Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “dog.”
Eng (KAY-leb; Heb KAH-lev)

The name is believed to be derived from the Hebrew kēleb meaning, “dog”, which by some, is believed to be a euphemism for loyalty.

The name is borne in the Old Testament by one of the spies sent into the land of Canaan by Moses, (Numbers 26:65).

The name was not common until after the Protestant Reformation, where the name was occasionally used among Puritans in the 17th-century. The name died out and was suddenly revived within the last twenty years. It is currently the 34th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). In other countries, his popularity is as follows:

  • # 63 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 42 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 69 (Scotland, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Kaleb (German/Polish/Scandinavian)
  • Caleb (English/French/Spanish)
  • Kalev (Estonian/Russian)
  • Kalev כָּלֵב (Hebrew: Biblical)
  • Kalebas (Lithuanian)
  • Kołef (Polish)
  • Calebe (Portuguese)
  • Kolev (Russian)

In Estonia, the designated name-day is June 23.


  1. Caleb“. Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
  5. Hoffman William F and George W. Helon, First Names of the Polish Commonwealth: Origins and Meanings, (Polish Genealogical Society of America, 1998)

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