Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Ismael

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Spanish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 400
Simple meaning:
God will hear

Characteristics of Ismael

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Ismael

Ismael is the Spanish equivalent of the Hebrew name Yishma'el (Ishmael) meaning ‘God will hear’. In the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, Ishmael was the son of Abraham and half-brother to Isaac. His story is told in Genesis chapter 16. Abraham and his wife Sarah (Sarai) cannot conceive a child, so Sarah gives her Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar, to Abraham. He agrees to this not atypical biblical marital arrangement (an ancient version of “Sister Wives”). Once Hagar is successful at conceiving Abraham’s child, she looks upon her mistress Sarah with contempt (we can’t help picturing Hagar doing a little jig in front of Sarah singing “I AM pregnant and YOOOU are not. HA-ha-ha-ha-HA-ha!”). Of course Sarah is furious and so treats Hagar harshly, causing the handmaiden to flee. An angel of God appears before Hagar instructing her to return and submit to Sarah. The angel says: “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael because the Lord has listened to your affliction.” And so his name was called Ishmael, born to Abraham when he was 86 years old! Later on, old Sarah herself miraculously gets pregnant and bears Isaac. Armed with a son of her own, Sarah now wants Hagar and Ishmael out of the picture to ensure Isaac gets the inheritance and is recognized as the next patriarch (God has already decided that Isaac would be the instrument of His covenant anyway). Banished and wandering the wilderness with his mom, Ishmael almost dies from thirst. God comes to the rescue, saves Ishmael from near death, and promises to make him a “great nation” unto himself (the Ishmaelites). According to tradition, Ishmael is the forefather of the Arab peoples, and Isaac is the forefather of the Jewish tribes. And so goes the story of Ishmael. Ishmael has never been a particularly popular name within English-speaking nations, but Ismael is surprisingly popular among Spaniards and Catalonians.

Popularity of the Name Ismael

As mentioned above, Ismael is ranked high in Spain and Catalonia, but not in Mexico or the United States. Ishmael is a Biblical figure not particularly important to the Catholics (which is the primary religion of Spanish-speaking people), so we are curious as to why Ismael is so popular in Spain and Catalonia. Perhaps it’s left-over influence from the medieval Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula (Moors being Muslim Arabs from Northern Africa). Ishmael is basically considered the forefather of the Arab (Islamic) tribes. In any case, Ismael doesn’t appear to be a particularly popular name in the mainly Catholic nations of Mexico or South America. Ismael first appeared on the U.S. popularity charts in 1928. The name has slowly climbed to levels of mild popularity. This is a name given to no more than 1000 baby boys per year. It’s a nice sounding name (particularly in the Spanish tongue).
Popularity of the Boy Name Ismael
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Ismael

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Ismael

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Ismael

    Ishmael (Moby Dick) Ishmael is the narrator of Herman Melville’s 1851 classic, Moby Dick, and a case might be made for him as the protagonist (if it weren’t for that darned whale!). He is an educated teacher-turned-sailor who loves the sea, who respects the great whale, and who forms a close attachment to the Polynesian harpooner, Queequeg – all of which color his telling of the tale throughout. He opens the book with the famous, much quoted statement, “Call me Ishmael”, and all his observations remain as direct and straightforward as that throughout. In keeping with his biblical counterpart, Ishmael is something of an outsider, which makes his powers of observation even keener and more impartial. Unlike the tyrannical Captain Ahab, Ishmael is able to see that the great whale is not motivated by human-like emotions, but rather by his majestic animal nature. Ahab, of course, refuses to see reason in this regard; he imperils the ship and the lives of his men in his monomaniacal quest for revenge on the creature that cost him a leg. Also unlike Ahab, Ishmael is capable of deep affection and respect for his fellow man, as epitomized by his relationship with Queequeg. At the end of this magnificent tale, it is only Ishmael who remains alive, surviving because of Queequeg, alive in spite of Ahab, and left alone in the sea awaiting the rescue ship. And Moby Dick leaves Ishmael alone as well.

  • Popular Songs on Ismael

    Popular Songs on Ismael

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

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Ismael

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Ismael

    Ismael - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character with the first name Ismael.

  • Famous People Named Ismael

    Famous People Named Ismael

    Famous People Named Ismael - Ismael Urzaiz (Spanish soccer player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Ismael

    Children of Famous People Named Ismael

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

  • Historic Figures

    Ismael - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy Name Ismael

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 - Ismael

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