In This Article

Origin, Meaning, And History Of Jacob

Jacob is a classic boy name that arises from the Latin Iacob, which, in turn, derives from the Greek Ἰακώβ (Iakob). This Greek term further originates from the Hebrew Ya’aqov. The Hebrew meaning of the name is ‘may God protect.’ Jacob is from the Old Testament, meaning ‘supplanter.’ It signifies a person who seizes or usurps.
In the Bible, Jacob is Esau’s cunning younger twin brother who took advantage of his brother’s hunger and eagerness and made him part with his birthright ‘for a mess of potage.’ So, the name is also traditionally seen as arising from the Hebrew akev’ heel.’ Jacob is believed to be born holding on to his brother’s heel.
The name as a surname in North America has assimilated cognates from various other cultures. These include Assyrian or Arabic Yaqub, Yakub, or Yacob. The Slovenian Jakob and Czech Jakop are other derivatives of the name. The name is spelled Jacopo in Italian, Iacobus in Latin, and Jaco in Portuguese.
Jake is a popular nickname for Jacob, meaning ‘cool’ or ‘awesome,’ which fuelled the popularity of Jacob. American actor Jake Gyllenhaal also contributed to the surge in the usage of this name. Jacob Mark “Jake” Pitts, the American musician and the lead guitarist of the rock band Black Veil Brides, is another figure credited for the name’s growing usage.
There are several Jacobs found in popular culture. Jacob Marley is a character in Charles Dickens’s famous short novel ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Jacob is a charismatic character in Anita Diamant’s historical novel ‘The Red Tent’ published in 1997. Jacob Harper is another fictional character from the American hit comedy ‘Two and a Half Men,’ portrayed by Angus T Jones. The name has an ever-growing charm and is still finding a place in the Social Security Administration’s list of popular boy names.


heart image
Hebrew - Yahweh may protect; Holder of Heel; Supplanter; Derived from the Yaakov or Yakubel in Hebrew
 J..  Ja..  Jac..  Jaf..  Jag..  Jai..  Jap..  Jas..  Jav..  Jeb.. 

How To Pronounce Jacob?


Famous People With The Name Jacob

  • Jacob K. JavitsAmerican politician who represented New York in both houses of the US Congress
  • Jacob Benjamin “Jake” GyllenhaalAmerican actor known for his roles in Zodiac and Source Code
  • Jacob EdwardAmerican baseball pitcher
  • Jacob Dolson CoxStatesman, lawyer, and 28th governor of Ohio
  • Jacob WhitesidesAmerican singer known for heartfelt ballads
  • JJacob August RiisDanish-American journalist who worked for urban reforms in America
  • Jacob “Jake” DaltonAmerican artistic gymnast and former member of the US national gymnastics team
  • (Rolf) Jacob SartoriusAmerican pop singer who rose to fame through social media
  • Abe JacobAmerican sound designer
  • Jacob BatalonFilipino-American actor known for his role Ned Leeds in Marvel movies

Jacob On The Popularity Chart

The name Jacob peaked in popularity in the year 2007. This graph from the Social Security Administration will help you understand the popularity trends better.

Popularity Over Time

From 1990 to 2008, Jacob saw a huge leap in popularity. However, its usage has declined after that.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Jacob’s rank started falling from 1990 till 2007. But after that, it improved slightly. You can observe it in the graph below.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Jacob

Jacob sounds gentle and sweet. Here are some similar-sounding names that you may explore.

Names With Same Meaning As Jacob

Perhaps you want to dig deep into names whose core meaning is the same as Jacob’s. Here is a list of names for you.

Name Numerology For Jacob

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.