Meaning and Origin of: Jacob

Jacob is a derived from the Latin Jacobus, from the Hebrew personal name ya"aqobh (Yaakov).

Boy name origins & meanings

jacob baby name

  • Hebrew : The supplanter

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • Jewish, English, German, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and southern Indian : derivative, via Latin Jacobus, from the Hebrew personal name ya‘aqobh (Yaakov). In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau (Genesis 25:26), who took advantage of the latter’s hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright ‘for a mess of potage’. The name is traditionally interpreted as coming from Hebrew akev ‘heel’, and Jacob is said to have been born holding on to Esau’s heel. In English Jacob and James are now regarded as quite distinct names, but they are of identical origin (see James), and in most European languages the two names are not distinguished. It is used as a given name among Christians in India, and in the U.S. has come to be used as a surname among families from southern India.

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Jacob is considered by far one of the most popular boy names over the last two decades. It reigned as the number one name for boys from 2001 to 2012, when it was dethroned and dropped to number two. It has slowly been declining in popularity since then, falling out of the top 10 in 2018 but still maintaining a position in the top 20.

However, it is the 79th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Jacob was at its peak popularity in September 2016.

Although Jacob has been in use since biblical times, it has been more popular than ever throughout the 2000s. Jacob was one of the longest reigning names top baby boy names, remaining in the number one position from 1999 to 2012. Many believe it received a rise in popularity and remained consistently popular for so long thanks to the character Jacob Black played by Taylor Lautner in the Twilight series.

Where is it Popular?

Jacob was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Jacob

  • Cob
  • Cobi
  • Jack
  • Jake
  • Jakey

Pairs well with these middle names