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For other uses, see Joseph (disambiguation).
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Joseph, son of Jacob
Pronunciation /ˈzɨf/ or /ˈsɨf/
Gender Male
Word/name Hebrew
Region of origin Israel
Other names
Related names Joe, Joey, Jojo, John, Josiah, Josias, Josh, Joshua, Jeshua, Jesse, Jess, Joss, Joy, Joyce, Julius, Jules, Jose, Josephus, José, Joseba, Giuseppe, Yoseph, Yusuf, Seph, Seth, Steph, Joan, Joanne, Joanna, Jones, Jonas, Jolyon, Joel, Yoel, Jo, Josie, Josephine, Josephina

Joseph is a name originating from Hebrew, meaning 'God will add' recorded in the Hebrew Bible, as יוֹסֵף, Standard Hebrew Yossef, Tiberian Hebrew and Aramaic Yôsēp̄. In Arabic, including in the Qur'an, the name is spelled يوسف or Yūsuf. The name can be translated from Hebrew יהוה להוסיף Yihoh Lhosif as signifying "YHWH will increase/add". This variant of the name is used mostly in English, French and German-speaking countries. Diminutives of Joseph include: Joe and Joey for males, and Jo for females. It is sometimes abbreviated as Jos.

The name has enjoyed significant popularity in its many forms in numerous countries, and Joseph was one of the two names, along with Robert, remained in the top 10 boys' names list from 1925 to 1972 in the US.[1] It is especially common in contemporary Israel, as either "Yossi" or "Yossef" and in Italy, where the name "Giuseppe" was the most common male name in the 20th century.

In the Old Testament, Joseph is Jacob's eleventh son and Rachel's first. In the New Testament, Joseph is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the New Testament there is another Joseph as well, Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus who supplied the tomb in which Jesus was buried.

Holy gifts

The Quran mentions various divinely-bestowed gifts given to various prophets. It also mentions that Joseph[2] and Moses[3] both attained wisdom when they reached full age; David received wisdom with kingship, after slaying Goliath;[4] Lut received wisdom whilst prophesying in Sodom and Gomorrah;[5] John the Baptist received wisdom while still a mere youth;[6] and Jesus received wisdom and was vouchsafed the Gospel.[7][8]

Common nicknames


Variations for males include:[9]

Female forms

Main article: Josephine (name)

People known as Joseph


Biblical figures


See also


  1. ^ Frank Nuessel (1992). The Study of Names: A Guide to the Principles and Topics. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 10. Retrieved 11 September 2013.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  2. ^ Quran 12:22
  3. ^ Quran 28:14
  4. ^ Quran 2:251
  5. ^ Quran 21:74
  6. ^ Quran 19:14
  7. ^ Quran 3:48
  8. ^ "Prophets in Islam". 
  9. ^ Behind the Name – the Etymology and History of First Names
  10. ^ In Portuguese, Flavius Josephus, the author of the Jewish Antiquities is known as Flávio Josefo.