The Name Joe Finally Gets Presidential
Joe might be the ultimate friendly, down-to-earth, good guy name, and one of the most popular boy names for all of American history.
But unlike its fellow traditional, perennially popular boys’ names, Joe has until now never reached the highest office in the land. Today’s election of President Joe Biden changes all that.
Joe is usually short for Joseph, always in the US Top 25. In fact last year, Joseph dipped to its lowest point ever, Number 24. We probably all know someone named Joseph or Joe, or several someones. It’s a name that crosses class, cultural, religious, and yes, even political boundaries.
Joseph is a derivation of the Hebrew Yosef via the Greek and Latin Ioseph, meaning “he will increase.” Joseph is a figure in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, which makes it an appropriate choice for both Christians and Jews, though the best-known biblical Joseph was the carpenter and husband of the Virgin Mary who acted as Jesus‘s earthly father.
Feminine forms of Joseph include Josephine, Josepha, Josie, and Josette. While Joanne and Joanna, and of course short forms Jo or Josie, have been used to honor ancestral Josephs or get to short form Jo, those names actually derive from John.
President-elect Joe Biden, who is always called Joe, was born Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.. His grandfather as well as his father were also named Joseph. Robinette was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name.
Joe joins the long list of presidential names, both widely-used with the general populace as well as unusual. They are:
Joe/Joseph now takes its place among unique presidential first names: