Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Josiah

Josiah is a Hebrew name borne from the Bible, specifically in 2 Kings 22-23. In the 7th century B.C., at the ripe old age of eight, Josiah became the 16th King of Judah reigning for 31 years between 640 B.C. and 608 B.C. He assumed the throne after his father Amon was assassinated following an unpopular reign. Despite his youth, Josiah went on to become one of Judah’s greatest kings; in other words, “he did right in the eyes of the Lord”. He initiated reforms following the discovery of a scroll, the Law of Moses, and returned to the worship of Yahweh, one true God alone. It is reported in the Bible that there was never a king like Josiah “who turned to the Lord with all of his heart and with all of his soul and with all of his might, according to the Law of Moses.” [2 Kings 23:25]. Unfortunately, Josiah would later die in battle with the Egyptians; although we’re pretty certain he secured his place in heaven. The name comes from the Hebrew Yoshiyahu (יֹאשִׁיָהוּ) meaning “healed by Yahweh” or “supported by Yahweh”. Josiah has always been considered a Jewish name, but the Puritans adopted it for themselves in the 18th century. It’s an important name to Christians, as Josiah is specifically named as one of the ancestors of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:10-11). Today the United States is experiencing revival interest in Hebrew Old Testament names, and Josiah is going along for the ride.

All About the Baby Name – Josiah

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME JOSIAH

The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done.  They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME JOSIAH

Josiah has been in American circulation since the founding of the colonies thanks to the Puritans. We can, however, track the name’s usage back to 1880 (when the government began keeping records of given names). Starting in the early 20th century, Josiah entered a period of non-use that lasted about 60 years. Finally in the mid-1970s, Josiah came out of hibernation and returned to the American popularity charts. The name slowly and quietly climbed the charts for a little over 30 years until it finally achieved a hard-won spot on America’s Top 100 list (2008). The name still feels very traditional and biblical, but could be considered a more modern alternative to Joshua. Josiah doesn’t leave much room for nicknames or pet forms, except, perhaps, for the average Joe.

Quick Facts

ON JOSIAH

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

69

PRONUNCIATION:

joh-ZEYE-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Healed by God; supported by God

Characteristics

OF JOSIAH

Authoritative

Powerful

Tough

Tenacious

Wealthy

Problem-solver

Achiever

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Josiah

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JOSIAH

Popular Songs

ON JOSIAH

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Josiah


Famous People

NAMED JOSIAH

Josiah (King of Judah)
Josiah Bartlett (signer of the Declaration of Independence)
Josiah Conder (architect)
Josiah Henson (abolitionist, author, inspiration for Uncle Tom)
Josiah Quincy (patriot)
Josiah Wedgwood (entrepreneur)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JOSIAH

Octomom;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JOSIAH

Josiah Quincy is the name of six generations of prominent Massachusetts men who each bore the name of their preceding fathers. The first, Josiah Quincy I, was a Revolutionary War soldier. The next was known as “the patriot,” a skillful orator who had gone to Britain to argue the causes of the colonies. His son, the next Josiah Quincy (III) was both the mayor of Boston and then the President of Harvard University. His son Josiah also became the mayor of Boston and was instrumental in the establishment of the Massachusetts Board of Education. The fifth Josiah was a poet and a writer, and the last Josiah Quincy also became the mayor of Boston. Quite an impressive set of Josiahs, indeed!

Josiah Henson is a notable figure in American history. He was a black man born into slavery in Maryland. After an attempt to purchase his own freedom, Henson was cheated out of his money. Fearing he would be sold again, he successfully escaped to Canada around the age of 40. Henson would go onto set up settlements and schools for other fugitive slaves in Ontario and became an outspoken abolitionist. He was also an author and a minister. It is widely believed that Josiah Henson was the inspiration behind Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 novel, “Uncle Tom's Cabin.” The good and honorable Josiah lived to be 93 years old.