Joseph Name Meaning

Joseph has been an enduring classic on the baby name charts, a long-time favorite with an appeal similar to William and James. He’s timeless in his use and never dated, fitting countless generations of men from infancy to adulthood with ease.

Derived from the Hebrew name Yosef meaning “He will add,” Joseph is a Hebrew name rich with biblical ties. He appears as the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, as well as a disciple who offered the tomb for Jesus’ body to lie in wait of resurrection. He also appears in the Book of Genesis as one of Jacob’s sons.

Joseph has also been the name of kings, leaders, sports stars, and more, successfully transferring to everyday use outside of biblical texts unlike Ebenezer or Esau. Joseph is no doubt strong, remaining mighty despite years of solid use. A little Joseph won’t be weighed down with heavy expectation, as the name is relatively free from associations and connotations. Joseph could be a world-famous pilot or painter, whatever he chooses.

Joseph has a number of spunky nicknames like Joe, Joey, Jojo, and the unexpected Seph. There are quite a few variants of Joseph including Josef, Giuseppe, and Jozef. Joseph also has female variants including Josephine, Josephina, and Jody.

Infographic of Joseph name meaning, which is Meaning Jehovah will increase, Joseph is a name of Hebrew origins.
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Joseph Name Popularity

How popular is the name Joseph? Here’s everything we know.

  • In 2018 Joseph was the 23rd most popular boys name, representing 0.6955% of boy births in the U.S.

  • Since 1910 Joseph has been the 8th most popular boys name, representing 1.6876% of boy births in the U.S.

Year Rank # Births % Births
1910 6 5,226 1.4843%
1911 6 6,481 1.7404%
1912 5 12,058 2.3911%
1913 5 14,467 2.5516%
1914 5 18,829 2.7018%
1915 5 23,052 2.5372%
1916 5 23,883 2.4724%
1917 5 24,762 2.4751%
1918 7 26,263 2.4471%
1919 7 24,264 2.3172%
1920 7 25,591 2.3016%
1921 7 26,180 2.2863%
1922 7 25,700 2.3068%
1923 7 25,560 2.2821%
1924 7 25,426 2.1895%
1925 7 24,615 2.1778%
1926 8 23,762 2.1604%
1927 9 23,504 2.1234%
1928 9 22,306 2.0848%
1929 9 21,164 2.0432%
1930 9 20,981 2.0086%
1931 9 19,331 1.9586%
1932 9 18,560 1.8786%
1933 9 17,161 1.842%
1934 10 17,103 1.7692%
1935 10 17,182 1.7681%
1936 11 17,449 1.8114%
1937 12 17,316 1.7573%
1938 12 17,734 1.7323%
1939 12 17,713 1.7413%
1940 12 18,205 1.7128%
1941 12 19,800 1.7592%
1942 11 22,421 1.7756%
1943 13 22,817 1.7478%
1944 13 21,170 1.7081%
1945 14 20,816 1.7068%
1946 14 24,279 1.6454%
1947 14 27,513 1.6482%
1948 13 26,804 1.6791%
1949 14 26,410 1.6418%
1950 13 27,026 1.6785%
1951 14 28,156 1.6606%
1952 12 28,524 1.6341%
1953 13 29,258 1.6532%
1954 13 31,201 1.7068%
1955 13 31,604 1.7182%
1956 12 32,715 1.7321%
1957 12 31,806 1.6529%
1958 12 30,095 1.5924%
1959 13 29,523 1.5539%
1960 12 29,746 1.5699%
1961 12 29,445 1.5596%
1962 13 30,083 1.6386%
1963 13 30,101 1.6769%
1964 11 30,550 1.7356%
1965 11 28,660 1.7526%
1966 15 26,991 1.7287%
1967 15 25,940 1.7093%
1968 16 25,401 1.6916%
1969 15 26,187 1.6998%
1970 16 26,732 1.6798%
1971 15 24,517 1.6315%
1972 12 22,469 1.6497%
1973 12 21,328 1.6451%
1974 12 21,838 1.6802%
1975 12 22,142 1.7231%
1976 12 24,072 1.8677%
1977 10 26,492 1.9654%
1978 10 26,668 1.9836%
1979 11 28,667 2.0331%
1980 10 30,202 2.0656%
1981 11 30,772 2.0934%
1982 11 31,047 2.0776%
1983 11 30,456 2.0639%
1984 10 30,512 2.0511%
1985 10 30,213 1.9905%
1986 12 28,833 1.9101%
1987 12 28,510 1.8683%
1988 12 29,003 1.8611%
1989 11 29,869 1.851%
1990 10 30,127 1.8177%
1991 9 29,835 1.8304%
1992 11 27,894 1.7476%
1993 12 27,007 1.7323%
1994 11 25,728 1.6765%
1995 12 25,345 1.6817%
1996 12 24,754 1.6532%
1997 12 23,589 1.5949%
1998 11 23,178 1.5486%
1999 8 23,210 1.5499%
2000 8 22,825 1.4942%
2001 8 22,004 1.4604%
2002 7 21,891 1.4608%
2003 6 21,361 1.4041%
2004 9 20,123 1.3203%
2005 9 19,210 1.2564%
2006 11 18,440 1.1777%
2007 13 17,333 1.0986%
2008 13 16,571 1.0722%
2009 15 14,914 0.9978%
2010 20 13,825 0.9594%
2011 22 12,964 0.9099%
2012 19 12,553 0.8809%
2013 20 12,231 0.8591%
2014 20 12,106 0.8309%
2015 21 11,471 0.7884%
2016 20 10,892 0.7555%
2017 19 10,360 0.7423%
2018 23 9,555 0.6955%

