Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Levi

Levi is a Hebrew name borne from the Bible as the third of Leah’s six sons with Jacob (Genesis 29:34). After his birth, Leah declared, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me because I have bore him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi; from the Hebrew “lewi” meaning “joining, attached.” After giving Jacob three sons, she had hoped her husband would become more “attached” to her. Jacob’s other wife, Rachel (Leah’s sister), was barren, but Jacob still loved her more and Leah knew it. According to Genesis, Levi and his two older brothers (Reuben and Simeon) were denied Jacob’s blessing – those rights and privileges were eventually bestowed upon the fourth born son, Judah (also by Leah). As a result, Levi’s descendants would be dispersed as priests throughout the lands of the other Tribes of Israel so the Levites would have no discernable tribal territory of their own. So why was Jacob mad at his son Levi not to confer his blessing? It seems Levi and his older brothers were too quick to exact too violent of a punishment on a Canaanite man who had raped their sister, Dinah. Jacob was outraged by this revengeful deed carried out by his sons and declared, “Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their wrath so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.” It’s not all bad, though. Lacking tribal land, the Levites religious role in Israel was quite an important one nonetheless. Also, Moses and his brother Aaron were both descended from the Levites. The name Levi has been mainly used among Jewish people, although the Puritans picked it up in the 17th century. Today, the name enjoys a much wider appeal. It’s a top choice right now in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United States.

All About the Baby Name – Levi

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME LEVI

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME LEVI

We might call Levi “the turn-of-the-century” name. Most of the name’s popularity has been experienced at the turn of the past two centuries (the 20th and the 21st). However, right now the name is achieving its highest position ever on the charts. Levi became a Top 100 most-favored baby boy’s name for the first time ever in 2009. And he’s showing no signs of slippage (currently ranked #55). Traditionally, as one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the name Levi has mostly been associated with people of Jewish descent. In the early days of American history, the name was adopted by the Puritans. Now the name is up for grabs. It’s got a lot going for it –Hebrew origin, Biblical significance, an interesting etymology, and an Old West pioneering attitude (thanks to Levi Strauss). The name has a simple easiness to it, and there are no nicknames or pet forms so it should stay in-tact. It’s not surprising to us that Levi is enjoying a successful revival right now. It’s a cute choice!

Quick Facts

ON LEVI

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Hebrew

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

50

PRONUNCIATION:

LEE-vie

SIMPLE MEANING:

Attached, joined

Characteristics

OF LEVI

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Levi

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME LEVI

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Levi

Popular Songs

ON LEVI

Levi Blues
a song by David Wilcox

Famous People

NAMED LEVI

Levi Strauss (inventor of blue jeans)
Levi Lincoln (Minuteman)
Levi Coffin (abolitionist)
Levi Eshkol (PM of Israel 1963-1969)
Levi P. Morton (U.S. VP)
Levi Stubbs (singer)
Levi Johnston (former fiancé of Bristol Palin)

Children of Famous People

NAMED LEVI

Sheryl Crow; Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME LEVI

Levi Strauss is the well-known inventor of the blue jean. Of German-Jewish descent, Levi immigrated to the United States (NYC) when he was 18 years old. The family maintained a dry goods store in New York, but decided to open a division on the west coast in San Francisco in 1853, during the booming years of the Gold Rush. Levi was serendipitously the family member picked to lead this effort. Three years later, Levi’s sister, husband and infant son would join him (her sons would inherit the business later, as Levi never married). A Reno, Nevada tailor of sturdy denim men’s work pants turned to Levi, one of his fabric suppliers, for help with his patent for using copper rivets to strengthen the pockets. The men received the patent in 1873 and thus began the Levi Strauss & Co. Blue jeans are as American as baseball and apple pie.