The Origin and Meaning of the Name Isaac

The name Isaac is a biblical name of Hebrew origin and its meaning is related to the joy and happiness of birth. Learn more!
The Origin and Meaning of the Name Isaac
Samanta Ruiz

Written and verified by the teacher Samanta Ruiz.

Last update: 03 October, 2022

Would you like to name your child with a biblical name? Then, we suggest you start your search and learn about the origin and meaning of the name Isaac. Its story will surely captivate you!

First, we want to tell you that, the name Isaac is very popular in the United States, where it has been in the top 100 of the most chosen names for many years.

Do you want to know more? Below, you have all the information you need!

What’s the origin and meaning of the name Isaac?

Isaac is a biblical name of Hebrew origin that in its original version is spelled Yishaq’el. It’s believed to be derived from the word tzachaq, which means “to laugh”.

The story of the meaning of this name is very beautiful and is found in the Bible. Isaac was born from the union of Abraham, who was 100 years old, and Sarah, who was 90 when she gave birth to him. For this reason, the name of this son is related to the joy, laughter, and disbelief of this very special event.

Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.”

– Genesis 17:17-19, The Bible –

Over time, the meaning of Isaac was interpreted more broadly. Thus, today it’s known as “the one who laughs” or “the one with whom God will laugh”. In any case, this name is related to the joy and happiness of birth.

Children dressed as Biblical characters walking down the street.
Isaac is a name of Hebrew origin that appears in the Bible and is related to joy, laughter, and the happiness of birth.

When is Isaac’s saint’s day?

There are several dates to commemorate Saint Isaac. Below, we’ll share with you some of them:

  • Saint Isaac of Armenia – Monk: September 8
  • St. Isaac of Corbova – Monk and martyr: June 3
  • Saint Isaac Jogues – Missionary canonized in 1930: June 29

Isaac in other languages

The history and power of the name Isaac made it popular in many countries of the world. Thus, different versions and variations emerged. Take a look at some of them, which could offer several more options to choose from when it comes to naming your child:

  • French, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Portuguese, and English: Isaac
  • Indonesian and Turkish: Ishak
  • Arabic: Ishag
  • Hebrew: Yitzhak
  • Croatian: Izak

Also, there are short versions that are used as nicknames or names, such as Ise, Ike, Ikey, Zack, Izzy, and Issak.

Famous personalities named Isaac

The name Isaac is so old that we find many prominent individuals who have carried the name throughout the ages. Discover some of them below:

  • Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz: Spanish concert pianist and composer.
  • Isaac Asimov: Biochemist of Russian origin and naturalized American. His most well-known facet is as a writer of science fiction and popular science books.
  • Isaac Barrow: English mathematician and theologian. He was Isaac Newton’s teacher.
  • Isaac Kristofer Brock: Composer and lead singer of the rock band Modest Mouse.
  • Isaac Bruce: American soccer player.
  • Isaac Hanson: Vocalist and guitarist of the pop rock band Hanson, which he formed with his brothers Taylor and Zac.
  • Isaac Hayes: American singer, songwriter, and music producer. He’s also an Oscar winner for best original song with The Shaft.
  • Isaac Kashdan: American chess player. He won 9 Olympic medals.
  • Isaak Ilich Levitan: Russian painter. He’s famous for his Volga landscapes.
  • Isaac Newton: English mathematician, inventor, alchemist, and physicist. He discovered the force of gravity and enunciated the law of universal gravitation.
  • Isaac Okoro: American basketball player.
  • Isaac Pitman: English teacher and inventor of the Pitman shorthand system.
  • Yitzhak Rabin: Israeli politician and military man. He was the prime minister of his country twice.
  • Isaac Merritt Singer: American actor, businessman, and inventor who founded the Singer sewing machine company.
  • Isaac Steinberg: Russian lawyer, writer, and revolutionary, of Jewish origin.
A painting of Isaac Asimov.
Isaac Asimov was a renowned Russian-born writer and professor of biochemistry. He was the author of several works of science fiction, history, and popular science.

Isaac, a Biblical name with a positive meaning

Because of its origin, Isaac represents the happiness of birth and the rejoicing of the whole family when a new member arrives. It’s also the name of the second patriarch of the Catholic Church and Judaism. The first is his father, Abraham, and the third is Jacob, his son. All three are considered the main patriarchs of two of the world’s most important religions. For this reason, if you’re a believer, you’ll love this name for your child, as its history, origin, and meaning are found in the Holy Scriptures, which will be of great spiritual value.

But, if you’re still not convinced, you have more options to look for on the site. We have lists of very interesting and original names! For example, you can choose names according to the initial letter, or in case you’re interested in looking at more classic names, you have numerous different alternatives, such as the selection of names of kings or Greek and Roman names.

It won’t be long before you decide what name you’ll choose for your child!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.