Jacob Origin and Meaning

The name Jacob is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "supplanter".

Biblical Jacob ceded his Number 1 spot to biblical Noah, in 2013, after holding first place on the list of baby boy names from 1999 to 2012, given a huge boost by the Twilight phenomenon.

Jacob has widespread appeal to a range of parents, with an image of honesty and warmth. Another plus is the friendly nickname Jake — also given on its own to thousands of boys every year — which shares the cool-yet-earthy appeal of equally stylish cousins Max and Sam.

Jacob comes from the Latin name Iacobus, which was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov. In the Old Testament, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. He was the youngest son of Isaac and Rebecca and the twin brother of Esau, as well as the husband of both Leah and Rachel. The 12 tribes of Israel evolved from his 12 sons.

Jacob is still among the most popular boy names starting with J, along with James, Jack, and Jackson, and is Number 1 for boys among Gen Z names.

The downside is that Jacob is at this point way overused. Jacoby is one trendy variation. Jakob, meanwhile, is an alternate spelling used by the Dutch, Scandinavians and Germans. Some interesting international versions include the Scottish Hamish, the Cornish Jago, and the Dutch Jaap.

# 36 in the US

Jacob Rank in US Top 1000

# 221 on Nameberry

Jacob Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Jacob Popularity

Famous People Named Jacob

  • Jacob Gedleyihlekisa ZumaPresident of South Africa
  • Jacob Ludwig Carl GrimmGerman philologist, jurist, and mythologist.
  • Jacob Benjamin "Jake" GyllenhaalAmerican actor.
  • Jacob Edward "Jake" PeavyAmerican baseball pitcher.
  • Jacob Anthony deGromAmerican baseball pitcher.
  • Jacob Mark "Jake" PittsAmerican guitarist.
  • Jacob VargasMexican,American actor.
  • Jacob Dolson CoxAmerican politician; 28th Governor of Ohio.
  • Jacob ArtistAmerican actor and singer.
  • Jacob Daniel HandyAmerican actor.
  • Jacob TremblayCanadian actor.
  • Jacob Seth LoflandAmerican actor.
  • Jacob HubnerGerman entomologist.
  • Jacob Isaacksz van RuisdaelDutch landscape painter.
  • Jacob WhitesidesAmerican singer
  • Jacob Tyler "J.T." RealmutoAmerican baseball player.
  • Jacob Loucks DeversU.S. Army general
  • Jacob Warnerbirth name of Jack Leonard "J. L." Warner, Canadian,American film executive
  • Jacob August RiisDanish,American journalist and activist
  • Jacob BernoulliSwiss mathematician
  • Jacob Pavlovich Adler (born Yankev P. Adler)Ukrainian,American Yiddish actor
  • Jacob Edward "Jake" HoffmanAmerican actor
  • Jacob "Jake" DaltonAmerican artistic gymnast
  • (Rolf) Jacob SartoriusAmerican pop singer
  • Jacob BatalonFilipino,American actor
  • Jacob Emerson "Jake" Fishman (b. 2008)son of actress Courtney Thorne,Smith
  • Jacob Bryan Fisher (b. 2019)son of American singer,songwriter Carrie Underwood and American former professional ice hockey player Mike Fisher
  • Ryan Paevey (born Ryan Jacob PaeveyVlieger), American model and actor
  • Jacob Erwin Wetterling (b. 1978)11 year old American boy who was abducted and murdered in 1989

Jacob in Pop Culture

  • Jacob Marleycharacter from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"
  • Jacob Blackwerewolf character in the "Twilight" series
  • Jacobcharacter from TV's "Lost"
  • Jacob David "Jake" Harpercharacter on TV's "Two and a Half Men"
  • Jacob Jankowskimain character in book/movie "Water for Elephants"
  • Jacob Portmanmain character in the "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" series by Ransom Riggs
  • Jacob "Jake" Pentecostcharacter in "Pacific Rim"
  • Jacob Cartercharacter on TV's "Stargate: SG,1"
  • Jacob Gallaghercharacter on British soap "Emmerdale"
  • Jacob "Jake" Mooncharacter on British soap "EastEnders"
  • Jacob "Jake" Siskocharacter on TV's "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine"
  • Jacob Daniel Johnsoncharacter in the Nightmare on Elm Street series
  • Jacobitism18th century political movement to restore the Roman Catholic Stuart King James II of England to the throne
  • Jacob "Jake" Barnescharacter in Ernest Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"
  • Jacoba character in "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" by Carrie Ryan
  • Jacob Kowalskicharacter in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling
  • Jacob Palmercharacter in film "Crazy, Stupid, Love"

Jacob in Nameberry Blog Posts