Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Jesse

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 158
Simple meaning:
God exists, God's gift

Characteristics of Jesse

  • Dependable
  • Solid
  • Practical
  • Hard-working
  • Industrious
  • Studious
  • Conservative

Etymology & Historical Origin - Jesse

The name Jesse comes from Hebrew “Yishai” meaning ‘God exists’ or ‘God’s gift’ and is borne in the Old Testament [1 Samuel 16] as the father of King David. According to the New Testament, Jesus is descended from David, so he would therefore be descended from Jesse, as well. In the Bible, Samuel invites Jesse to a sacrifice before God. Jesse is asked to present his sons one-by-one before the Lord, but each are rejected. After seven sons are put forth, Jesse is asked if he has any more. The last and youngest is David, and when God sees the boy, he says “Arise, anoint him, for this is he” (1 Samuel 16:12). At that moment, Jesse becomes the father of the future king of Israel. The name’s meaning is fitting from this perspective: Jesse gave God the gift of his son. The name Jesse was popular among the Puritans who brought the name to the American colonies. The name has persisted, particularly in the United States.

Popularity of the Name Jesse

Today in America, the name Jesse is used only for boys, but the name Jessie is considered unisex. We were surprised to see how long the name Jesse has consistently maintained a position on the U.S. popularity charts for boys. Not only that, the name has experienced fairly heavy usage for over 100 years. It’s one of those old Biblical names that feels distinctly modern (like Stephen, for example). Not only that, Jesse has an informal quality that almost makes it sound like a pet form for some other name (like James or Jessica, for instance). Not so. Jesse is an enduring, classical yet unpretentious choice for boys; a stand-alone name. Notable figures who have helped to popularize the moniker include Jesse James, Jesse Owens and Jesse Jackson.
Popularity of the Boy Name Jesse
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Jesse

  • Popular Songs on Jesse

    Popular Songs on Jesse

    Dear Jesse - a song by Mark Brine

    Dear Jessie - a song by Madonna

    Frank and Jesse James - a song by Warren Zevon

    Jesse - a song by Carly Simon

    Jesse - a song by Joan Baez

    Jesse - a song by Julian Lennon

    Jesse - a song by Roberta Flack

    Jesse - a song by The Kennedys

    Jesse James - a song by Bruce Springsteen

    Jesse James - a song by Kingston Trio

    Jesse James - a song by the Pogues

    Jesse James - a song by Woody Guthrie

    Jesse James - a song by Ry Cooder

    Jesse Younger - a song by Kris Kristofferson

    Jesse's Girl - a song by Rick Springfield

    Just Like Jesse James - a song by Cher

    The Saga of Jesse Jane - a song by Alice Cooper

    Whispering Jesse - a song by John Denver

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Jesse

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Jesse

    A Lucky Luke Adventure: Jesse James (René Goscinny) - The story of Robin Hood has made a strong impression on Jesse James, and he would like to become a bandit with a big heart, like his hero. With the help of his brother Frank and his cousin Cole Younger, he decides to steal from the rich and redistribute the loot to the poor. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Bridge of Terabithia (Katherine Paterson) - Jesse "Jess" Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys' side and outruns everyone. That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. Then one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him. Recommended for ages 10-14.

    In Jesse's Shoes (Beverly Lewis) - What parent hasn't urged son or daughter not to stare at or tease a child who is "different" or disabled in some way? In this sensitive yet realistic story, Jesse's sister struggles to understand her brother--and the kids who make fun of him. This endearing book will encourage families everywhere to appreciate and befriend children with special needs. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? (Nancy White Carlstrom) - Jesse Bear playfully "wears" not only his shirt and pants, but also the sun on his legs, sand on his arm, bathwater and bubbles, sleep in his eyes, etc. Publisher’s Weekly described this work as "ingenuous yet never coy…an appealing book to share with a young child." Other Jesse Bear Books include: Climb the Family Tree, Jesse Bear!, Where Is Christmas, Jesse Bear?, It's About Time, Jesse Bear and Other Rhymes, How Do You Say It Today Jesse Bear, What a Scare, Jesse Bear, and Happy Birthday, Jesse Bear! A wonderful collection. Recommended for ages 2-5.

    Jesse Jackson: A Voice for Change (Steve Otfinoski) - The story of the rise to prominence of America's most influential black leader. Join Jesse on his extraordinary journey across the American political landscape -- from his days as a young civil rights activist working with Martin Luther King, Jr., to his two riveting campaigns for president. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Jesse James: Outlaws and Lawmen of the Wild West (Carl R. Green) - A biography of the outlaw who, with his brother Frank, led a gang of bank and train robbers from the late 1860's through the 1870's. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Jesse Owens (Jane Sutcliffe) - Overcoming sickness, poverty, and racial discrimination, Jesse Owens shattered track-and-field records and earned four Olympic gold medals in 1936. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Jesse Tree (G McCaughrean) - "Jesse tree" is meant to be a teaching device for Christians named for one of Jesus' ancestors, and the pictures gracing its branches symbolize 24 traditional Advent stories--from Adam and Eve's fall from grace to the Nativity. The author beautifully retells the stories, framing them as installments of an ongoing conversation between a crotchety craftsman who is carving one of the trees and a boy who is curious about what the sculpture represents. Recommended for ages 7-10.

