Isaac has shaved off his biblical beard and leaped into the Top 35, where it's been for the past few years -- outrunning cousin Isaiah -- and showing signs of heading even higher. A favorite of the Puritans, Isaac went on to assume something of a rabbinical image. In the Old Testament, Isaac was the long-awaited son of the elderly Sarah and 100-year-old Abraham, so old that their news provoked laughter, giving the name its meaning.
A baby given this name can point to many distinguished namesakes, including Isaacs (and Izaaks) Newton, Walton, Bashevis Singer, Asimov, Stern and Hayes. The name was somewhat rejuvenated by onetime heartthrob Isaac Hanson.
Isaac also boasts the cute nicknames of Izzy -- now shared, however, with a bevy of Isabellas -- and Ike.
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