It wouldn’t be a surprise if today, or very soon, you will be spending some time with Jacob Black and Isabella Marie Swan — more affectionately known as Bella.
“Eclipse,” the third installment in the Twilight series hits movie theaters today, with enough vampirism and lycanthropy to last until late 2011, when the fourth film in the saga is slated to come out.
Jacob has been at the top of the boys’ names list since 1999, but this is Isabella’s first time as the top girl’s name. So, there’s no denying the effect pop culture has on anthroponyms.
In fact, over the past few weeks, South African hospitals have experienced a World Cup baby-naming fever. One woman named her daughter Fifa, after soccer’s international governing body, FIFA. Another couple named their twins Bafana and Mexico, the first two teams to play in this year’s World Cup. (“Bafana Bafana” is the team name for host country South Africa.)
But back to the more pressing issue at hand: Whence come the names Jacob and Bella?
In the Book of Genesis, Jacob was the name of Isaac’s son. In Hebrew, the name is Ya’akov, meaning heel- or leg-puller. Jacob had a twin brother Esau, who was born first. Hence, Jacob followed on the heels of Esau. Ya’akov also went by another name: Yisra’el, or Israel, which means to “persevere with God.”
Isabella’s etymology is a bit less clear. The name is believed to be a Spanish color name, meaning “greyish yellow.” (The name Bella has Italian roots, meaning “beautiful” or “fair.”)
And here’s an added Twilight word bonus: “Eclipse” is being released in IMAX, which is an amalgamation (or portmanteu) of two words — “image” and “maximum.” Impress your friends. Then sit back and enjoy the show.
You can’t give Twilight all the credit. I’m sure LOST has had some influence on the name “Jacob” being at number 1 for the past couple of years as well.
watever it is.. bella is beautiful….
Luv twilight books n movies.
i really dont like the name isabella but jacob is nice
OMG i love twilight! its like nothing ever existed before it! OMG i can just die, just simply die if i ever got to even look at them in person. like totally omg i would name all my kids jacob even the girls. i mean totally ya know. really, like nothing ever existed before twilight and nothing ever could even hope to come close to it ever and the world will never be the same! omg.
luv twilight! eclipse was awesome! luv Jacob <3
I’ve always liked the name Isabella, even before the Twilight books came out.
haha greyish yellow…I guess that could sometimes be used to describe Kristen Stewart
I think that Jacob and Isabella r just cool who cares what they mean.There Still awesome! GO TWILIGHT BOOKS AND MOVIES!!!!!!
iluvmykids: then you’re a simpleton with no taste. Those books/movies are for insecure morons. Also, way to contribute to discussion.
Isabella is a great name, I have a cousin who named her daughter that before this twilight craze. I’m surprised at Isabella’s meaning though…grayish yellow? Nice.
You, the anonymous interweb denizen going by the name Joey. I really hope you were being facetious.
In this matter Twilight has turned me OFF naming things after them. Mainly for things like stories etc. If I need a name and Edward or something happens to be the most fitting, I will desperately search for something else BECAUSE of Twilight. Meyer’s ruined association with so many things, I can no longer read vampire novels, nor can I ever think of the once beautiful word ‘twilight’ the same way again.
Adam I sooooo agree with you. Kristen Stewart is just weird. Anyway, I’m TEAM EDWARD so I LOVE Edward but I would never name my son Edward. I can barely pronounce it! BUT I would name my son Robert. I LOVE that name…I always have.
twilight sucks.. i cant imagine vampires are roaming around.. and women are ready to be bitten by them,… typical lunatics and morons.. but i love the name harry and thomas ehhehe
harry and his friend roy dont like the movie either.. my lunatic cousin is all crazy abt it.. she is waiting for a vampire to bite her.. and she makes sounds assuming she is ready ahhahah.. such creepy ppl live in the world… i wonder how creepy ppl are… hmmm.. anyway a good taste for psycho women
omg there are three jacobs on my track in my school, and im team jacob too and i have been team jacob ever since i first read new moon i <3 jacob!!
I was always under the impression that Isabella was just a variation of Isabel, which in turn is the Spanish version of Elizabeth. (I am Filipino with Spanish roots.) I looked up the meaning of my name long ago and it has biblical origins. The name means bequeathed to God or , more simply, God’s promise.
By the way, Go team Harry Potter!
