Call Me Jacob (Again): Hebrew Baby Names Still Tops in 2010


babiesBy Stephen Prothero

A few months ago, I wrote about the predominance of Hebraic names for babies born in the United States in 2009. The Social Security Administration has nowreleased new data for babies born in the U.S. in 2010, and it still looks very much like a Jewish nation, at least in our pediatric wards.

The top 10 list for newborn boys begins with Jacob, of “Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” fame, who has held this top slot for 11 years running. But it also includes five other names of Hebraic origin: Ethan (No. 2), Michael (No. 3), Jayden (No. 4), Noah (No. 6), Daniel (No. 7).

Rounding out the top 10 boys’ names in 2010 were William (from the Old German), Alexander (Greek), Aiden (Gaelic) and Anthony (Latin).

The top 10 names for girls mirrored those of 2009, though a few of these names switched places. Isabella, also a Hebrew name, finished first. It means “God’s promise,” or “pledged to God.” Only one other Hebrew name – Abigail – made the top 10 for girls.

Still, this is an astonishing showing for a religious tradition that claims only 1-2% of the American population.

{CNN Religion/ Newscenter}


  1. Isabella might mean God’s promise,” or “pledged to God” (in what language?) but it’s the name of a wicket woman in Tanach – Jezebel=Izevel, wife of King Achav, the one who murdered prophets and promoted idol worship, maybe that’s why it has the word “zevel” in it which means fertilizer, garbage.