• 93k Bob
First Name
93k
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
1k
in the U.S.
in 2010
Girls
Boys
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Last
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How to Pronounce Bob

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Bob mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Bob

"Bob" is a name of English origin, and it means "Diminutive form of Robert". It's a name commonly given to boys.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Bob
Senses
  1. Anything that hangs so as to play loosely, or with a short abrupt motion, as at the end of a string; a pendant; as, the bob at the end of a kite's tail."In jewels dressed and at each ear a bob." [Dryden.]
  2. A knot of worms, or of rags, on a string, used in angling, as for eels; formerly, a worm suitable for bait."Or yellow bobs, turned up before the plow, Are chiefest baits, with cork and lead enow." [Lauson.]
  3. A small piece of cork or light wood attached to a fishing line to show when a fish is biting; a float.
  4. The ball or heavy part of a pendulum; also, the ball or weight at the end of a plumb line.
  5. A small wheel, made of leather, with rounded edges, used in polishing spoons, etc.
  6. A short, jerking motion; act of bobbing; as, a bob of the head.
  7. [Steam Engine] A working beam.
  8. A knot or short curl of hair; also, a bob wig."A plain brown bob he wore." [Shenstone.]
  9. A peculiar mode of ringing changes on bells.
  10. The refrain of a song."To bed, to bed, will be the bob of the song." [L'Estrange.]
  11. A blow; a shake or jog; a rap, as with the fist.
  12. A jeer or flout; a sharp jest or taunt; a trick."He that a fool doth very wisely hit, Doth very foolishly, although he smart, Not to seem senseless of the bob." [Shak.]
  13. A shilling.(Slang, Eng)

Etymology: An onomatopoetic word, expressing quick, jerky motion; OE. bob bunch, bobben to strike, mock, deceive. Cf. Prov. Eng. bob, n., a ball, an engine beam, bunch, blast, trick, taunt, scoff; as, a v., to dance, to courtesy, to disappoint, OF. bober to mock

verb Bob
Senses
  1. To cause to move in a short, jerking manner; to move (a thing) with a bob."He bobbedhis head." [W. Irving.]
  2. To strike with a quick, light blow; to tap."If any man happened by long sitting to sleep . . . he was suddenly bobbed on the face by the servants." [Elyot.]
  3. To cheat; to gain by fraud or cheating; to filch."Gold and jewels that I bobbed from him." [Shak.]
  4. To mock or delude; to cheat."To play her pranks, and bob the fool, The shrewish wife began." [Turbervile.]
  5. To cut short; as, to bob the hair, or a horse's tail.

Etymology: OE. bobben. See Bob (n.)

verb Bob
Senses
  1. To have a short, jerking motion; to play to and fro, or up and down; to play loosely against anything." Bobbingand courtesying." [Thackeray.]
  2. To angle with a bob. See Bob (n.), 2 & 3."He ne'er had learned the art to bob For anything but eels." [Saxe.]
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A short abrupt inclination (as of the head) ("he gave me a short bob of acknowledgement")
  2. A short or shortened tail of certain animals
  3. A small float usually made of cork; attached to a fishing line
  4. A hanging weight, especially a metal ball on a string
  5. A long racing sled (for 2 or more people) with a steering mechanism
  6. A hair style for women and children; a short haircut all around
  7. A former monetary unit in Great Britain
  8. Cut hair in the style of a bob ("Bernice bobs her hair these days!")
  9. Make a curtsy; usually done only by girls and women; as a sign of respect
  10. Remove or shorten the tail of an animal
  11. Move up and down repeatedly ("her rucksack bobbed gently on her back")
  12. Ride a bobsled ("The boys bobbed down the hill screaming with pleasure")
Wiktionary
  1. A diminutive of the male given name Robert.
  2. A generic male person.
  3. (cryptography, physics, etc.) A placeholder name for the person or system receiving a message or signal from a source conventionally known as Alice.