What’s in a name? Whether or not people name their kids after movies/books/TV shows… it’s their choice. I was told not to name my youngest son Perry because “everyone (they had) ever met with that name was mentally or physically disabled”. It’s just a name. If someone names their daughter Isabella because it was their grandmother’s name, should a movie craze stop them? I can’t say – it’s up to the parent(s) because it’s their child. It’s their choice.
side note: Joey – funny post, I got a giggle.
Dictionary.com, thank you for the perspective!
I am waiting to turn into a werewolf… Jacob rocks!! I <3 Jacob!! I will always be team Jacob, no matter what!! Edward sucks now that Jacob is so much hotter!!
Anne Rice wrote about vamps that were infinitely more interesting than Meyers’ crew — and that was decades ago! Bella is a door mat with no hobbies and few friends outside of the Cullens and Jacob. She spends her life being Little Suzie Homemaker to her Dad and has no ambitions for her future beyond being crossed over. Someone should tell her that eternity is a really long time to do NOTHING!
There are many other books on vamps that have far more enthralling characters. Oh, and btw, great abs and pecs outshine “sparkles” eight days a week!
jeez, the twilight books arent even that good. cant everyone just calm downs about it? TEAM HARRY POTTER 4EVER!!!!!!!!! (tee hee hypocrisy)
I think isabella is a really nice name
dunno bout jacob
I have nothing against Stephanie Myer, but I personally hate Twilight, (’s just an opinion. We’re all entitled to one.) and I think this is just obsessive. I could give you 99 reasons anti-twilight right now, but I won’t. I’ll just say that I’m pretty disgusted that people are naming their babies after a hairy non-existant and a blatant mary-sue. That is all.
Harry potter sucks
its kinda getting boring
GO TEAM BILL!! TRUE BLOOD!!! ERIC CAN BITE ME ANYDAY!! OLDER VAMPIRES NEED LOVE TOO!!!
DUDE! I WENT TO SEE TWILIGHT, NEW MOON, AND ECLIPSE AT THE THEATER ALL LAST NIGHT, AND THE FIGHT SCENE/CLEARING SCENE WAS FREAKING EPIC! I MEAN IS WAS AWESOME! WAY BETTER THAN THE BASEBALL SCENE! …. and I don’t even like Twilight! I call Twilighters TWI-TARDED!
Kona, pls tell us you are not serious.
most of the above is just sad. teddy, maybe it’s the type of women you choose to hang w/ that informs your opinion…
for those of you who actually pick up a book rather than watch series/movies, try C.S. Lewis’ books, they’re great (an interesting genre known as “quality writing”). And nobody’s greyish-yellow!
I can’t understand the relevance of these movies. The main character is an abusive and useless emotional wreck over an undead. The two’s interaction is dead as well, and their lack of communication would send any real couple looking for something healthy. The film’s are colorless. The majority of the movies are spent waiting for one or the other to say their lines, and the acting is horrid and flat. Worse are the self-destructive tendencies that even all the characters around the female main know are unacceptable “This isn’t normal, Bella.” “This is the most stupid thing you’ve ever done,” but the main, Bella, refuses to change and continues to use and rub her emotional inconsistencies off on everyone around her just ’cause “I miss Edward so much, no one else in my life matters, not even Jacob or my exhausted father, and none of you non-vampire-lusted types could evAr understand the power of my luuve. Don’t hate on my drama! I’m just like Juliet, and he’s my Romeo! SYMBOLISM!!”
I would never name a child after such a self-masturbational piece of cardboard, which these films and the books are. Names are names. Honestly, the pathetically-ended show Lost’s Jacob had more to do with the Christians’ bible than this tripe.
A name is a name. Don’t wreck it by referencing teen infatuation-junkie tripe. With sparkles on top.
I have the best name and its “Bedazz’elle”. PS. I was born b4 that stupid bedazzler bead thingie….
I think that whether or not the Twilight saga is “good” or not depends upon the individual opinion. People who snub those who do like the books just because they are passionate about their interests and not afraid to express their opinion come off as mostly immature. Most people who don’t like the books either haven’t read them, have only seen the movie(s) with a closed mind, or don’t want to admit to liking them in fear of other peoples’ perception.
To Jared: If you think the Twilight saga is for people who are “simpletons with no taste” and “insecure morons,” then that is your own choice. However, different people are attracted to different things, but someone saying that they love a certain book or movie in no way constitutes stupidity or insecurity.