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Data via SSA.gov.


Names Like Joseph

If you like Joseph, you’ll love these other names like Joseph.


What names are diminutives of Joseph?

A diminutive is a name that’s like Joseph sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Joseph, but shorter.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Jo

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Jodi

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Jodie

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Jody

Hebrew

#1,935 (0.0015%)  
Joe

A diminutive form of Joseph.

English

#670 (0.0219%)  
Joey

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

#726 (0.0192%)  
Jojo
Joop

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Joos

Jehovah increases; just, upright, righteous

Latin

Joss

A member of the Germanic tribe, the Gauts

German

Pepe

Jehovah increases

Spanish

Pepito

Jehovah increases

Spanish

Peppi

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Pino

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Pipo

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Sepp

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Seppi

Jehovah increases

Hebrew


What names are variants of Joseph?

Mix it up with these names that are a variation of the name Joseph.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Giuseppe

An Italian form of Joseph.

Italian

#1,374 (0.0043%)  
Giuseppino

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Iosef

Russian

Iosep

God will multiply

Hebrew

Iosif

Jehovah increases

Russian

Iosip

Jehovah increases

Russian

Jessup

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Jose

Jehovah will increase

Spanish

#89 (0.3115%)  
Josef

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

#1,543 (0.0031%)  
Joseito

Jehovah increases

Spanish

Joselito

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josep

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josephe

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josephus

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josif

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josip

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Josue

God is salvation

Spanish

#223 (0.1197%)  
Jozef

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Osip

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Yousef

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

#743 (0.0183%)  
Yusif

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Yussuf

Jehovah increases

Hebrew

Yusuf

Hebrew

#548 (0.0331%)  
Yuszef

Jehovah increases

Hebrew


What names sound like Joseph?

If you like how Joseph sounds, you might also like these names that sound like Joseph.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Joshua

God is salvation

Hebrew

#41 (0.5353%)  
Josiah

God supports

Hebrew

#53 (0.4806%)  
Josue

God is salvation

Spanish

#223 (0.1197%)  
Jovan

Latin

#1,351 (0.0044%)  
Jovani

Latin

#1,084 (0.0079%)  
Jovany

Latin

#2,048 (0.0012%)  

What names are similar to Joseph?

Find a name that’s like Joseph, but just a little bit different.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
David

Beloved

Hebrew

#22 (0.7058%)  
Isaac

He will laugh

Hebrew

#34 (0.6127%)  
James

Supplanter

English

#4 (0.9844%)  
John

God is gracious

Hebrew

#27 (0.6637%)  
Luke

From Lucania

Greek

#29 (0.6243%)  
Mark

Dedicated to Mars

Latin

#209 (0.1343%)  
Matthew

Gift of God

Hebrew

#20 (0.7223%)  
Michael

Who is Like God?

