What does Ishmael mean?
Ishmael [ish-mael] as a boys' name is pronounced EES-mah-el. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Ishmael is "God listens". Biblical: the son of Abraham by Sarah's Egyptian slave woman Hagar. Among his descendants were Bedouin tribes and Muhammad (seventh century), founder of Islam. Literary: because Ishmael was cast out to wander in the desert, the name is often used symbolically, as in Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick".
(male) Iomael, Isamael, ..
(female) Ishma, Ishmaeli, .. Middle name pairings:
Ishmael Obadiah (I.O.), ..
How popular is Ishmael?
Ishmael is an unusual given name for men but a very prominent last name for both adults and children (#11385 out of 150436, Top 8%). (2000 U.S. Demographics)
Charted below is the birth name history of Ishmael for boys. Ishmael reached its peak position of #903 in the U.S. in 1997, and is presently at #1229. (Top Baby Names, 2015)
Which version is better?with its variant forms and related boy names. Popular related forms of Ishmael (#1229 last year) are Ismael (#401 last year) and Ismail (#1173). Adoption of these forms of Ishmael was at its highest in 2006 (median #1068) and has remained as widespread to this day (#934, 3.8% less usage). Ismael is a constant favorite.
Similar NamesSuggested similar names are Asael, Ashbel, Ishaan▲, Isham, Ismaal, Ismal, Ismat, Ismay, Ismayl, Isme, Israel▲, Izmail, Jamael and Samael. These names tend to be more commonly used than Ishmael.See names in meaning and etymology.