Meaning and Origin of: Joseph

meaning of Samuel name

Boy name origins & meanings

  • Hebrew: He shall add

What does Joseph mean and stand for?

Joseph is derived from the Latin form of Greek Ioseph, from the Hebrew name Yosef meaning "He will add", from the root Yasaf. In the Old Testament Bible, Joseph was the 11th son of Jacob, the traditional ancestor of the people of Israel. Joseph was an esteemed advisor to the pharaoh from 1894-1878 BCE.

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • English, German, French, and Jewish: from the personal name, Hebrew Yosef ‘may He (God) add (another son)’. In medieval Europe this name was borne frequently but not exclusively by Jews; the usual medieval English vernacular form is represented by Jessup. In the Book of Genesis, Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob, who is sold into slavery by his brothers but rises to become a leading minister in Egypt (Genesis 37–50). In the New Testament Joseph is the husband of the Virgin Mary, which accounts for the popularity of the given name among Christians.

A bearer of the name Joseph with the secondary surname Langoumois (and therefore presumably from the Angoumois region of France) is documented in Quebec City in 1718.


According to Social Security Administration data, Joseph was one of the most popular boy names in the early 2000s but has been in decline since then. Despite the decline, Joseph has maintained a spot in the top 30 since 2000.

It is the 61st most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Joseph was at its peak popularity from October 6t-12th, 2019.

Joseph is one of the most popular Biblical names to date. In the Old Testament, Joseph is the favorite son of Jacob and Rachel. In the New Testament, it is the name of the Virgin Mary's husband. Although its popularity has declined considerably within the past 20 years, it is still one of the most popular boy names. Its popularity may be due in part to celebs like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joseph Morgan, and Joe Biden.

Where is it Popular?

Joseph was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Joseph

  • Giuseppe
  • Joe
  • Joey

Pairs well with these middle names