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Ishmael

Heart
Hebrew
"God will hear"

Ishmael Origin and Meaning

The name Ishmael is a boy's name of Hebrew, Spanish origin meaning "God will hear".
Ishmael is most familiar through "Call me Ishmael," the opening line spoken by the youthful narrator of Moby-Dick. Few American parents have followed that advice, though the Spanish and Arabic spelling, Ismael, ranks at Number 362. With its warm and pleasant sound, though, we could see Ishmael tagging along behind Isaiah and Isaac.

In the Bible, Ishmael was Abraham's first son by the Egyptian maidservant Hagar, who was told by God to name him Ishmael. In Islamic tradition, Ishmael (or Ismail) is believed to have been the ancestor of the Arabs.

Ishmael Bush is one of the main characters in James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Prairie, and there is an Ismael in the Lemony Snicket book, The End. Some notable real-life bearers are novelist and poet Ishmael Reed and Indian-born film producer Ismail Merchant.

Ishmael Popularity

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Lists containing Ishmael

Famous People Named Ishmael

  • Ishmaelson of Abraham; half brother of Isaac
  • Ishmaelson of Azel, descendant of King Saul's son, Jonathan ( 1 Chr. 8:38)
  • Ishmaelfather of Zebadiah the ruler of the house of Judah (2 Chr. 19:11)
  • Ishmaelson of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, Judean royalty and captain (2 Kings 25:23, 25)
  • Ishmaelcaptain of hundreds, son of Jehohanan (2 Chr. 23:1)
  • Ishmaelwho took a foreign wife; of the sons of Pashur (Ezra 10:22)
  • Ishmael Scott ReedAmerican poet and novelist
  • Ishmael Anthony MillerBritish footballer
  • Ishmael HoustonJones, American dancer and choreographer
  • Ishmael BernalFilipino film director
  • Ishmael BeahSierra Leonean former child soldier and human rights activist

Ishmael in Pop Culture

  • Ishmaelnarrator of Herman Melville's "Moby Dick"
  • Ishmaelcharacter in film "Kingpin"
  • Ishmaelbook by Daniel Quinn about a telepathic gorilla named Ishmael
  • Ishmaelcharacter in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket