Meaning and Name Origin
Joseph \j(o)-se-ph\ as a boys' name is pronounced JOH-sef. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Joseph is "Jehovah increases". Biblical: the son of Jacob who, sold by his brothers into slavery, but later became a supreme power in Egypt. Also Jesus' earthly father, a carpenter. See also Joe. Actors Josef Sommer, Joseph Fiennes; writers Joseph Conrad, Joseph Wambaugh; revolutionary Che Guevara; painter Joseph M. W. Turner.
Joseph has 43 variants: Che, Giuseppe▼, Giuseppino, Iosef, Iosep, Iosif, Iosip, Jessop, Jessup, Jo, Jodi, Jodie▼, Jody▼, Joey▼, Joop, Joos, Jose, Josef▼, Joseito, Joselito, Josep, Josephe, Josephus, Josif, Josip, Joss, Josue▲, Joszef, Jozef, Osip, Pepe, Pepito, Peppi, Pino, Pipo, Sepp, Seppi, Yousef▲, Yusif, Yussuf, Yusuf▲, Yusup and Yuszef.
Joseph is a very popular first name for men (#9 out of 1220, Top 1%) and also a very popular surname for all people (#384 out of 88799, Top 1%). (2000 U.S. Census)
Shown below is the baby name popularity of Joseph for boys. Joseph reached its highest rank of #5 in the U.S. during the years 1910-1919, and is at #20 currently. (2014 Birth Statistics)
Shown below is a comparison of the popularity of the boy name Joseph and corresponding names. Prominent variation forms of Joseph (#20 a year ago) listed in the Top 1000 are Giuseppe, Jodie, Jody, Joe (#565 a year ago), Joey (#686), Jose (#76), Josef, Josephus, Josue (#269), Yousef (#766) and Yusuf (#589). These boy names reached the peak of their popularity during the years 1970-1979 and are somewhat less popular today, with forms such as Jodie, Jody, Joe, Joey and Josef becoming somewhat dated. Josue (#269), Yousef (#766) and Yusuf (#589) are three of the more fashionable baby names in this compilation. (2014 Birth Statistics)