Boy Names Like Jacob

Boy Names Like Jacob

The classic biblical name Jacob has been a Top 50 mainstay for over 40 years, including a reign as the Number 1 boy name from 1999 to 2012. Although it's now falling in popularity, many parents are searching for under-saturated alternatives.

Variations of Jacob, from Jaco to Jago to Jacoby, are the closest substitutions. Unrelated names that share sounds with Jacob include Haco, Jabin, and Jubal.

If you're drawn to Jacob's biblical roots, you may consider Boaz, Eben, Joah, or Reuben. For a classic boy name without religious undertones, try Arthur, Jasper, or Clarence.

Below, explore our picks for 50 alternatives to Jacob, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

RELATED:

Biblical Boy Names

Classic Boy Names

Boy Names That Start With J

  1. Jude
    • Origin:

      Latin diminutive of Judah
    • Meaning:

      "praised"
    • Description:

      Jude is a modern star, maintaining a steady level of popularity -- but not TOO much popularity -- for more than a decade now. Thank Jude Law and the great Lennon-McCartney song "Hey Jude", double-handedly responsible for propelling Jude up the charts.
  2. Arthur
    • Origin:

      Celtic
    • Meaning:

      " bear"
    • Description:

      Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by stylish parents, inspired perhaps by the new generation of royals. Arthur has led the list of possible names for the young British princes, chosen as a middle name for Prince Louis, son of William and Catherine, Prince and Princess of Wales.
  3. Jasper
    • Origin:

      Persian
    • Meaning:

      "bringer of treasure"
    • Description:

      Jasper originated as a variation of the Latin Gaspar, which ultimately derived from the Persian word ganzabara, meaning "bringer of treasure." As a given name, Jasper’s etymology is unrelated to that of the gemstone, which comes from a Semitic word meaning "speckled stone." Jasper is the usual English form for one of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts to the infant Christ according to medieval tradition and appears in the Bible as a reference to the stone itself in Revelations 4:3.
  4. Tobias
    • Origin:

      Greek from Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is good"
    • Description:

      Tobias is one of a number of s-ending boys' names that are riding a wave of popularity. With its Old Testament-Dickensian feel, it's a name with a distinguished pedigree.
  5. Asa
    • Origin:

      Hebrew; Japanese
    • Meaning:

      "healer; born in the morning"
    • Description:

      A short but strong biblical name with multicultural appeal, Asa is enjoying new visibility thanks to hot young actor Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame.
  6. Simon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew, Greek
    • Meaning:

      "he has heard; flat-nosed"
    • Description:

      Simon is pure and simple (not in the nursery rhyme sense), and an appealingly genuine Old and New Testament name that's not overused – making Simon a stylish choice. In the Bible, Simon was the second son of Jacob and Leah and the original name of Saint Peter, as well as the name of several New Testament figures. Historically, Simon Bolivar is known as The Liberator of Latin America.
  7. Jonah
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Jonah, the name of the Old Testament prophet who was swallowed by the whale, only to emerge unharmed three days later, is increasingly appreciated by parents looking for a biblical name less common than Jacob or Joshua, yet not too obscure. Plus, Jonah comes with a ready-made nursery-decorating motif.
  8. Gideon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "hewer; or, having a stump for a hand"
    • Description:

      Gideon is a no-longer neglected Old Testament name, but still makes an excellent choice for parents looking to move beyond such overused biblicals as Benjamin and Jacob. In the Old Testament, Gideon was a judge called on by God to rescue the Jews from the Midianites, and the name was popular among the Puritans.
  9. Ira
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "watchful one"
    • Description:

      Ira is one of the shortest, non-biblical sounding Old Testament names, belonging to one of King David's thirty 'mighty warriors.' It was widely used in the US from the 1880s to the early 1930s (it was Number 57 on the Social Security list in 1881), but fell off completely in 1993. Although Ira is also a retirement-account acronym, it's back on the table for those seeking a short biblical name for their sons, and reentered the US Top 1000 in 2016. A musical namesake is lyricist Ira Gershwin (born Israel), a literary one is Ira Levin, and there are two prominent Iras hosting NPR radio shows.
  10. Amos
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "carried by God"
    • Description:

      Amos is a robust biblical name that's being discovered by a new generation of parents in a major way.
  11. Raphael
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God has healed"
    • Description:

      Raphael is a romantic archangel name that sounds both artistic and powerful. Raphael is also a great cross-cultural choice, with significance for people with both Latinate and Jewish roots, plus plenty of grounding in the English-speaking world.
  12. Ansel
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "with divine protection"
    • Description:

      Ansel, primarily associated with the great western photographer Ansel Adams, famed for his magnificent photographs of the Yosemite Valley, could make a creative artist-hero choice. For Adams it was a family name – he was named after his uncle, Ansel Easton. And, in turn, Adams was the namesake of young heartthrob Ansel Elgort, son of a photographer.
  13. Reuben
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "behold, a son"
    • Description:

      Reuben is derived from the Hebrew words ra’a, meaning "to see, to understand," and ben, "son." As a phrase it translates to "behold, a son." In the Bible, Reuben is Jacob's first-born son by Leah and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel.
  14. Abel
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "breath"
    • Description:

      Abel, the name of Adam and Eve's unfortunate younger son, compensates with positive connotations: capable, competent, ready and willing.
  15. Boaz
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "swiftness"
    • Description:

      Now that such Old Testament patriarchs as Elijah and Moses fill the playground, Boaz seems downright baby-friendly, having more pizzazz than many of the others, perhaps as a successor to Noah.
  16. Solomon
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "peace"
    • Description:

      Solomon, a name that evokes wisdom and peace, is an Old Testament name that, along with other patriarchal classics, is finally beginning to shed its long white beard and step from the pages of the Old Testament into modern nurseries.
  17. Clement
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "mild, merciful"
    • Description:

      Clement, the name of fourteen popes and several saints, has a pleasantly, positive, slightly antiquated feel, like the phrase "clement weather."
  18. Jonas
    • Origin:

      Greek variation of Jonah
    • Meaning:

      "dove"
    • Description:

      Jonas has a slightly more grandfatherly image than the English version of his name, but that only adds to its retro appeal. And though it may lag behind Jonah in this country, Jonas is riding a huge wave of popularity in Europe, where it ranks highly in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Norway.
  19. Corbin
    • Origin:

      English and French surname
    • Meaning:

      "crow, raven"
    • Description:

      Corbin, the name of the castle where the Holy Grail was said to be hidden, came to the fore in the 1980s via actor Corbin Bernsen when he was the high profile star of LA Law, but its use is only now escalating as part of the mania for two-syllable names starting with c or k, as well as from the more youthful image of Corbin Bleu, the attractive actor-model-dancer-singer who was one of the stars of the Disney hit High School Musical.
  20. Samson
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "sun"
    • Description:

      With the prevailing popularity of Samuel, some parents are considering this more (literally) powerful biblical name, which shares the desirable nickname of Sam.