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Gender: Male Meaning of Ishmael: "God will hear" Origin of Ishmael: Hebrew

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.

16 names similar to Ishmael

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Ishmael. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Ishmael, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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Popularity

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Famous People Named Ishmael

Pop Culture References for the name Ishmael

Ishmael's International Variations

Melito, Ysmael, Isamel, Esmael, Ismael, Ishmael (Spanish) Ichmaël, Ismaël, Ismâïl (French) Ismeal, Ismeil, Ismail (Arabic)

Comments

Sandarella Says:

2019-06-10T15:32:38

I like this name a lot I’m considering picking this if I have a boy ! I have a 90% chance of picking this beautiful name

stepx Says:

2019-02-14T14:17:29

one of my favorite names. I love melville for one thing. But its also just a terrific name. A rare "I" name.

AldabellaxWulfe Says:

2017-02-13T16:10:56

I'm really surprised by the fact that both Isaac and Israel are such common and well-known names whereas Ishmael, a much more attractive name (in my opinion), is still so obscure by comparison. The meaning is decent, it has a lovely soft and delicately sweet sound, it's easy to say and relatively simple to spell. With that in mind, I just can't see why people aren't using it because, as far as I can see, it appears to be a great choice!

dbmermels15 Says:

2015-06-02T22:52:05

It does not mean an outcast. @SimoneKadele is right.

SimoneKadele Says:

2015-05-08T23:32:15

No, this means "God will hear!"

Theodora_Phoenix Says:

2014-09-16T19:44:07

Maybe Mel or Izzy?

Angelicaecb Says:

2014-09-16T18:41:22

Could there be a nn for Ishmael?

raevynstar Says:

2014-03-08T14:41:26

Could be some "is a snail" or "call me" teasing, but it's a good name.