Bob was also found in the following language(s): Portuguese

Notable Persons Named Bob

Bob Dylan is a singer-songwriter, artist, and writer. He holds the title Blowin' in the Wind", The Times They Are a-Changin'", Like a Rolling Stone", Lay Lady Lay", Tangled Up in Blue", Gotta Serve Somebody", Things Have Changed", and The Times they are a Changin'". His ongoing career started in 1959. Bob was given the name Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24th, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, United States.

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Bob was given the name Robert Nesta Marley by his parent Cedella Booker on February 6th, 1945 in Nine Mile, Jamaica. Bob is also known as Marley and Robert Nesta. He left this life on May 11th, 1981.

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Bob Ross was an artist in the fields of painter, art instructor, television host, and visual arts education. Bob was given the name Robert Norman Ross on October 29th, 1942 in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. He breathed his last breath on July 4th, 1995.

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Bob Denard is a military person.

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Bob Hope was an actor, comedian, singer, author, athlete, stand-up comedy, and singing. His ongoing career started in 1919. Bob was given the name Leslie Townes Hope on May 29th, 1903 in Eltham. Bob is also known as Packy East. He died on July 27th, 2003.

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Bob Odenkirk is an actor, comedian, director, producer, and writer. His ongoing career started in 1987. Bob was given the name Robert John Odenkirk on October 22nd, 1962 in Berwyn, Illinois, United States.

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Notable Persons With the Last Name Bob

Jay and Silent Bob is a fictional character. Jay is also known as Bluntman and Chronic.

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Killer Bob is a fictional character.

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Douwe Bob is a country folk, folk music, and indie folk musician. He plays Piano and Guitar. He has had major accomplishments since 2012. Douwe was born on December 12th, 1992 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Barbecue Bob was a piedmont blues and country blues musician. He plays Twelve-string guitar. His most notable accomplishments were from 1920 to 1931. Barbecue was given the name Robert Hicks on September 11th, 1902 in Walnut Grove, Georgia, United States. Barbecue is also known as Barbecue Bob. He left this life on October 21st, 1931.

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Madhan Bob is a film actor, comedian, and actor. He has had major accomplishments since 1992. Madhan was given the name S. Krishnamoorthy in 19 in Chennai.

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Jim Bob is a punk rock and acoustic music musician. He was most active from 1985 to 1985. Jim was born on November 22nd, 1960.

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How popular is the baby name Bob in the U.S.?

