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What is the Meaning of the Name Jacob?

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Jacob is a name of Hebrew origin that means ‘supplanter’ or ‘heel grabber’. Derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov, this popular boy’s name comes from the Latin version of Iacobus and was first used in the Old Testament. 

What is the Meaning of the Name Jacob

In the bible story, Jacob is the grandson of Abraham and the son of Issac. He was born holding his twin brother Esau’s heel.

  • Name Origin: Latin/Hebrew
  • Name Meaning: One who follows on another’s heels
  • Pronunciation: JAY – kub
  • Gender: Male

Common Nicknames

  •  Jake
  • Jay
  • Kobie

How Popular is the Name Jacob?

The name Jacob has remained inside the top 350 most popular boys’ names in the US for over 100 years. A well-known Biblical name, it didn’t start to grow in popularity until the 1970s. In 1974, Jacob entered the Top 100 at #84 and began to surge up through the popular baby name charts.

It held the top spot as the most popular boys’ name in the United States from 1999 to 2012. In 2018, the name fell out of the top 10 and has been slipping back down the rankings ever since. Jacob is a classic name that isn’t going anywhere though. While it may not be number one anymore, in 2021, 8397 baby boys were given the name.

Name Variations

Name Meaning Origin
Jaco Heel catcher Portuguese
Jacopo Supplanter Italian
Jago Supplanter Spanish
Jakub He who supplants Polish
Kubo Sunken ground Japanese
Yaakov He who supplants Hebrew

Other Biblical Boy Names

Name Meaning
Abraham Father of multiples
Adam Man from the red earth
Caleb Faith and devotion
Daniel God is my judge
Ephron Fertile
Ethan Strong and firm
Ezra Help

Alternative Boys Names Starting with ‘J’

Name Meaning Origin
Jasper Tressure Greek
Jack Jack of all trades English
Judah Praised Hebrew
Jett Black stone English
Jensen God is gracious Scandinavian
Judd To flow down English
Jesse Gift Hebrew

Famous People Named Jacob

  • Jacob Grimm – German Folklorist, one-half of the Brothers Grimm
  • Jacob Latimore – R&B artist and American actor.
  • Jacob DeGrom – New York Mets basketball player.
  • Jacob Cohen – American stand-up comedian.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – American actor.