More and more the Church is coming to a deeper understanding of the irreplaceable role Saint Joseph played in the life of young Jesus. Along with this understanding has come the desire for more knowledge of Jesus’ earthly father—and even the desire to be one of his adopted children through consecration!
Thus, it is no surprise that “Joseph” has been a popular choice for baby names for centuries. Since 1921, over two million males born have been given the moniker by their parents. Surely, this amounts for one of the reasons the saying “average Joe” came to be—there are so many guys who sport the name! Though ironically, Joseph himself was anything but “average.”
A “Twist” on the Traditional
The names “Joseph” and “Josephine” are total classics which will never go out of style. Be that as it may, people have a wide range of preferences and styles when it comes to baby names, and for at least part of the population, something more unique is desired.
Below is a list of baby names that are less of a literal take on Joseph’s name, but still inspired by his life and story.
Names with Masculine + Feminine Forms
- Axel // A Scandinavian version of the Hebrew, “Absalom,” the name means “father of peace.” Jesus is the source of all peace and Joseph is obviously his father.
- Conley // This Irish name meaning “chaste fire” is the perfect way to describe the way Joseph loved Mary.
- Connery // “Warrior lord;” the end of the Litany of Saint Joseph ends with the reminder that Joseph was made “Lord of [God’s] household.”
- Felix or Felicity // Latin for “happy, fortunate,” Saint Joseph has long been invoked as the patron of a happy death since tradition shares he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
- Griffin // Welsh for “strong lord.” Another nod to the biblical roles of both Josephs in the bible; both were given command over the household of the king.
- Henry or Henrietta // Both names mean “home or estate ruler” and Joseph was the head of the Holy Family. “Hank,” “Harry,” “Hattie,” and “Etta” are all cute and traditional nicknames.
- Justin or Justine // The Bible describes Joseph as “a just man.”
- Ramon or Ramona // Spanish for “wise protector;” Joseph is hailed for both these qualities in Scripture and his litany.
- Riley // A title of our heavenly friend is “Joseph, Most Courageous.” This English/Irish name literally means “courageous.”
- Sawyer // A tradesmen name meaning “woodcutter”—perfect to honor the holy carpenter from Nazareth
- Stylianos or Stellina // Greek for “pillar,” this name works perfectly with the title “Pillar of Families.” “Styles” would be a suave way to shorten it for a boy, while the feminine form could easily be shortened to “Stella” or “Lina.”
- Quinn // An Irish moniker meaning “chief leader;” could be another nod to Joseph’s role within the Holy Family.
- Wynn // Welsh for “fair or pure;” Joseph is well known for his chastity and justice.
WEEKLY BLOG UPDATES (+ more!)We'll send you the blog updates weekly in your inbox (with some special tips + tricks to living liturgically from our Blog Editor, Olivia Spears).
Names for Girls
- Adele // French for “noble”; Joseph is referred to as the “Noble Offspring of David” in his litany.
- Aina // Pronounced “EE-na” or “A-EE-NA” this Scandinavian and Finnish name means “mirror” and reminds one of Joseph’s title, “Mirror of Patience.”
- Aisling // God spoke to Joseph through dreams, thus this popular Irish name meaning “dream” could be in honor of their main form of communication.
- Lily // The flower that has long served as a his symbol of purity due to the legend of the flower blooming from his staff at the time of choosing a worthy spouse for the Virgin Mary.
- Minette // A French name meaning “faithful defender;” Joseph is both referred to as the “Protector of the Church,” but also “Most Faithful.” Of course, he defended his family against King Herod and all sorts of undocumented difficulties.
- Nolita // A Latin name with the meaning “unwilling” might initially bring to mind a stubborn person. However, it makes me think of the line in Scripture when Joseph found out about Mary’s pregnancy and was “unwilling to put her to shame.”
- Nora // Means “light” and could allude to Joseph’s title, “Light of Patriarchs” (any other baby name with the same meaning could also work).
- Pilar // Spanish for “pillar;” another nod to his title, “Pillar of Families.”
- Prudence // A virtue which is often incorrectly associated with being a prude. Rather, it’s about making good decisions, and Joseph is hailed as “Most Prudent.” “Pru” is a cute and traditional nickname.
- Valora // A name meaning “courage” to remind one of the virtue that Joseph must have utilized countless times in life (taking Mary into his home, fleeing to Egypt and living there for years, living in poverty, dying knowing the suffering his wife and Son would face, etc.).
- Zelia // Means “zealous, ardent;” a title from Joseph’s litany is “Zealous Defender of Christ.”
Names for Boys
- Argus // Joseph is called the “Guardian of Virgins” because of his relationship with Mary and Jesus, but also because of his fatherly eye over professed religious. Thus a Greek name meaning “watchful guardian” is super fitting.
- Beacon // Both an illusion to his title, “Light of Patriarchs” and also his lesser known symbol of the lantern.
- Carver // A trades name meaning “wood carver,” which Joseph was.
- Coen // A name meaning “bold advisor” to allude to all the help and nourishment Joseph would have given Jesus.
- Declan // Growing in popularity, this Irish name means “man of prayer,” which Joseph certainly was.
- Deimos // Pronounced “DAY-mos” this Greek name means “terror” and harkens to mind my personal favorite of all Joseph’s titles: “Terror of the Demons.”
- Foster // After the foster father of Jesus.
- Frey // Short and cool-sounding, this Scandinavian name means “lord, exalted one.” Joseph is, of course, Lord over the King’s household and is exalted by all of Heaven.
- Granger // A trades name meaning “worker of the grainery”; it reminds me of the comparison between the Josephs of the Old and New Testament and how they both saved the Bread of Life.
- Guy // “Guide or leader;” another illusion to Joseph’s role in the Holy Family and how he lead them through life’s difficulties.
- Milo // A name with both Latin and German roots. It means, “soldier or mercy.” Joseph was merciful in deciding to divorce Mary, but he was also young and strong and capable of defending his family.
- Naylor // An old English occupation name; Joseph is both the “Model of Workmen” and also a carpenter who would have worked with nails quite a bit.
- Redmund // “Wise protector;” another name to honor Joseph’s guardianship of his family and the Church. “Red” would be a keen nickname.
- Salvatore // Spanish for “Savior” and traditionally attributed to Christ, this name could also allude to Joseph, the “Savior of the Savior.”
- Tekton // This is the Greek word that describes Joseph’s occupation. It includes carpentry, but also great craftsmanship and artistry. Not a name to be found on any baby name websites, it would certainly be one of a kind!
- Walker // In reference to Mother Angelica’s statement (which was in regards to the disagreeing Theologians about Joseph’s age): “Old men don’t walk to Egypt!”
More Names to Ponder
Didn’t see a name you liked? Not sure who you want to name your baby after? Need some faith-inspired baby gear? Check out these other posts about expecting babies!
- How to Name Your Baby (Catholic Style)
- Not-So-Typical Unique Catholic Baby Names
- Unique + Usable Biblical Baby Names
- Catholic Baby Registry (Catholic Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower)
Have a Catholic baby name you love (and we failed to mention)? Share it with us in the comments!
Baby Names Inspired by Saint Joseph #BISblog // Click To Tweet
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks so much for supporting the ministry of Blessed is She!