Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Iago

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Celtic
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • N/A
Simple meaning:
At the heel; one who supplants

Characteristics of Iago

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Iago

Iago is another example of a literary giant, although in this case he’s considered one of the greatest villains in all of Western literature. But let’s back up a bit. Why did William Shakespeare select this particular name for his antagonist in his great tragedy “Othello” (c. 1602)? Iago is actually a Celtic form of the name Jacob. And when we say Celtic, we don’t mean Irish. It’s the Galician form of Jacob. Galicia is a region of Spain with Celtic roots; inhabited by the Gallaeci tribe in the centuries before Christ. Now for a little lesson in linguistics, because we’re sure you’re asking how on earth Iago is derived from Jacob, right? Well, the Hebrew Yaakov gave way to the Greek Iakobos which was later translated in to the Latin Iacomus (in the English language the name became Jacob/James and in Ireland it became Seamus). If you look closely, you can see the evolution in spelling and pronunciation among the various languages. In Spain and Portuguese, the Latin Iacomus was shortened to Iaco and Yago (which is where we get Santiago or Sant Yago – as in St. James – one of Christ’s disciples). Equipped with this knowledge, one can see how the Spanish-Galician people arrived at Iago as their form of Jacob/James. And this is exactly where Shakespeare got the name for his infamous character Iago. Ok, now that we know Iago is ultimately derived from the Hebrew Yaakov (Jacob), we can now offer up the name’s etymological meaning. Yaakov originated from the Hebrew “akev” meaning, quite literally, “at the heel” (in reference to the Biblical Jacob following his twin brother Esau out of Rebecca’s womb “at the heel”). The name is also often associated with the verb “to supplant” in reference to Jacob winning the birthright and blessings from his father (Isaac) over Esau who was actually the firstborn son. So… back to our original question: why did Shakespeare select the name Iago for his great villain? Well, just as Jacob devises an intricately clever plan in the Bible to supplant his older brother Esau; Iago, too, manipulates events in Shakespeare’s play to bring about the downfall of Othello (not to mention everyone else in the process!). Perhaps The Bard’s name choice wasn’t an accident (see literary references below for more information on Iago’s role in Othello).

Popularity of the Name Iago

You won’t be surprised to hear that Iago has never seen the light of day on the American male naming charts. In the history of baby naming in the United States, Iago has never made the cut. Not once. Obviously the reason for this is twofold: 1) the name is just too obscure; and, 2) the name is far too associated with Shakespeare’s villain. In any case, we wanted to add Iago to our list because today parents are making bolder choices when selecting names for their babies. Plus, people today seem less sensitive about any negative associations of a name. in fact, some might even find it pleasing!
Popularity of the Boy Name Iago
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Iago

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Iago

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Iago

    Iago (Othello) Iago is the Shakespearean villain of Othello, (ca. 1603) whose name has become synonymous with evil-doing. Iago hates his master, the Moor, Othello, and plots his downfall with a dedicated deviousness that leaves no prisoners. He devises a dastardly scheme that involves his own wife in tricking Othello into believing Desdemona has been unfaithful to him. Using his post as a trusted advisor to Othello, Iago, who has (he feels unfairly) been passed over for a promotion, plots to bring about the downfall of his perceived nemesis. Iago leaves nothing to chance – he lies, he steals, he deceives, he works away at the very underpinnings of human trust. And he is successful – not only does Iago kill his own wife, but he is directly responsible for Othello’s murder of the innocent Desdemona and for Othello’s own suicide. In the wake of all this mayhem, Iago is to be sentenced to death. It hardly seems punishment enough. In the end, we are left with a portrait of pure and unadulterated evil.

  • Popular Songs on Iago

    Popular Songs on Iago

    Iago - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Iago.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Iago

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Iago

    Tales from Shakespeare (Charles & Mary Lamb) - Discover Shakespeare's best-loved plays. These tales are the perfect introduction to Shakespeare's greatest plays. Charles and Mary Lamb vividly bring to life the power of "Hamlet" and "Othello", the fun of "As You Like It" and the drama of "Pericles". They never lose the feel of his beautiful language and humanity and convey all of his wit and wisdom. These tales are classic literature in their own right. Recommended for ages 8-14.

  • Famous People Named Iago

    Famous People Named Iago

    Famous People Named Iago - We cannot find any celebrities or significantly famous people with the first name Iago.

  • Children of Famous People Named Iago

    Children of Famous People Named Iago

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Iago - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Iago.

  • Historic Figures

    Iago - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Iago - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Iago.

Personality of the Boy Name Iago

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Iago

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