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Scriptsבִּנְיָמִין Ancient Hebrew
PronouncedPron.BEN-jə-min English
BEN-ya-meen German

Meaning & History

From the Hebrew name בִּנְיָמִין (Binyamin) which means "son of the south" or "son of the right hand", from the roots בֵּן (ben) meaning "son" and יָמִין (yamin) meaning "right hand, south". Benjamin in the Old Testament is the twelfth and youngest son of Jacob and the founder of one of the southern tribes of the Hebrews. He was originally named בֶּן־אוֹנִי (Ben-'oni) meaning "son of my sorrow" by his mother Rachel, who died shortly after childbirth, but it was later changed by his father (see Genesis 35:18).

As an English name, Benjamin came into general use after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), an American statesman, inventor, scientist and philosopher.
DiminutivesBen, Benj, Benji, Benjy, Bennie, Benny English Ben German Ben Dutch
Feminine FormBenjamine French
Other Languages & CulturesBinyamin Arabic Beniamin Biblical Greek Binyamin Biblical Hebrew Beniamin Biblical Latin Benjamín Czech Veniamin Greek Peni Hawaiian Binyamin Hebrew Benjámin Hungarian Benjamín Icelandic Beniamino Italian Benjaminas, Benas Lithuanian Venijamin Macedonian Benjamim Portuguese Beniamin Romanian Veniamin, Venyamin Russian Benjamín Slovak Benjamín Spanish Bünyamin Turkish
Same SpellingBenjámin, Benjamín


Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1778)Portrait of Benjamin Franklin (1778)


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Entry updated July 11, 2018   Contribute