Boy Names baby nameCaleb

What does the name Caleb mean?

The different meanings of the name Caleb are:
  • American meaning: Faithful dog; Heart
  • Hebrew meaning: Steadfast valor and devotion; wholehearted
The meaning of the name “Caleb” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: Caleb is a masculine Hebrew name with one of two meanings – it either came from the Hebrew word kelev, meaning ‘dog’, or kal ‘whole’ and lev ‘heart’, giving it the meaning ‘wholehearted’. Caleb was the name of several figures in the Bible, and it was introduced to America by the Puritans after the Protestant Reformation. In the Old Testament, Caleb and Joshua were among the Israelites who left Egypt for Canaan with Moses. They were the only two who lived to see the Promised Land. While it doesn’t have many foreign variants, Caleb does have several alternative spellings – the English Kaleb, the Biblical Greek and Latin Chaleb, and the Biblical Hebrew Kalev. Common nicknames are Cale, Cal, and Cay, and a similar Hebrew feminine name is Cayla. Caleb is sometimes misspelled as ‘Calab’, ‘Claeb’, and ‘Calebs’.

The name Caleb rose sharply in popularity during the latter half of the twentieth century, going from barely entering the top thousand names for boys in the USA to being in the top fifty names by 1996. Its popularity only increased from there, and it was the 35th most popular name in 2014. It is somewhat less popular as a name in England and Wales, only just reaching the top hundred names in 2014 at ninety-third.

The first Native American graduate of Harvard University was named Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck – other famous people with the name Caleb include Caleb Bradham (the inventor of Pepsi-Cola), Caleb Banks (English politician), and Caleb Followill (lead singer of the band Kings of Leon). Fictional characters named Caleb are Caleb Garth from the novel Middlemarch by George Eliot, Caleb Rivers from the television show Pretty Little Liars, and Caleb Prior from the Divergent series.

In 2001, a man named Caleb Rebb was working at a Haunted Hayride and, in an attempt to make the ride scarier, wrapped a noose around his own neck. According to urban legend, he started to struggle and died while people watched on, thinking it was just part of his act.