Meaning and Origin of: Caleb

Caleb is of Hebrew origin and means "devotion to God."
Meaning and Origin of Caleb

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Hebrew : Faithful; dog; bold
  • African : Old Testament Cain

What does Caleb mean and stand for?

The name Caleb is of Hebrew origin and means "devotion to God." The name is thought to either derive from either the Hebrew kelev, meaning “dog,” or from the Hebrew components kal and lev, which together mean “whole heart.”

Syllables: 2

Boy name variations

Family name origins & meanings

  • Reduced and altered form of Scottish and Irish McKillip, a Gaelic patronymic from Philip. The form of the name, originally Killip, has been assimilated to that of the Biblical personal name Caleb.
  • English and Welsh : from the Biblical Hebrew personal name Caleb, the name of one of the only two men who set out with Moses from Egypt to live long enough to enter the promised land (Numbers 26:65). This name, which is derived from a Hebrew word meaning ‘dog’, was popular among the Puritans in the 17th century and was brought by them as a personal name to America.


According to Social Security Administration data, Caleb has been consistently popular, remaining in the top 100 since 2000, and in the top 50 from 2000 to 2016. Recently, Caleb has fallen out of the top 50 and has been slowly decreasing in popularity.

However, it is the 32nd most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Isabella was at its peak popularity in May 2018.

Caleb is one of the only two ancient Israelites to finally enter the promise land after setting out from Egypt in the Old Testament. The name has been popular since, remaining in the top 100 for the last three decades. Both Julianne Moore and Bo Bice have named their sons Caleb. It's also the name of a main character in Middlemarch, East of Eden, Desperate Housewives, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Where is it Popular?

Caleb was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Caleb

  • Cal
  • Cale
  • Cay

Pairs well with these middle names