Meaning and Origin of: Benjamin

Boy name origins & meanings

Benjamin baby name

  • Hebrew : Son of my right hand

Syllables: 3

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish, English, French, and Hungarian (Benjámin) : from the Hebrew male personal name Binyamin ‘Son of the South’. In the Book of Genesis, it is treated as meaning ‘Son of the Right Hand’. The two senses are connected, since in Hebrew the south is thought of as the right-hand side of a person who is facing east. Benjamin was the youngest and favorite son of Jacob and supposed progenitor of one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Genesis 35:16–18; 42:4). It is rare as an English and French surname; the personal name was not common among Gentiles in the Middle Ages, but its use was sanctioned by virtue of having been borne by a saint martyred in Persia in about ad 424. In some cases in medieval Europe it was also applied as a byname or nickname to the youngest (and beloved) son of a large family; this is the sense of modern French benjamin.
  • John Benjamin (1598–1645) came from England to Watertown, MA, in 1632.

Popularity

Benjamin is the number six most popular boys name in the US, according to 2018 Social Security Administration data. It has been the number six most popular boys name for three years in a row, after shooting up from position 10 in 2015. It has remained in the top 20 names since 2011.

However, it is the 37th most popular name on FamilyEducation.com.

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Benjamin was at its peak popularity in October and November 2017.

While the name Benjamin has been in use since biblical times, it is more popular than ever today finally breaking into the top ten after widespread popularity for years and years. The name was used in the Old Testament for the youngest of the 12 sons, and is often used today with the phrase the “Benjamin of the family”. The name saw a rise in popularity thanks to the character Benjamin Braddock played by Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate.

Where is it Popular?

Benjamin was searched for most often in the following states:

Pairs well with these middle names