Joshua

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is salvation.”
Eng (JOSH-e-wuh)

The name is borne in the Old Testament by an apprentice and companion of Moses, also known as one of the twelve spies of Israel sent out by Moses to the land of Canaan. After the death of Moses, he was appointed chief of the Israelites.

According to the Bible, Joshua was born as Hoshea, and was the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, and Moses changed his name to Joshua, (Numbers 13:16).

The name is derived from the Hebrew, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ‎ (Yehoshua), which is composed of the Hebrew roots, ישע meaning, “salvation” “to deliver” or “to be victorious.”

The name of Jesus is an anglicization of the Hebrew Yehoshua, being a translation of the Biblical Greek, ιησου (Iesou/Jesus).

In the English speaking world, before the Reformation, Joshua was seldom used outside Jewish communities. Currently, Joshua is the 4th most popular male name in the United States, (2008), the lowest he ever ranked in U.S. naming history was in 1929, coming in as the 726th most popular male name.

His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 4 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 8 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 5 (England/Wales, 2008)
  • # 29 (Ireland, 2007)
  • # 1 (Isle of Man, 2008)
  • # 93 (the Netherlands, 2008)
  • # 4 (New Zealand, 2009)
  • # 1 (Philippines, 2006)
  • # 21 (Scotland, 2008)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Yushua يوشع (Arabic)
  • Yuşə (Azeri)
  • Josu (Basque)
  • Josuè (Catalan)
  • Jošua (Croatian)
  • Jozue (Czech/Slovak)
  • Josva (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Jozua (Dutch)
  • Joosua (Finnish)
  • Josue (French/Spanish)
  • Xosué (Galician)
  • Jehoschua (German)
  • Josua (German/Swedish)
  • Iokua (Hawaiian)
  • Józsua (Hungarian)
  • Yusha (Indonesian)
  • Gesuè (Italian: obscure as its too close to Gesù, the Italian form of Jesus)
  • Gesuele (Italian)
  • Giosuè (Italian: more common form)
  • Giosuele (Italian)
  • Jozuė (Lithuanian)
  • Jozue/Jeszua (Polish)
  • Josué (Portuguese)
  • Iosua (Romanian)

Feminine forms include:

  • Josune (Basque)
  • Gesuela/Gesuella (Italian: jase-oo-AY-lah)

Josh is the common English diminutive form and Chucho, Chus and Chuy are the Spanish diminutives.