To Umbri: If you can’t stand to be reminded of certain things just because they have something in common with a popular book series, then how do you ever expect yourself to be able to eat certain foods that remind you of certain people, to wear your hair the way you like it the most even though that particular someone had the same hairstyle, or even to go to certain restaurants or businesses associated with certain people in your memory. If you let stuff like that control you and bother you, then you’re just living life in the shadows.
To Btdt: Though you might view Bella as a doormat, you might want to consider how her character is symbolized as independently strong with a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. Her character faces many struggles that most people could never begin to comprehend. To judge a person by the amount of friends they have is the most superficial high-school-bull-shit way to come to a conclusion about a person’s character. It’s not about the quantity of friends, it’s about the quality. I would rather have 5 close friends that I could trust with anything versus 20 friends who don’t really care about me except in the sense of their own self-benefit.
OH, and to want to live forever because you have something/someone worth living for is a lot more noble than wanting to cut your life short out of mere boredom.
One last thing, great abs and pecks might be more appealing to the lustful eye, but the one who loves you see’s you for who you really are, and the sparkles outshine even the most attractive competitors.
OHHHH Kristin Stewart is so fake. She puts on an act. I laughed so hard when she almost FELL after she got up at the mtv 2010 movie awards…she is always doing ” thumbs up”. She is goofy….they should kill her character off LOL
I love the name Isabella, Jacob… not so much.
“I can’t understand the relevance of these movies. The main character is an abusive and useless emotional wreck over an undead. The two’s interaction is dead as well, and their lack of communication would send any real couple looking for something healthy. The film’s are colorless. The majority of the movies are spent waiting for one or the other to say their lines, and the acting is horrid and flat. Worse are the self-destructive tendencies that even all the characters around the female main know are unacceptable “This isn’t normal, Bella.” “This is the most stupid thing you’ve ever done,” but the main, Bella, refuses to change and continues to use and rub her emotional inconsistencies off on everyone around her just ’cause “I miss Edward so much, no one else in my life matters, not even Jacob or my exhausted father, and none of you non-vampire-lusted types could evAr understand the power of my luuve. Don’t hate on my drama! I’m just like Juliet, and he’s my Romeo! SYMBOLISM!!”
I would never name a child after such a self-indulgent piece of cardboard, which these films and the books are. Names are names. Honestly, the pathetically-ended show Lost’s Jacob had more to do with the Christians’ bible than this tripe.
A name is a name. Don’t wreck it by referencing teen infatuation-junkie tripe. With sparkles on top.”
I agree with you there.
twilight is lame. Kristen’s character is just being a dumb a**. she should just pick a guy and go with the flow. she is always going back and forth with Jacob and Edward. i want to scream in her face, “PICK A GUY AND DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!!” shes so annoying.
Totally agree with Tony. Lost had a huge impact on the name Jacob, I’m sure!
i love twilight i saw all three movies and i am waitin for da forth one. i luv jacob and edward but mostly edward,but dat was messed up wat edward did to bella,edward left bella for a very long period of time. da black vampire came and we thought edward was goin to come but it was really jacob comin to protect her.
I think this is interesting. I’m sure that Stephenie Meyer thought through her character names. It makes sense now that Bella would want people to call her that rather than Isabella if the author were trying to convey a message about her beauty. Jacob meaning following on the heels makes sense for that character as well. Now I want to know what Edward means, or if it was chosen simply because it was a very popular name for the time when the character was born. I think naming your child is a personal process. I know my mother heard my name on a television show. It didn’t mean that she was obsessed with the show. Just that she happened to find it there. When she heard it she thought, Wow that is a interesting and pretty name. So the same can happen to many people who are trying to find the right name. They hear it and it just clicks. To all these people who commented by insulting twilight fans. Honestly, do you have nothing better to do with your time? I don’t go out of my way to seek out articles on books that I hate just to put people down. I have a life.
I saw Eclipse at midnight last night. Have to admit it was the best movie I’ve ever seen. But still, Isabella is a beautiful, but common name. Jacob is a common name. Sorry, can’t say that I actually like it.
i luv twilight i saw all three movies and i am waitin for da forth one. i luv edward and jacob i mostly like edward but jacob okay too. but dat was messed up wat edward did,he left her for a long period of time. OMG i hate james and victoria i am glad dat they killled james. i wonder wat da mom,dad,brother,sister and alice will look like in twilight four all in know is dat in da forth movie bella is goin to get pregnant i read da books anyway dat was a lil sneak peek
twilight’s breaking dawn is 2 parts. therefore, it won’t end in 2011, but in 2012.
lol. I love how this article suggests at of teen pregnancy amongst whimsical twilight fans.
