Meaning and Origin of: Isaac

Meaning and Origin of Isaac

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Hebrew : Laughter

What does Isaac mean and stand for?

The name Isaac is of Hebrew origin and means "laughter." It is thought to derive its meaning from the fact that when Sarah and Abraham conceived, people laughed because they were so old. It has evolved from the name Yitzchaq, which is derived from the Hebrew word tzachaq, meaning “to laugh.”

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish, English, Welsh, French, etc. : from the Biblical Hebrew personal name yishāq ‘he laughs’. This was the name of the son of Abraham (Genesis 21:3) by his wife Sarah. The traditional explanation of the name is that Abraham and Sarah laughed with joy at the birth of a son to them in their old age, but a more plausible explanation is that the name originally meant ‘may God laugh’, i.e. ‘smile on him’. Like Abraham, this name has always been immensely popular among Jews, but was also widely used in medieval Europe among Christians. Hence it is the surname of many gentile families as well as Jews. In England and Wales it was one of the Old Testament names that were particularly popular among Nonconformists in the 17th–19th centuries, which accounts for its frequency as a Welsh surname. (Welsh surnames were generally formed much later than English ones.) In eastern Europe the personal name in its various vernacular forms was popular in Orthodox (Russian, Ukrainian, and Bulgarian), Catholic (Polish), and Protestant (Czech) Churches. It was borne by a 5th-century father of the Armenian Church and by a Spanish saint martyred by the Moorish rulers of Cordoba in ad 851 on account of his polemics against Islam. In this spelling, the American family name has also absorbed cognates from other European languages, e.g. German Isaak, Dutch Izaac, etc. (for the forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988). It is found as a personal name among Christians in India, and in the U.S. is used as a family name among families from southern India.

Famous people with this first name

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Popularity

According to Social Security Administration data, Isaac has been consistently popular after breaking the top 50 in 2001. Though it's fluctuated up and down, Isaac has been a popular choice, peaking at 28 in 2013. It remains wildly more popular than its brother spelling, Issac..

However, it is the 24th most popular name on FamilyEducation.com.

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

Isaac was the son of elderly Sarah and 100-year-old Abraham in The Old Testament. Many people laughed at the old age of the couple, giving Isaac its meaning. The name has since moved away from its biblical roots and taken hold in other ways with notable namesakes Isaac Hanson, Isaac Newton, Isaac Walton, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Isaac Asimov, Isaac Stern, and Isaac Hayes. It's also been a popular choice for fictional characters, appearing in Teen Wolf, The Fault in Our Stars, The Wizard of Oz, and The Beautiful Life

Where is it Popular?

Isaac was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Isaac

  • Ike
  • Izzy
  • Zack

Pairs well with these middle names