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What does Ishmael mean?

Ishmael Pronunciation of Ishmael 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".


ASSOCIATED WITH biblical, slave (servant)


VARIANTS Ismael, Ismail, Ysmael, Ysmail



Ishmael Jeriah (I.J.), ..

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)

Ishmael reached its peak position of #903 in the U.S. in 1997, and is presently at #1312. (TOP BABY NAMES, 2018)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ishmael name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Ishmael outside U.S.

Which version is better?

Popular related forms of Ishmael (#1312 LAST YEAR) are Ismael (#358) and Ismail (#1194). Adoption of these forms of Ishmael was at its highest in 2018 (MEDIAN #954). Ismael is a constant favorite.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Ishmael, Ismael, Ismail in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Ishmael and related baby names outside U.S.

Similar Names

Suggested similar-sounding 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.

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in meaning and etymology.