I am astounded by the amount of spelling/grammatical errors that the users have made in their comments. One would get the impression that they are reading comments from a teen magazine, not dictionary.com…I certainly was left with that impression
Twilight is this generation’s “Dark Shadows”
They kind of left out a large portion of the full etymology of Isabella. As the name is also derived from Elizabeth and Isabel, which are both derived from Hebrew origins. While the full meaning of Isabella is actually “God’s Promise” or “God is my oath”. Both meanings, I think, are a lot more meaningful than a “grayish yellow”.
@ Cody. Thank you for reiterating my point.
to Arifa: you suck!
Harry Potter is AMAZING!
Personally I adore the name Jacob, and not because of the books. The name Isabella was ruined by the books for me. She is such a weirdo in the series. For real, who in their right mind would want to become a vampire and drink blood? It’s gross!
twilight’s amazing [: JUST SAYIN’ .
Just as well that Harry Potter is AMAZING!
I thought he was a waste of time.
LOL. Grayish-yellow? The color is just as ugly as Kristen, so it fits!
Meyer’s books are vapid and simple enough to be read by third graders. They’re about as easy to read as picture books. Still, though– STILL people go around wondering what’s going to happen next and worrying about what “team” to be on! Bella had Edward’s sparkling baby and gave it to Jacob the Pedophile. There’s no excuse for watching movies without having read the books, no matter how simple it is.
The definition of ‘isabelo’ or ‘isabela’ according to the RAE’s dictionary (www.rae.es) is “said about horses: a pearl-like color, or a color between white and yellow”. The two words are male- and female-gender adjectives.
Very interesting… I guess that makes “roan”, “palomino” and “isabela” words of a kind .
Sunlight, you’re obviously living in the dark. To think Bella is “independently strong with a strong sense of right and wrong” disregards the fact that she puts her father and potentially her mother and stepfather’s lives all on the line to have a relationship with someone who abandoned her emotionally more than once — that’s not a healthy basis for a long-term relationship, and it’s not strong on her part.
Of course the number of friends isn’t as important as the depth of the relationships, but until she spends time with Jacob while mourning Edward’s absense, she doesn’t get to know anyone very deeply. Her father’s ready to break his own heart again to send her back to her mother because he’s so fearful of her constant depression.
Finally, get a sense of humor — the remark about the abs and pecs vs. the sparkles was a zing to the other responses that are only focusing on the physical!
Then again, Bella lacks a sense of humor, maybe that’s why you feel so close to her. (Zing, in case you didn’t “get it”)
Quite frankley…. I hate both those names!! Give me someing like Nico, Tiara,Trace or Ariana anyday!!
Where’s Edward in the list, I want to know?
Too old a name to overcome?
The name Edward always reminds me of geeks for some reason!!!
Bella’s a nice name though.
Twilight movies are so retarded and boring…..so stupid!
isabel is obviously biblical in origin. from isavel who was married to king ahab in kings. the spanish meanings are purely coincidental.
Why would ANYONE want to name their kids after the freaks in Twilight? I never would because Twilight sucks.
Well i think the names are really beautiful. For one i am naming my first daughter Isabella marie hope.so all you haters go and suck a hotdog
Well it’s a real pain for me – I hate the “Twilight” series! But my name IS actually Jacob. It’s been my name for over 20 years (or since the day I was born) – but I think I want to change it now, VERY soon now…
well, lets clear one thing up. SAM, you are just as stupid as the rest of these people who have writen on this website, sheesh, only someone like you would pick out the spelling mistakes and grammer problems, but i’ll tell you something, BUDDY, you dont know these people in real life, they’re no smarter or stupider than you, because you wrote on this to. if you were as smart as your comment sounded then you wouldnt have even wasted time writing on this website. now, i think i made my point, so let me just point out that i must just be the same as everyone else, i mean, i wrote on the page as well, so, ayway
i love twilight…..
all my desktop back grounds are twilight
i have saved 70 pictures of twilight on my laptop and my favourite names on it are actually esme and rosalie and i also like carlisle.
OH MY GOD I hate Twilight. What a sad excuse for literature.
This coming from an absolute vampire fanatic who loved the old Anne Rice novels. Twilight is poorly written drivel and the movies are crap.
