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Updated July 9, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

What does Joshua mean and stand for?


  • Hebrew: Jehovah is salvation

Gender: Male

Syllables: 3

Pronunciation: The name Joshua is pronounced jah-shoo-uh

The name Joshua is of Hebrew origin and means "the Lord is my salvation." Sharing the same origins as the name Jesus, Joshua derives from the Hebrew name Yehoshua, from the roots "Yeho", referring to God, and "Yasha," meaning “to save.”

How Popular Is The Name Joshua

Family name origins & meanings

Jewish and Gentile (from northern Europe to South India): from the Biblical name, Hebrew Yehoshuah, meaning "may Jehovah help him." It was borne by the Israelite leader who took command of the children of Israel after the death of Moses and led them to take possession of the promised land. In Britain, Joshua was a popular name among Nonconformists from the 17th century onward; as a result, it is a typically Welsh surname, since Welsh surnames were comparatively late in formation.

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Joshua in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Joshua Graham from Fallout: New Vegas - A former legionary known as the "Burned Man," now a survivalist and warrior.
  • Joshua Farrell from Grey's Anatomy - A guest character, a patient with a compelling story that impacts the main characters.
  • Joshua "Josh" Washington from Until Dawn - One of the main characters in the video game, whose decisions play a crucial role in the story's outcome.
  • Joshua Joyce from Transformers: Age of Extinction - An ambitious and genius inventor entangled in the Autobot and Decepticon conflict.
  • Joshua Fireseed from Turok - The protagonist in the Turok video game series, a Native American warrior who battles to save Earth.

Popularity of the Name Joshua 

According to Social Security Administration data, Joshua has been a consistently popular name in the United States. It has maintained a strong ranking over the years, often appearing in the top 50 list of baby names since 2000. Though it peaked in popularity during the 1980s and 1990s, Joshua has remained a common choice for new parents.

Historically, there have been several notable individuals with the name Joshua. In the Old Testament, Joshua was the successor to Moses who finally led the Israelites into the Promised Land. In modern times, actors such as Joshua Jackson and writers like Joshua Cohen have brought prominence to the name. Additionally, fictional characters named Joshua have appeared in various works, such as in the TV series The West Wing, Grey's Anatomy, and the film Joshua.

Where Is the Name Joshua Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Joshua

  • Jay
  • Jo
  • Josh
  • Joshy
  • Shua

Joshua Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

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