Click Here to Show Chart Data
Year Total Babies Born Girls Born Boys Born Ranking
1880 46 0 46
1881 50 0 50
1882 59 0 59
1883 62 0 62
1884 50 0 50
1885 52 0 52
1886 66 0 66
1887 74 0 74
1888 59 0 59
1889 51 0 51
1890 53 0 53
1891 55 0 55
1892 61 0 61
1893 59 0 59
1894 48 0 48
1895 54 0 54
1896 45 0 45
1897 53 0 53
1898 61 0 61
1899 59 0 59
1900 98 0 98
1901 49 0 49
1902 64 0 64
1903 66 0 66
1904 65 0 65
1905 58 0 58
1906 69 0 69
1907 77 0 77
1908 77 0 77
1909 58 0 58
1910 103 0 103
1911 76 0 76
1912 141 0 141
1913 169 5 164
1914 217 0 217
1915 296 0 296
1916 304 0 304
1917 358 6 352
1918 482 5 477
1919 554 6 548
1920 710 0 710
1921 808 10 798
1922 787 0 787
1923 928 11 917
1924 1,174 7 1,167
1925 1,373 6 1,367
1926 1,789 9 1,780
1927 1,984 14 1,970 #100 boy name
1928 2,104 11 2,093 #95 boy name
1929 2,109 6 2,103 #89 boy name
1930 2,254 13 2,241 #88 boy name
1931 2,328 10 2,318 #78 boy name
1932 2,443 16 2,427 #79 boy name
1933 2,230 12 2,218 #82 boy name
1934 2,486 8 2,478 #75 boy name
1935 2,398 10 2,388 #81 boy name
1936 2,417 8 2,409 #77 boy name
1937 2,377 14 2,363 #81 boy name
1938 2,211 7 2,204 #94 boy name
1939 2,251 8 2,243 #89 boy name
1940 2,087 5 2,082 #99 boy name
1941 2,081 7 2,074
1942 2,210 7 2,203
1943 2,282 8 2,274
1944 2,139 6 2,133
1945 2,180 5 2,175
1946 2,492 0 2,492
1947 2,519 5 2,514
1948 1,965 5 1,960
1949 1,471 6 1,465
1950 978 0 978
1951 806 0 806
1952 756 0 756
1953 700 5 695
1954 702 5 697
1955 803 6 797
1956 1,019 0 1,019
1957 1,819 6 1,813
1958 2,522 0 2,522
1959 2,832 8 2,824
1960 2,720 0 2,720
1961 2,506 5 2,501
1962 2,171 5 2,166
1963 1,852 6 1,846
1964 1,433 0 1,433
1965 1,000 0 1,000
1966 689 5 684
1967 542 10 532
1968 478 0 478
1969 425 0 425
1970 411 5 406
1971 325 0 325
1972 220 0 220
1973 208 0 208
1974 170 0 170
1975 168 0 168
1976 139 0 139
1977 120 0 120
1978 110 0 110
1979 118 0 118
1980 107 0 107
1981 84 0 84
1982 91 0 91
1983 89 0 89
1984 76 0 76
1985 73 0 73
1986 62 0 62
1987 56 0 56
1988 57 0 57
1989 56 0 56
1990 53 0 53
1991 66 0 66
1992 42 0 42
1993 38 0 38
1994 37 0 37
1995 30 0 30
1996 31 0 31
1997 33 0 33
1998 21 0 21
1999 16 0 16
2000 31 0 31
2001 19 0 19
2002 17 0 17
2003 9 0 9
2004 19 0 19
2005 24 0 24
2006 11 0 11
2007 8 0 8
2008 23 0 23
2009 22 0 22
2010 10 0 10
2011 14 0 14
2012 8 0 8
2013 19 0 19
2014 6 0 6
2015 14 0 14
2016 13 0 13

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Where is the name Bob popular?

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Popularity of Bob as a first name

The map shows the relative popularity of the name Bob as a first name in each of the states. See other popular names in Oklahoma, Wyoming, or Montana.

Popularity of Bob as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Bob as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Louisiana, New York, or Texas.

Common last names for Bob

  • Smith
  • Jones
  • Johnson
  • Williams
  • Brown
  • Roberts
  • Davis
  • White
  • Miller
  • Moore
  • Taylor
  • Wilson
  • Anderson
  • Harris
  • Martin
  • Thompson
  • Lewis

Common first names for Bob

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Bob U.S.
  White 31.87% 64.26%
  African American 43.27% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 4.18% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 13.60% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 3.47% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 3.61% 16.26%

Of Last Name Bob

People with the last name Bob are most frequently White, African American, or American Indian and Alaska Native

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Bob

  • How Popular is the name Bob? Bob is the 670th most popular name of all time. As a last name Bob was the 19,223rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Bob have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2016, the Social Security Administration has recorded 93,212 babies born with the first name Bob in the United States. That's more than enough people named Bob to occupy the country of Seychelles with an estimated population of 90,945 (as of August 26, 2010).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Bob? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 46 new born babies.
  • When was Bob first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Bob is Wednesday, July 5th, 1865.
  • What year had the most people named Bob born? The highest recorded use of the first name Bob was in 1959 with a total of 2,824 babies. That's a lot of babies named Bob!
  • Random Bob Factoid: According to the 1929 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Bob ranks 23rd in popularity as a baby boy's name in Idaho. Imagine that, 31 babies in Idaho have the same name as you in 1929.
  • Weird things about the name Bob: Your name in reverse order is Bob. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Bob. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Bob? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 1,412 people with the last name Bob.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Bob? Chances are, most people haven't met someone with Bob as their last name since less than 1 person in 208k people have that last name. If you know one, consider yourself lucky!

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Name poster for Bob

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Most Popular Names

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.