Meaning and Origin of: Benjamin

Benjamin meaning and origin

Boy name origins & meanings

 

  • Hebrew : Son of my right hand

What does Benjamin mean and stand for?

The name Benjamin comes from the Hebrew name Binyamin. The name has its origins in the Book of Genesis from the Old Testament, where it was given to the son of Jacob and Rachel.  Translated in this context as "son of the south," the name recognizes Benjamin's status as the founder of the southernmost Hebrew communities in Biblical times.

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.

Popularity

Benjamin is the number six most popular boys name in the US, according to 2018 Social Security Administration data. It has been consistently popular, remaining in the top 10 since 2015 and in or around the top 25 since 2000.

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