularity in July 2020, with a popularity scale of 100. This signifies that the popularity of the name can potentially increase in the future.

Interest in Jacob – the US

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The U.S. data is different from the worldwide Google trend data for Jacob. In the United States, the search trend stayed below 25 in the past ten years, only once crossing this range within the popularity scale at 31 in Sept 2016. However, its peak rank is similar to the world trend, as interest in Jacob peaked in July 2020 in the US too.

The popularity of the name Jacob

URL: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi

Where Is the Name Most Searched

Search trends of Jacob Worldwide

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As per Google search trends data, Jacob has been most searched in Denmark. After Denmark, it was most popular in South Africa, Netherlands, Kenya, and Sweden. This implies that the name is popular globally, without any specific preferences of certain cultures or ethnicities.

Search trends of Jacob in the US

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Jacob has most searched in the sub-region of Minnesota in the U.S. in the last ten years. After Minnesota, it was searched the most in New York, followed by Wisconsin, New Jersey, and Iowa.

Middle Names That Go With Jacob

Adding a strong middle name makes the whole name more impactful, and it will give your boy the option of two names to go by. Some double names with Jacob are:

Seth Benjamin
Noel Elijah
Adrian David
Alexander Lucas
Louis Silas
Robert Caleb
Dillon Luke
Bryan Andrew
Daniel William
Carter James

Famous People Named Jacob

Popular personalities always add to the popularity of any name. Similarly, celebrities named Jacob have helped in making the name vastly popular across countries. Some popular personalities named Jacob are:

Celebrity Name Profession/Famous For
Jacob Bernoulli Swiss mathematician
Jacob Elordi Australian Actor
Jacob Benjamin “Jake” Gyllenhaal American actor
Jacob K. Javits New York politician
Jacob Carl Rosenthal Polish-American chess master
Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma President of South Africa
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm German philologist, jurist, and mythologist.
Jacob Edward “Jake” Peavy American baseball pitcher.
Jacob Mark “Jake” Pitts American guitarist.
Jacob Vargas Mexican, American actor.

Similar Names & Last Names

There are numerous baby names like Jacob that maintain the meaningfulness of the name. Some other names for Jacob, along with suitable family names for Jacob, are:

Other Baby Names Suitable Family Names
David Hubner
Gabriel Warner
Jacobus Smiths
Joshua Devers
Ethan Emerson
Noah Gallagher
Michael Fisher
Samuel Marley
Joseph Adler
Isaiah Portman

Names That Sound Like Jacob

To give a distinctive name to your son, you can even go for names that rhyme with Jacob. With these suggestions for similar-sounding names, you can maintain the religious impact of Jacob with a unique touch:

Yakob Jacek
Giacomo Jameson
Yaacov Jason
Joseph Jacques
Jacop Jakub
Jacory Yaqub

Sibling Names Related to Jacob

Siblings having related names or names that are similarly meaningful make a positive impact. Sibling names that go with Jacob should be as significant as Jacob itself. Some options for sister names for Jacob along with brother names for Jacob are:

Sister Names for Jacob Brother Names for Jacob
Jaclyn Aaron
Leah Abraham
Jaclyn Adam
Khloe Nathan
Layla Ephraim
Alexandra Benjamin
Grace Moses
Elizabeth Augustus
Abigail Solomon
Hannah Mateo

Nicknames for Jacob

You can use several nicknames for Jacob to call your little boy affectionately. Some nicknames for Jacob are:

Jake Kobe
Jace Koby
Cubby Jaap
Jack Jay
Jay Jamie

Jacob is one of the most popular Christian masculine names. The name is mainly used as a given name or middle name. However, it is also found as a surname in many countries. The Hebrew origin has helped in the popularity of the name across cultures and languages. You can name your little boy Jacob without a hitch, as the name will always remain popular due to its religious connotation.


Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/babyname.cgi
Jacob Name Popularity in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-07-10&geo=US&q=jacob
Jacob Name Popularity Across the World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-07-10&q=jacob
Jacob Name Interest in the United States: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-07-10&geo=US&q=jacob
Jacob Name Interest Across the World: https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2011-01-01%202021-07-10&q=jacob

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Ruchelle has a vast experience working with clients in hospitality, health and wellness, entertainment, real estate, and retail. She aims to utilise her learnings to deliver quality content which will in turn help drive sales and customer engagement.