I never liked the name Jacob. I am surprised it has become popular again. Bella sounds rather bourgeois!
‘greyish yellow’ explains a lot. The dog breed the Dobermann Pincher actually has four colour variations. As well as the traditional black and tan, you can get red and tan, blue and tan (which, genetically, is a diluted black and tan), and the ‘Isabella’ – a dilute form of the red/chocolate gene which is definitely a ‘greyish yellow’.
I think it is a beautiful name still but would avoid it as I wouldn’t want my daughter to end up in a class at school with four other Isabellas! My partner’s name is Michael and he used to get annoyed that he ALWAYS had at least one other Michael in the class with him. It’s too common and confusing!
I also can’t understand the Twilight fuss. I do find it disturbing that so many teenage girls are attracted to violent, bloodsucking men. What does that say about their psyche? I think good, honourable men are far more sexy than morose, sparkly ones!
I FOUND THIS FINE READING WRITE SO THEN ITS WAS VERY ENTHUSASTIC ME I WAS BROSING THE SITE SO THEREFORE AS ADDED I PUT THIS VERY SAME REPLY.
I’ve always liked the name Isabella, even before the Twilight books came out.
me too. Its always been one of my favorites. and if I have a daughter I want to name her Isabella, but not because of Twilight.
Ingrid, Nowhere and Rifftax – AGREE. also just about anyone who’s annoyed with twilight. My friend knows a woman who had 4 girls, and named them all Isabella. Isabella jacob, Isabella edward, Isabella marie, and isabella swan. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT.
you all are LOSERS… Harry Potter is SOOOO much better than twilight. Shame on you all… so amusing… Name your child after someone as lame as that…. You all make me laugh. HA. HA.
His name was Tyler, as is mine. I’m Tyler on Team Tyler.
You guys are lame who talks about this stuff lol. you needa pull your head out of your butt and worry about important stuff instead of watching twilight and harry potter all day. get a life losers
and cheerio, your name is cheerio you shouldnt have a say so in chhosing the name of anything.
harry potter is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better than twilight. but the only reason that I like this movie is because I realt like the actors and actresses specialy Jacob……………I am realy in love with him and I didnt like the movie because of edward .he was handsome but jacob was better.realy bettera
hmmm… there is Bella, Jacob… ur missing Edward.
I love the name Jacob, Isabella is nice but because of twilight I would name my kid that. But dont get me wrong, I love twilight, but the books arent as sad and depressing as the movies make them out to be lol. The music from the movies is awesome though.
I also love the name Jared, Meyer used that in two of her stories… But again I wouldnt name my kid Jared..
Kristen Stewart is a bit spazzy sometimes but I like her haha
But also, I now love the name Ian after I read The Host.. Whoops.. haha
Argh i mean I WOULDNT name my kid Isabella lol
you are a bat when you died what you want.
I don’t care what Jacob’s name means, he’s f***ing hot!
I have to say, I for one am planning to name my future children after the Harry Potter series, and not the idiotic Twilight series.
For a boy I would name him Rune Sirius, or Rhys William (after ancient runes, Sirius Black, my best friend Rhys and Bill (William) Weasley).
For a girl I would name her Lillian Clara, or Kendra Louise (after Lily Potter, my great grandma, Albus’ mother, and my other great grandma).
For girls I’ll go for Tally (as in Scott Westerfeld’s Tally Youngblood) Short, sweet and original.
Or maybe Rachel of K. A. Applegate’s
Isabella is too feminine… Rachel sounds rather forceful and strong.
Because the names are used in a popular series doesn’t mean that that is why the name is popular. Jacob has been near the top for 15 years.
Twilight came out in 2005. “This is Isabella’s first time as the top girl’s name. So, there’s no denying the effect pop culture has on anthroponyms.” no other factors could possibly have influenced this? None at all?
has anyone seen castle ?
it’s similar to this but have some differnces
Why haven’t they mentioned anything about Edward’s name? I’m not a Twilight obsessive, but I do know that Edward is one of the main characters in the story. More “important” than Jacob.
Is the name Jacob more popular only because females think that Taylor Lautner is “sexy” and “hot”? I assume so.
If I had a kid when I was older, I wouldn’t want to name him/her Jacob or Isabella… I like the name Jayden. Of course, I’m too young to have one, I’m in middle school, but I have a friend named Jayden and the name also appeared on the 2011 top baby boy name list. The list is on another blog somewhere on this site.