Jacob has been the Number 1 boys' name for more than a decade now--given a huge boost by the Twilight phenomenon--but which is still a surprise to most people. While classics like Michael and John feel more popular in the general imagination, Jacob has widespread appeal to a range of parents. Jacob's image is one of honesty and warmth, and its friendly nickname Jake - also given on its own to thousands of boys every year-- shares the cool appeal of equally stylish cousins Max and Sam.
The downside is that Jacob is at this point way overused. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel, the youngest son of Isaac and Rebecca and the twin brother of Esau and husband of both Leah and Rachel, the twelve tribes of Israel evolving from his twelve sons.
JACOBY is a rapidly rising variation, JAKOB is an alternate spelling used by the Dutch, Scandinavians and Germans, and some interesting international versions include the Scottish Hamish, the Cornish Jago, and the Dutch Jaap.
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