From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Genderpredominantly masculine
Other gender
FeminineJosefa, Josefina
Word/nameLatin: Iosephus, Greek: Ιωσήφ, Hebrew: יוֹסֵף
Other names
Related namesJoseph, Xosé, Josefo, Josetxu or Josetxo (given name in Basque). Feminine forms: Josefa, Josefina, Josée.

José is a predominantly Spanish and Portuguese form of the given name Joseph. While spelled alike, this name is pronounced very differently in each of the two languages: Spanish [xoˈse]; Portuguese [ʒuˈzɛ] (or [ʒoˈzɛ]).

In French, the name José, pronounced [ʒoze] , is an old vernacular form of Joseph, which is also in current usage as a given name. José is also commonly used as part of masculine name composites, such as José Manuel, José Maria or Antonio José, and also in female name composites like Maria José or Marie-José. The feminine written form is Josée as in French.

In Netherlandic Dutch, however, José is a feminine given name and is pronounced [ˈjoːseː]; it may occur as part of name composites like Marie-José or as a feminine first name in its own right; it can also be short for the name Josina and even a Dutch hypocorism[1] of the name Johanna.

In England, Jose is originally a Romano-Celtic surname, and people with this family name can usually be found in, or traced to, the English county of Cornwall, where it was especially frequent during the fourteenth century; this surname is pronounced /ˈz/, as in the English names Joseph or Josephine.[2] According to another interpretation Jose is cognate with Joyce; Joyce is an English and Irish surname derived from the Breton personal name Iodoc, which was introduced to England by the Normans in the form Josse. In medieval England the name was occasionally borne by women but more commonly by men; the variant surname Jose is local to Devon and Cornwall.[3]

The common spelling of this given name in different languages is a case of interlingual homography. Similar cases occur in English given names (Albert, Bertrand, Christine, Daniel, Eric, and Ferdinand) that are not exclusive to the English language and can be found namely in French with a different pronunciation under exactly the same spelling.

Spanish pronunciation[edit]

The Spanish pronunciation is [xoˈse]. In Castilian Spanish, the initial ⟨J⟩ is similar to the German ⟨ch⟩ in the name Bach and Scottish Gaelic and Irish ⟨ch⟩ in loch, though Spanish ⟨j⟩ varies by dialect.

Historically, the modern pronunciation of the name José in Spanish is the result of the phonological history of Spanish coronal fricatives since the fifteenth century, when it departed from Old Spanish. Unlike today's pronunciation of this name, in Old Spanish the initial ⟨J⟩ was a voiced postalveolar fricative (as the sound "je" in French), and the middle ⟨s⟩ stood for a voiced apicoalveolar fricative /z̺/ (as in the Castilian pronunciation of the word mismo). The sounds, from a total of seven sibilants once shared by medieval Ibero-Romance languages, were partly preserved in Catalan, Galician, and Occitan, and have survived integrally in Mirandese and in the dialects of northern Portugal.

In those regions of north-western Spain where the Galician and Asturian languages are spoken, the name is spelt Xosé and pronounced [ʃo'se].

Portuguese pronunciation[edit]

The Portuguese given name José is pronounced as [ʒuˈzɛ]. Examples of this are for instance former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and football coach José Mourinho. Historically, the conventional Portuguese spelling of the name was Joseph, just as in English, though variants like Jozeph were not uncommon.[4][5] Following the 1910 revolution, the Portuguese spelling was modernized. The first Reform of Portuguese orthography of 1911 elided the final mute consonants ⟨ph⟩ and ⟨th⟩ from Biblical anthroponyms and toponyms (e.g. Joseph, Nazareth) and replaced them with the diacritic on the final ⟨é⟩, indicating the stress vowel (e.g. José, Nazaré). In Portuguese, the pronunciation of vowels varies depending on the country, regional dialect or social identity of the speaker: in the case of the ⟨o⟩ ranging from /u/ to /o/; and in the case of ⟨é⟩, from /e/ to /ɛ/.

The Portuguese phonology developed originally from thirteenth-century Galician-Portuguese, having a number of speakers worldwide that is currently larger than French, Italian and German. In Portuguese the pronunciation of the graphemes ⟨J⟩ and ⟨s⟩ is in fact phonetically the same as in French, where the name José also exists and the pronunciation is similar, aside from obvious vowel variation and language-specific intonation.

