Isaiah Name Meaning

baby boy

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Are you looking for a strong, distinctive name that is associated with truth-telling and righteousness? Isaiah is an awesome choice.

Isaiah comes from the Hebrew phrase "yesha’yahu," meaning “God saves.” It was the name of an Old Testament prophet, whose words are preserved in the biblical Book of Isaiah. The prophet Isaiah is revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

  • Origin: The biblical name Yesha’yahu, or Yesha’yah, is derived from the Hebrew words yesha (“salvation”) and yah (an abbreviation of Yahweh, a name for God). Yesha’yah was translated to Greek as Ἡσαΐας (Esaias), and in Latin was rendered as Isaia.
  • Gender: Isaiah is a traditionally masculine name.
  • Pronunciation: eye-ZAY-uh

Although baby names are often 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 suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Isaiah?

Although it has been in use for thousands of years, the name Isaiah has become more popular in the U.S. in recent decades. It was among the top 100 boy names in America for the first time in 1996 and ranked as number 71 that year. It continued to climb in popularity, breaking into the top 50 in the year 2000, and reaching its peak at number 39 in 2006. The latest statistics rank Isaiah as number 51 on the Social Security Administration's list of boys' names in America.

Although the name Isaiah 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

Although Isaiah is the most traditional and most common spelling, this biblical name has been spelled in a variety of ways, including:

  • Esaiah
  • Essaiah
  • Isaia
  • Isaya
  • Isayah
  • Isia
  • Isiah
  • Issia
  • Issiah
  • Izaiah
  • Izaya
  • Izayah
  • Iziah

There are lots of fun nicknames for Isaiah, including Aye, Iz, Izzy, Zay, Zah, and Zaya. 

Similar Names

Isaiah looks a bit like Isaac, another biblical name starting with Isa-. There is not an exact feminine equivalent, but if you’re looking for a girl name starting with Isa-, your options include Isabel, Isabella, Isadora, and Isa.

Other boy names starting with I:

  • Ignatius
  • Ilan
  • Immanuel
  • Ira
  • Irving
  • Irwin
  • Isadore
  • Ivan

Other names of Old Testament prophets:

  • Amos
  • Ezekiel
  • Jeremiah
  • Joel
  • Jonah
  • Joshua
  • Micah
  • Samuel

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Abigail
  • Daniel
  • Emma
  • Hannah
  • Jacob
  • Matthew
  • Michael
  • Sophia

Famous People Named Isaiah

From evangelists to athletes, there have been many notable people named Isaiah. Here’s a list of famous people who had the name:

  • Isaiah Berlin, Latvian-born British, social and political theorist
  • Isaiah Bowman, American geographer and president of Johns Hopkins University
  • Isaiah Buggs, American football player who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Isaiah Coulter, American football player who plays for the Houston Texans
  • Isaiah Dorman, interpreter for the U.S. Army, the only African American killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn
  • Isaiah Firebrace, Australian singer, also known simply as Isaiah
  • Isaiah Harris, American baseball pitcher
  • Isaiah Hart, American plantation owner and founder of Jacksonville, Florida
  • Isaiah Jackson, African American music conductor and founder of the Juilliard String Ensemble
  • Isaiah Kiplangat Koech, Kenyan long-distance runner
  • Isaiah Mack, American football player who plays for the Denver Broncos
  • Isaiah McKenzie, American football player who plays for the Buffalo Bills
  • Isaiah Mustafa, American actor, known for his appearances in commercials for Old Spice
  • Isaiah Oggins, American communist spy for the Soviet Union
  • Isaiah “Ikey” Owens, American Grammy Award-winning keyboardist
  • Isaiah Prince, American football player who plays for the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Isaiah Rashad, American rapper and co-founder of the hip-hop collective, The House
  • Isaiah Rider, American former basketball player who played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, and Denver Nuggets
  • Isaiah Rogers, American architect
  • Isaiah Rynders, American businessman and political organizer
  • Isaiah Shembe, South African evangelist and faith healer who founded the Nazareth Baptist Church
  • Isiah Thomas, retired basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons
  • Isaiah Toothtaker, American rapper
  • Isaiah Washington, American actor known for his role on the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”

More Baby Names

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

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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.