    The Journal of Jesse Smoke: A Cherokee Boy, Trail of Tears, 1838 (Joseph Bruchac) - Sixteen-year-old Jesse Smoke records the events leading up to the Trail of Tears as well as the excruciating journey west in this diary-format novel that comes alive with details of everyday life and of Cherokee spirituality and world view. Bruchac integrates a Cherokee creation story, the political issues surrounding the forced removal, and tribal practices into this compelling story about a young adult's struggle to understand what is happening to his people and their way of life. Recommended for ages 9-14.

  • Famous People Named Jesse

    Famous People Named Jesse

    Famous People Named Jesse - Jesse Owens (Olympic athlete); Jesse Jackson (civil rights activist, politician and reverend); Jesse James (American Wild West outlaw); Jesse Ventura (pro wrestler/politician); Jesse Helms (politician); Jesse Eisenberg (actor); Jesse Metcalfe (actor); Jesse Bradford (actor); Jesse Carmichael (musician/Maroon 5); Jesse McCartney (singer); Jesse G. James (motorcycle builder); Jesse Palmer (football player/former Bachelor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Jesse

    Children of Famous People Named Jesse

    Famous People who Named their Child Jesse - Bobby Farrelly (director); Dee Snider (musician); Eileen Davidson (daytime actress); James Brolin (actor); John Denver (musician); Jon Bon Jovi (musician); Lorrie Morgan (country musician); Neil Diamond (musician); Patti Smith (musician); Ronnie Dunn (country musician); Ulysses S. Grant (U.S. President); Bob Dylan (musician)

  • Historic Figures

    Jesse - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Jesse James (5 Sep 1847 – 3 Apr 1882) - The famous outlaw Jesse James was born Jesse Woodson James in Missouri to a Baptist minister. During the Civil War, James left Missouri to fight as a Confederate guerilla and once killed eight men in a single day. After the war, he returned to Missouri and became the leader of one of history's most notorious outlaw gangs. With his brother Frank James and several other ex-Confederates, including Cole Younger and his brothers, the James gang robbed their way across the Western frontier targeting banks, trains, stagecoaches, and stores from Iowa to Texas. Eluding lawmen, the gang escaped with thousands of dollars. James is believed to have carried out the first daylight bank robbery in peacetime, stealing $60,000 from a bank in Liberty, Missouri. In 1873, the gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American West. Despite their criminal and often violent acts, James and his partners were much adored. Journalists, eager to entertain Easterners with tales of a Wild West, exaggerated and romanticized the gang's heists, often casting James as a contemporary Robin Hood. His humanitarian acts were probably more fiction than fact. In 1876 in Northfield Missouri, all the gang members were either killed or captured after a botched bank robbery attempt. All but Jesse and his brother, that is. The James men’s wives tried to get them to take on a normal life, but with bounties on their head, they had no choice but to hide out. He eventually recruited the Ford brothers for another heist, but was double-crossed when Robert Ford, hoping to claim the $10,000 reward on Jesse, shot and killed him. Jesse James’ mother provided his epitaph: “In loving memory of my beloved son, murdered by a traitor and coward whose name is not worthy to appear here.”

    Jesse Owens (12 Sep 1913 - 31 Mar 1980) - Jesse Owens was an American track star and hero of the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, Germany during a difficult time in world history (we were on the brink of WWII). His victories at the game not only buoyed the American public, but scored a moral triumph for all Black athletes. He was born James Cleveland Owens, the seventh child out of 11 to an Alabama sharecropper. As a young boy, the Owens family moved to Ohio where “J.C.” entered public school. His teacher mistook his southern accent when he announced his name as “J.C.” and wrote down “Jesse” – a moniker he would adopt for the rest of his life. His track career started in the 5th grade, and by junior high, he was setting records. In high school, his coach said Owens was such a complete athlete that he “seemed to float on the ground when he ran.” At the National Interscholastic Championships, Owens would win the 100 and 200 yard dash and the broad jump. Jesse entered Ohio State University, worked three jobs to support his tuition, and was constantly met with racism. This only strengthened his desire to succeed. At the Big Ten Conference track and field championships in 1935, Jesse broke three world records and tied another. By 1936, he was a member of U.S. Olympic team competing in Berlin, Germany where he would go onto win four gold medals. Jesse Owens was a true American hero and the epitome of triumph in the face of adversity. He would eventually be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Living Legend Award and (finally, posthumously) the Congressional Gold Medal.

Personality of the Boy Name Jesse

The number Four personality is marked by stability and discipline. This is the personality that follows the rules and is conservative by nature.  They have an earth-bound energy that prefers to build things methodically on top of firm foundations; they don't cut corners. Fours take their time and don't like to be hurried. But the outcome of their endeavors is likely to result in some strong and useful structure, which makes them great engineers and inventors. Fours are anything but frivolous or controversial. This is a trustworthy, straight-forward personality that embodies dedication and organization. They are the backbone and anchor in their relationships, careers and communities. They are tidy, punctual, and full of integrity. Hard-work comes naturally to a Four and they are immensely reliable. This is the personality you can always count on.

Variations of the Baby Name - Jesse

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