Happy National Joe Day!

What a holiday!  On March 27th, if you don’t like your name, you can call yourself Joe….or Jo.

And why not?  Joe is one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth, and (in our opinion) most appealing names around.

I suppose I’m speaking for myself (it’s Pam), rather than taking an Official Nameberry Position.  I come from a long line of Joes – my father and grandfather were both named Joe – and I named my son Joe too, partly in honor of them but mostly because I love the name.

Despite the sophistication of many of the name tastes on Nameberry, and many of my personal name tastes as well, I see Joe as combining the best of modern simplicity and ancient roots. The modern Joseph derives from the Hebrew Yosef and the Greek and Latin Ioseph, meaning “he will increase.”

The name Joseph appears in both the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament Joseph was the eleventh and favorite son of Jacob, exiled by his jealous brothers to Egypt, where he became an advisor to the pharaoh.The best-known New Testament Joseph was, of course, the carpenter husband of the Virgin Mary, but Joseph of Arimathea was a wealthy disciple who had Jesus buried in his own tomb.In the Middle Ages, the name Joseph was used mostly by Jews, though as the veneration of St. Joseph increased, his name increasingly became used by Christians.

Today, Joseph is used through the Western World.  Familiar variations include the Italian Giuseppe (which can be shortened to Beppe) and the Spanish Jose, with the diminutive Pepito.   But there’s also the Dutch Joop, the Irish Seosamh, and the Maori Hohepa.

Feminine variations include the lovely Josephine and the more obscure Josepha and Josette.  While Joanna and Joanne have often been used to honor ancestral Josephs, and can be shortened to Jo, they actually derive from John.

Joey of course is a common short form of Joseph, though some people (i.e. me) don’t like that.  My preference is Joe.

Joseph has always been in the US Top 20, dipping to its lowest point ever at #20 in the most recent year counted, 2010.  It’s the seventh most popular name of all time in the US.

Joe slang includes: cup of Joe (coffee), used from the 1940s; Regular or Average Joe; G.I. Joe; and Joe the Plumber. There’s Joe Cool, Joe Camel, and even a one-named R & B singer named Joe.

Famous Joes (and Josephs and Jos) include world rulers, athletes, and stars.  Here, our favorite iconic Josephs, Joes, Josephines and Josies.

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Biblical Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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11 Responses to “Happy National Joe Day!”

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halfkoreangirl Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 12:55 am

That is a HORRIBLE picture of Joseph Smith. Seriously.

Sarah.Jane Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 8:16 am

I know way too many Joe/Joey/Joseph’s to actually use it, but I read a book where the character went by Seph instead of Joseph. It really worked!
I do love Johanna a lot though!

Lola Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 8:29 am

I too love Joe. I don’t like Jo, however & my Josephine defaults to Josie. (she rotates through the rest of her nicknames on a weekly basis but will always answer to Josie as well).

We have a dear friend named Joseph, goes by Joey still, even though he’s 48. I have 12 cousins named Joseph, all named in honor of my crazy, coal miner Gagi. My Mother’s oldest sister was also Josephine in honor of Gagi.
A Joseph could be anything, &
I think Joseph is fabulous while of course, I love Josephine. What a great name! 😀

chapitaism Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 9:39 am

It remember me of Joey Tribbiani fictional character in Friends 🙂 I loved that show. My grandpa is named Jose, and so is one of my uncles, so I have some affection to that name too. 🙂

SuperMrsPackman Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 9:40 am

I agree, bad bad bad picture of Joseph Smith.

Sarah.Jane Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 10:05 am

Joseph seems to be one of those names that you can have multiples in the family and it is okay.
Our family does that with Robert. There are so many Roberts!

Mischa Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 10:27 am

My late grandfather was a Joseph who was called just Joe. No one ever called him anything else. My brother’s middle name is also Joseph. I think it’s a down-to-earth solid citizen kind of name that never goes out of style.

OliviaSarah Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 11:56 am

I like Joe. This seems like a rather worthless blog post, though, with all respect.

miloowen Says:

March 27th, 2012 at 9:12 pm

My ex-husband was Joseph, called Joe.
I love the name Joseph, although I prefer the Catalan form Josep and the nn Pepe.
I also like Jossi, the Yiddish nn for Josef/Yosef and Joss, which is a nn for both Joseph and Josiah.

I don’t think this is a wasted blog, although it would have been nice if it had been posted on St Joseph’s Day.

KourtneyQ Says:

April 2nd, 2012 at 11:17 pm

With all the trendy baby names I keep hearing, Joe is music to my ears.

March Holidays | Holiday Favorites Says:

January 8th, 2015 at 9:37 pm

[…] National “Joe” Day Everyone who hates their name can be called Joe this day. […]

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