Hebrew

#14 (0.8458%)  
Peter

Stone

Greek

#210 (0.1311%)  
Samuel

Name of God

Hebrew

#21 (0.7085%)  

Lists With Joseph

Find inspiration in these baby boy name lists featuring the name Joseph.


Siblings of Joseph

Mamas with kids named Joseph also have kids with these names.

Name Meaning Origin Popularity Other Gender
Ryan

Little king

Irish

#46 (0.5026%)  
Katiana
Elisia

From the blessed isles

Latin

#2,915 (0.0005%)  
Anastasia

Resurrection

Greek

#143 (0.1357%)  
Brenda

Sword

Scandinavian

#940 (0.0143%)  
Mikey

Who resembles God?

Hebrew

#2,475 (0.0005%)  
Brianna

High and noble

Irish

#130 (0.1615%)  
Mikayla

Who is like God?

American

#410 (0.0507%)  
Vincent

Conquer

Latin

#107 (0.258%)  
Miles

Soldier

Latin

#97 (0.2885%)  

18 Comments

  1. It’s a family name all my boys first and/or middle names are family names

  2. I chose my sons name because in the Bible joseph was stuck in a well nd was enslaved but overcame all obstacles to become king one day. It’s a strong nd determined name.

  3. I choose the name Joseph after both my own loving father and my father in law who passed away when I was 4 month along and his middle name warren after my best friend who passed

  4. Our baby was named after my husband’s uncle who had passed away suddenly and his middle name is after my father. My husband and I wanted to have a sentimental name for our first born son.

  5. I named my son after his dad and Grandpa

  6. He is perfect. I love everything about him!

  7. Love the Bible story of Joseph in the Old Testament! So inspiring!

  8. My husband Josh and I are both nerdy gamers and wanted to pick a nerdy name but one that was subtle because he has to live with this name. We both agreed on them but Josh chose the first name and I chose the middle name. Joseph is the name of a character from a show called Jojo’s Bizarre adventure and so Josephs nickname is Jojo. His middle name is Dahn which is Scottish in origin but also has some subtle nerdiness from a show called One Piece. Honestly the only thing I dislike about him being named Jospeh and it is super small is that several people end up calling him Josh cause all they can remember is that it starts with a J and so does my husband’s.

  9. I chose the name Joseph, after my best friend Kayin Jo was unfortunately killed in a car accident at the young age of 19.

  10. I chose it in church! First time he kicked so hard I shot up and they were talking about Joseph. I figured he liked that name. I love the strong biblical name but dislike the nicknames that come with it. Joseph is such a happy happy baby. Always smiling. All day. I love it!

  11. My husband’s father’s name is Joseph and he passed a long time ago.

  12. Named after my great grandfather

  13. Joseph is a smart little boy. He so tough. He had open heart surgery at 4months old asv defect. Amd his lwft vaule redone. Dr said he wouldn’t be able to go home for 4weeks. Cause he has down syndrome. But he went home the falling week. Plus he had hand surgery. He is 16 month and he amazing.

  14. Husband and I both agreed this was his name the same day he was born. Hebrew biblical name. We didn’t know if he would be a boy or a girl so we couldn’t really decide on a name until then and until we saw him. At first I was unsure and scared what people might think of his name but as he’s gotten older I love it. It fits him so perfectly. My cutsie baby Joseph seems to have a very calm, wise, and cautious character already even in his young age of almost one. Looking forward to seeing how his name grows on him.

  15. I was looking for a classic name that would go well with my first born son’s name, Vincent. After discovering that there are Josephs in both our ancestries we decided it was perfect. We also likes the nicknames Vince and Jo. They will be best buds for sure!

  16. He is named after my grandfather. He and my grandma raised me from birth.

  17. It has always been very important to me to honor wonderful family members’ names and to carry them on when I had children. My husband and I discussed potential baby names when we were still just dating. Now, years later when we found out we were having a boy, we were thrilled to be naming him after one of the kindest, best men I’d ever known: my grandfather. My son has a wonderful name, and we’ll raise him to be a wonderful, amazing, compassionate human being! I’m so thankful that we named our baby boy after my grandfather. A name with a history.

  18. It was manly sounding, from the Bible and we liked how it fit God expanding our family.


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