Caleb Name Meaning

Boy in a helmet

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What Does Caleb Mean?

Caleb is a Hebrew name that means “faithful,” “whole-hearted,” “bold,” or “brave.” Some people also think that it might mean “devotion to God.” The name is derived from two Hebrew words, “kal” and “lev,” which when put together mean “whole-hearted.” The Hebrew word for dog, which also can connote faithfulness, is "kelev," so Caleb might also be related to this word.

In the Bible, Caleb was a companion of Joshua and Moses. Caleb was one of the spies Moses sent into Canaan, the promised land. He was also one of the only two Israelites who left Egypt with Moses that lived to make it into Canaan. 

Even though it has Hebrew origins, Caleb became popular as an English name after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. It was a common name in the English Protestant sect called the Puritans; they introduced it to America in the 17th century. the name has become commonplace amongst Christians and people who prefer to give their children biblical names.

Caleb is also a name used in works of fiction and as a character in the popular TV shows “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Desperate Housewives.” 

  • Origin: The origin of the name Caleb is Hebrew.
  • Gender: Caleb is a typically masculine name given to boys, however, you can give it to a child of any gender.
  • Pronunciation: Kay-lub

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Caleb?

Caleb is a popular name in the United States, especially among Christians. For the past couple of decades, it has remained in the top 100 list of most popular names for boys. Caleb’s popularity started to rise in the United States in the late '60s. It has remained a very popular name since then.

As of 2021, Caleb is the 51st most popular name for boys in the United States, according to data from the Social Security Administration. It was also the 51st most popular name for boys in 2019, before dropping to 56th place in 2020. It remains a very common name and an excellent choice to name your baby. Between the years 1996 and 2019, it stayed in the top 50 most popular names for boys. 

The alternate spelling Kaleb is less popular. It ranked 245th in 2021, a drop from #231 in 2020.

Name Variations

The name Caleb has a few variations from other cultures:

  • Cale (English) 
  • Chaleb (Latin, Greek)
  • Kaleb (English) 
  • Kalib 
  • Khalev (Hebrew)

Similar Names

If you are thinking of picking Caleb as a name for your baby but aren’t quite sold on it yet, here are some other names that have the same feel: 

  • Abram
  • Daniel 
  • Eli 
  • Elijah
  • Ethan
  • Gabriel 
  • Isaiah
  • Isaac 
  • Levi 
  • Luke 
  • Micah 
  • Nathaniel 
  • Noah 
  • Owen 
  • Reuben
  • Samuel 

Common Nicknames

Caleb is a short name made up of only two syllables. As a result, not a lot of nicknames are formed out of it. However, Cay, Cale, and Cal are common nicknames people who are named Caleb use. 

Suggested Sibling Names

If you are thinking of naming your child Caleb, here are some sibling names that will pair well with it:

  • Abigail
  • Anna
  • Benjamin
  • Cameron
  • Grace
  • Jonah
  • Joshua 
  • Hannah
  • Kiara
  • Luke
  • Lydia
  • Madison 
  • Nathan
  • Nolan
  • Olivia
  • Sarah

Famous People Named Caleb

Here’s a list of famous people who are named Caleb: 

  • Caleb Bradham, American pharmacist and the inventor of Pepsi 
  • Caleb Hanie, American football player with the Chicago Bears 
  • Caleb Landry Jones, American actor and musician 
  • Caleb McLaughlin, American actor famous for his role as Lucas Sinclair in the Netflix series "Stranger Things"
  • Caleb Rowden, American politician 
  • Caleb Wilson, American football player 

More Baby Names

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

1 Source
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  1. Social Security Administration. Baby names.

By Toketemu Ohwovoriole
Toketemu has been multimedia storyteller for the last four years. Her expertise focuses primarily on mental wellness and women’s health topics.