French vernacular form[edit]

The French given name José, pronounced [ʒoze], is an old vernacular form of the French name Joseph, and is also popular under the feminine form Josée. The masculine form is current as a given name, or as short for Joseph as is the case of French politician José Bové. The same masculine form is also commonly used as part of feminine name composites, as is the case of French athlete Marie-José Pérec. In turn, the feminine form Josée is only used customarily either as a feminine first name or as part of a feminine name composite, with respective examples in French film director Josée Dayan and Canadian actress Marie-Josée Croze.

Jewish use[edit]

A number of prominent Jewish men, including sportsmen, entertainers and historical figures, are known publicly as Joseph or Jose, another form of Yossi (Hebrew: יֹוסִי), and a diminutive of Yosef or Yossef (Hebrew: יוֹסֵף).[citation needed]

Feminine form[edit]

Both the Spanish and Portuguese feminine written forms of the name are Josefa, pronounced [xoˈsefa] in Spanish, and [ʒuˈzɛfɐ] in Portuguese. The name José also occurs in feminine name composites (e.g. Maria José, Marie-José).

Josée is a French feminine first name, pronounced [ʒoze], relates to the longer feminine form of Joséphine [ʒozefin], and may also be coupled with other names in feminine name composites.

Similarly, in Flemish, José is a male given name, for which the feminine written form is Josée, with both forms being pronounced [ˈjoːseː], but the spelling stems originally from neighboring French-speaking influence.

In Dutch, however, José is pronounced [ˈjoːseː], which is a feminine given name in its own right, sometimes also used as short for the feminine name Josina. Examples are Olympic swimmer José Damen and pop singer José Hoebee.

Josephine and Joséphine are in use in English-speaking countries, while Josefine is popular in Western Europe.


One of the common Spanish diminutives of the name is Pepe, which is a repetition of the last syllable of the earlier form Josep.[6] (Popular belief attributes the origin of Pepe to the abbreviation of pater putativus, P.P., recalling the role of St Joseph in predominantly Catholic Spanish-speaking countries.) In Hispanic America, the diminutives Cheché and Chepe also occur, as in Colombian soccer player José Eugenio ("Cheché") Hernández and Mexican soccer player José ("Chepe") Naranjo.

In Portuguese, the most widely used diminutive form of the name is , and less used forms include Zeca, Zezé, Zezinho, Zuca, and Juca. The augmentative of the diminutive may occur as in Zezão, as well as the diminutive of the diminutive Zequinha, Zezinho, Josesito.



First names[edit]


























Middle name[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Appendix: Dutch diminutives of given names".
  2. ^ White, George Pawley. A Handbook of Cornish Surnames: Three Hundred Cornish Christian Names. Dyllansow Truran, 1981. ISBN 0-907566-94-4.
  3. ^ Hanks, Patrick, et al. The Oxford Names Companion: The Definitive Guide to Surnames, First Names, and Place Names of the British Isles. Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 329. ISBN 0-19-860561-7.
  4. ^ cf. Lião, Duarte Nunes de, Orthographia da lingoa portuguesa. Lisboa: por Ioão de Barreira, 1576."See original text in pdf". Accessed 24 July 2018.
  5. ^ cf. Feijó, João de Morais Madureira, Orthographia, ou Arte de Escrever, e pronunciar com acerto a Lingua Portugueza. Lisboa Occidental: na Officina de Miguel Rodrigues, 1734. "See original text in pdf". Accessed 24 July 2018.
  6. ^ Albaigès i Olivart, Josep M. Diccionario de nombres de personas. Edicions Universitat Barcelona, 1993, p. 199. ISBN 84-475-0264-3.
  7. ^ Caro Rodríguez, J. M., Mystery of Freemasonry Unveiled (5th ed.), Palmdale, CA: Christian Book Club of America, 1992. ISBN 0-945001-27-4.
  8. ^ "Éditions Corti". Accessed 12 July 2018.
  9. ^ José Leonilson "Biografia" Accessed 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Don José Matsuwa". Accessed 17 July 2018.
  11. ^ Borja, Marciano R. De, Basques in the Philippines, University of Nevada Press, 2005, pp. 89–90. ISBN 0-87417-883-5.
  12. ^ "Paronella Park". Accessed 13 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Great British Chefs – José Pizarro". Accessed 11 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Jose Raymond". Accessed 16 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Jose Romussi". Accessed 16 July 2018.
  16. ^ "José Roosevelt". Accessed 16 July 2018.
  17. ^ Stevenson, Robert. "Santos, José Joaquim dos." The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, edited by Stanley Sadie, vol. 16, p. 485. Macmillan Publishers, 1980. ISBN 0-333-23111-2