Benjamin Name Meaning

baby boy

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Benjamin comes from the Old Testament of the Bible, and in Hebrew means “son of the right hand.” The Benjamin of the Bible was the youngest of Jacob’s twelve sons; the expression “the Benjamin of the family” means the youngest child.

  • Origin: The name Benjamin comes from the Hebrew words ben (son) and yāmīn (right side or right hand).
  • Gender: Benjamin is traditionally the masculine form of the name. Benjamina has been used as a feminine variation.
  • Pronunciation: BEN-ja-min

Although baby names are often separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that gender need not play any role in your name selection process. It’s important to select the name that you feel is best suited for your new baby.

How Popular Is the Name Benjamin?

The name Benjamin has been one of the top 100 boy names in the U.S. since 1968, and by 1974 reached the top 50. It continued to climb in popularity, breaking into the top 20 in 2009 and the top 10 in 2016. The latest statistics rank Benjamin as the No. 7 name for boys in America.

Although the name Benjamin is typically used as a masculine name, it can certainly be used however you see fit, as sex doesn't have to be a part of your name selection process.

Name Variations

Benjamin is often shortened to Ben, Benji, Bennie, or Benny.

As a biblical name, Benjamin has an equivalent in virtually every known language. These include:

  • Beniamino (Italian)
  • Benjaminas (Lithuanian)
  • Běnjiémíng (Chinese)
  • Binyamin (Arabic)
  • Bünyamin (Turkish)
  • Peni (Hawaiian)
  • Venyamin (Russian)

Similar Names

Though Ben is often a short form of the name Benjamin, Ben (meaning “son” in Hebrew) can also be a name in its own right. Additionally, there are several other names starting with Ben. These include Benedict, Benicio, Benito, Bennett, Benson, and Benvolio (best known as a character in Shakespeare’s "Romeo and Juliet").

Other boy names starting with B:

  • Beckett
  • Bernard
  • Blake
  • Boyd
  • Bradley
  • Brent
  • Brian
  • Bruce

Other boy names from the Old Testament:

  • Aaron
  • Abraham
  • Elijah
  • Ezra
  • Daniel
  • David
  • Jacob
  • Joshua
  • Nathan
  • Noah
  • Samson
  • Seth

Suggested Sibling Names

Some sibling names for Benjamin might be:

  • David
  • Dinah
  • Joseph
  • Leah
  • Miriam
  • Peter
  • Rachel
  • Samuel

Famous People Named Benjamin

Many people over the years have had the name Benjamin or variations of it. Below are a few of the most notable.

Famous Benjamins

  • Pope Benjamin II of Alexandria, Coptic Pope between 1327 and 1339
  • Benjamin Bratt (born 1963), American actor and producer
  • Benjamin Britten (1913–1976), English composer
  • Benjamin Butler (1818–1893), American lawyer, politician, soldier, and businessman
  • Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), a 19th-century Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), one of the Founding Fathers of the United States
  • Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), 23rd President of the United States
  • Benjamin Netanyahu (born 1949), Israeli Prime Minister
  • Benjamin Orr (1947–2000), American musician, bass guitarist, and singer-songwriter of "The Cars"
  • Benjamin Rush (1746–1813), American politician, educator, and founder of Dickinson College
  • Benjamin de Vries (born 1923), Dutch-Israeli economic historian
  • Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897–1941), American linguist, known for his contributions to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
  • Benjamin Wildman-Tobriner (born 1984), 2008 Gold Medal Olympic swimmer and former world record holder

Famous Bens/Bennys

  • Ben Affleck (born 1972), American film actor, screenwriter, and director
  • Ben Barnes (born 1981), English actor, best known for his role as Prince Caspian in "The Chronicles of Narnia"
  • Ben Bernanke (born 1953), former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve
  • Ben Carson (born 1951), American neurosurgeon and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
  • Benny Carter (1907–2003), American jazz musician, composer, arranger, and bandleader
  • Ben Gibbard (born 1976), American musician, lead singer of the alt-rock band, Death Cab for Cutie
  • Benny Goodman (1909–1986), jazz musician known as the King of Swing
  • Ben Jonson (1572–1637), English playwright and poet
  • Ben Kingsley (born 1943), Academy Award-winning English actor
  • Ben Roethlisberger (born 1982), American football player, quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Ben Stein (born 1944), American law professor, economist, and actor, known for his role in "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off"
  • Ben Stiller (born 1965), American actor, writer, and director

Fictional Benjamins/Bens

  • Benjamin, a donkey in the novel "Animal Farm" by George Orwell
  • Benjamin Bunny, Peter Rabbit's cousin in the works of Beatrix Potter
  • Benjamin Button, title character in the film "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
  • Benjamin Parker, the uncle of Peter Parker from "Spider-Man"
  • Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, the main character in the film and TV series "M*A*S*H"
  • Benjamin Sisko, Commanding Officer of Deep Space Nine in the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" television series
  • Benjamin Kirby Tennyson, the title character in the Cartoon Network’s "Ben 10."
  • Benji, a dog who is the main character in the "Benji" film series

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular baby names.

Additional Reading

By Wendy Wisner
Wendy Wisner is a lactation consultant and writer covering maternal/child health, parenting, general health and wellness, and mental health. She has worked with breastfeeding parents for over a decade, and is a mom to two boys.