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Origin, Meaning, And History of Joshua

The name Joshua is derived from the Hebrew word “Yehoshua,” meaning “God is salvation.” It is formed by two words- “yeho,” meaning “God,” and “shua,” meaning “save or deliver.” The alphabet ‘Y’ was changed to ‘J’ in English from ‘I’ in Latin and Greek.

Joshua is a warm and traditional Christian male name that has been prevalent among the Jews since the 17th century. It is a Biblical name that has varied linguistic variations like Giosue in Italian, Iokua in Hawaiian, and Josva in Danish, among others. In English, Josh is usually the shorter version of Joshua.

This Hebrew has numerous references in Bible. Joshua was an early Hebrew leader of the Exodus period who God appointed to lead the Israelites after Moses’ death. In Jewish tradition, it is believed that Moses changed Joshua’s name with an implied meaning of “God is your savior.”

In the Old Testament, Joshua went up to Mount Sinai with Moses initially as a companion, where he received the Ten Commandments from God and succeeded Moses after his death as the leader of the Israelites.

The name gained popularity even before the 17th century and expanded its roots in American society in the 1950s. Joshua has also found its place in popular culture and was chosen for several fictional characters. Joshua Lyman is one such character played by Bradley Whitfield from the American television series “The West Wing.” Joshua “Josh” Nichols is one of the main characters in the television show “Drake and Josh,” who is a fun and caring stepbrother to Drake. Josh Baskin is a pre-adolescent fictional character in the 1988 American fantasy comedy-drama film “Big” directed by Penny Marshall, who wishes to grow big in life with the help of a fortune-telling machine.These characters have contributed to the popularity of the name and subsequently resulted in improved ranking in the top baby boy names category.


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Joshua means God is Salvation
 J..  Ja..  Jaa..  Jac..  Jag.. 

How To Pronounce Joshua?


Famous People With The Name Joshua

  • Anthony JoshuaEnglish professional boxer, two-time former unified world heavyweight champion
  • Joshua CohenAmerican novelist and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 2022 for his novel The Netanyahus
  • Josh BrolinAmerican actor known for his role as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War
  • Joshua BassettAmerican actor and singer known for his role as Ricky Bowen in High School Musical
  • Joshua David HawleyAmerican politician and Senator from Missouri

Joshua On The Popularity Chart

Joshua has been among the top 100 most popular baby boy names in the US since 1973. Find the graphs below for detailed information.

Popularity Over Time

The popularity of the name Joshua gradually rose from the 1970s and remained a popular name for about 30 years. However, it has declined in the past decade, with only 98 baby boys being named Joshua in 2021.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Joshua was a top baby boy name in the 1980s, but its ranking began to drop in the 1990s and 2000s. Currently, the name is not among the top 10000 names in the US.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Joshua

Do you like the sound of Joshua but looking for other options with different meanings? Take a look at these similar-sounding names.

Names With Similar Meaning As Joshua

Joshua’s religious significance may appeal to parents. Here are some more names with the same meaning as Joshua.

Name Numerology For Joshua

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