Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Reuben

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 898
Simple meaning:
Behold, a son!

Characteristics of Reuben

  • Inspirational
  • Highly Intuitive
  • Spiritual Teacher
  • Extremely Bright
  • Uplifting
  • Truth-seeker

Etymology & Historical Origin - Reuben

Reuben is a Hebrew name borne from the Bible. In the book of Genesis, Rueben is the eldest son of Jacob and Leah, and the first born of Jacob’s twelve sons. As the less-favored of Jacob’s wife, God took pity on Leah and made her quite fertile. Poor Rachel, the favored wife of Jacob, was made barren (at least for a while). Apparently, God was a little spiteful that way – or else He was just trying to even the playing field. “And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”’ [Genesis 29:32]. The Hebrew name Rəʾuven means “behold, a son” – which is what Leah would have called out in her great happiness over giving Jacob a son. At the time of Jacob’s death, as he is preparing to bless his sons, we expect Reuben, as was the custom with firstborn sons, to get most of the booty – not so. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the first fruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.” [Genesis 49:3]. Sounds good for Reuben so far, but wait; Jacob pulls a fast one on his oldest son. No blessing for you Reuben. Neener, neener, neener. Jacob refuses to bless Reuben because his oldest son “defiled” his father’s bed by sleeping with one of Jacob’s concubines while his father was out of town. Reuben’s birthright blessing was given to Joseph instead. Despite this poor lapse in judgment on Reuben’s part, he still held a prominent position among Jews as one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the one brother who tried to spare Joseph when the others wanted to kill him. Nonconformist Christians also adopted the name Reuben for themselves around the Reformation. It has survived among English speakers since the 17th century.

Popularity of the Name Reuben

Reuben is another example of an old-fashioned name that has slowly gone out of style. Unlike other Biblical names, Reuben is not experiencing a revival of interest. Although Reuben has never achieved Top 100 status, the height of his popularity came in the late 19th century and early 20th. His best year ever was 1880 when he reached position #149 on the Top 1000 list. As the decade progressed into the 1900s, Reuben slowly dropped on the charts, averaging about 100 positions per decade. While the name showed modest improvements in the 1970s, for the most part Reuben has heading backwards. In 2010 Reuben looked like his days were numbered when he held position #999 on the list, but he’s not quite ready to say good bye yet. Still hanging in there, old Reuben’s days many be numbered. They disagree in New Zealand and Great Britain where this name does a lot better (even in Canada and Australia). Here’s a fun fact: the real first name of the character Rooster Cogburn (made famous by John Wayne in the movie “True Grit”) was Reuben. We know, we know. There’s no way around the name’s association of the popular Reuben sandwich (made with corned beef/pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing) – but so what? Reuben is now so uncool he’s cool. It sounds darling on a little boy and ages well into adulthood. The name can easily be shortened to the ever-popular Ben. Behold! It’s Reuben!
Popularity of the Boy Name Reuben
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Reuben

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Reuben

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Reuben

    Rueben “Rooster” Cogburn (True Grit) Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn is the protagonist of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel, True Grit, made into an award winning movie by the same name in 1968 and a sequel in 1975, Rooster Cogburn, both starring John Wayne. The Coen brothers directed a remake in 2010, starring Jeff Bridges. Reuben is a Civil War veteran, a U. S. Marshall, a drunk, a loner, a has-been and – most of all – a big guy with a big heart that shines through in spite of his best efforts. It matters little what the plot is that drives the action; the important thing is that this is a man who lives by a code as old as humanity – doing the right thing.

  • Popular Songs on Reuben

    Popular Songs on Reuben

    Reuben - a song by Flatt and Scruggs

    Reuben and Rachel - an old children's song by Birch & Gooch

    Reuben James - a song by Conway Twitty

    Reuben James - a son by Kenny Rogers

    Reuben James - a song by Kingston Trio

    Sinking of the Reuben James - a song by Woody Guthrie

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Reuben

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Reuben

    Reuben (Mary Christner Borntrager) - Growing up in an Amish home is no protection from peer pressure. Reuben struggles to balance wanting to prove himself to his friends and living up to the expectations of his parents. On a dare, Reuben tries to show how fast his horse can run and trouble erupts. Book #5 in the Ellie's People series. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Reuben and Barney's Day on the Farm (Nannie Kuiper) - Reuben lives on a farm with his dog Barney. Today they wake up and rush outside to start an exciting new day. They feed the chickens, pigs and rabbits, weed the vegetable patch and stop the naughty goats from eating all the flowers. They visit the cows, ride Chestnut the pony, and try not to get stung by the buzzy bees. They play outside in the fields and the orchard until it's time to go home for supper. This bright, lively picture book is packed with character and movement. There are plenty of animals for young children to spot, and noises for them to join in with. Children will make friends with lovable Reuben and Barney as they play and carry out simple jobs on the farm. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Reuben and the Balloon (Merle Good & P. Buckley Moss) - Merle Good has written numerous books and articles about the Amish, including the beautiful book Who Are the Amish? and the popular children's books Reuben and the Fire and Reuben and the Blizzard (artwork by P. Buckley Moss). Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Reuben and the Blizzard (Merle Good & P. Buckley Moss) - The art of internationally known artist P. Buckley Moss captures the color and character of Amish life with striking elegance in this heartwarming story of Reuben and the Blizzard. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Reuben and the Fire (Merle Good & P. Buckley Moss) - Reuben, an Amish boy with five sisters, witnesses the burning of a neighbor's barn and experiences the excitement of the barnraising that follows. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Reuben and the Quilt (Merle Good & P. Buckley Moss) - Reuben was ducking strawberries in the truckpatch when his dad got the idea about making a quilt. The whole family would help (even Sadie, who threw the plump red berries). They would make it as beautiful as possible. Then they would sell it at the auction to raise money for an operation needed by their neighbor on the next farm. Moss and Good's new collaboration is as rich and lively as their two highly successful earlier books -- Reuben and the Fire and Reuben and the Blizzard. Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Reuben's Adventures on Uncle Ram's Farm (Ram Halady) - When five-year-old Reuben visits his Uncle Ram's farm near Bangalore, in India, he has a small adventure and meets Lakshmi, the elephant, whom he adopts as a friend and pet. But he cannot take Lakshmi back to the United States with him on a plane, so he leaves her behind at Uncle Ram's farm, promising to return every year. Reuben's next round of adventures brings him two more friends - Ali, the crocodile and Moti, the dog. He also discovers that these animals talk to children all the time. You only have to listen! Reuben's older cousin Andrew, also visits the farm and together the cousins have other encounters with more animals - each one exciting and memorable. With each adventure, they gain new friends and learn something along the way. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Reuben

    Famous People Named Reuben

    Famous People Named Reuben - Reuben Fine (Chess Grandmaster); Reuben Morgan (Australian Christian singer/songwriter); Reuben Fenton (19th century politician); Reuben Droughns (football player/coach); Reuben Gant (football player); Reuben Tam (artist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Reuben

    Children of Famous People Named Reuben

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

  • Historic Figures

    Reuben - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy Name Reuben

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Variations of the Baby Name - Reuben

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