National Isaac Day is celebrated on December 3 each year, and it’s the best time to reach out to the Isaacs you know and make them feel extra special. Did you know that in the U.S. alone, there are about 80,000 people named Isaac? In terms of ranking, the name Isaac has been on the ‘Top 100 Baby Boy Names’ list since 2019. There are tons of ways to put a smile on Isaac’s face, and today’s the perfect day to do it.
History of National Isaac Day
The name Isaac traces back to the time of Abraham (around 1900 B.C.), and for those who know their ‘Old Testament’ history, you might be familiar with this famous patriarch. Isaac was one of the “big three” patriarchs of the Abrahamic religions, namely, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Abraham, his son Isaac, and his son Jacob, are known as the sort of “founding fathers” of the Israelites, and consequently these three faiths. The name Isaac means “one who laughs.” Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was in her 90s when she conceived their first child.
During the early 1900s, Isaac was a fairly common name, which experienced a dip in popularity. It was only during the 1990s that it rose back into the ‘Top 100’ list of baby boy names and has since retained its popularity. Common variants of the name include ‘Isaak’ and ‘Izaak.’ If you know of any Ike, Ikey, or Ise, chances are their real name might be Isaac too.
As for the big names in history, there is a whole slew of Isaacs who have made history thanks to their contributions in the spheres of literature, art, science, and music. It would be remiss of us not to begin with Sir Isaac Newton, the physicist who fleshed out one of the most immutable laws of nature — gravity. During the same period, there was Isaac Watts, his contemporary, who was composing up a storm with some of the greatest hymns that still ring out across the world — ‘Joy to the World’ being right up there among them. Skip ahead a few centuries to the mid-1900s, when Isaac Asimov, a Russian-born American biochemist-turned-author decided to shake up the literary canon by writing science fiction and ushering in a revolutionary new genre. To date, he is regarded as one of the “Big Three” writers of science fiction. If the show “I-Robot” sounds familiar, it is because he wrote the series of books. These are just a few Isaacs that really captured our imagination, so let this be a springboard for your own deep dive.
National Isaac Day timeline
The ‘original’ Isaac is born to the Jewish patriarch Abraham, who is said to become the “Father of All Nations.”
Newton publishes “Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis,” which contains his three famous laws of motion.
Isaac Watts, a British minister and hymn writer, writes one of the greatest Christmas carols in the world — ‘Joy to the World.’
Some of Asimov’s greatest works are published, including both novels and short stories.
National Isaac Day FAQs
How many Isaacs are there in the world?
Apparently, in 2020, 7,060 baby boys were named Isaac, and six baby girls. In 2020, one out of every 259 infant boys and one out of every 291,841 baby girls are named Isaac, according to recent statistics. That’s a skewed ratio indeed.
What was special about Isaac in the “Bible?”
According to history, Isaac was the only one of the three main Israelite patriarchs who stayed in the land of Canaan for his entire lifetime. Abraham and Jacob traveled to different places during their lifetimes.
Is ‘Issac’ a real name?
Yes, it is. And it is also a name of Hebrew origin, meaning ‘laughter.’ So, in some ways it can be seen as a variant of the name Isaac.
National Isaac Day Activities
Reach out to an Isaac you know
It's time to pull out your little black book or go through your phone contacts and social media friend lists in search of an Isaac you know (or may have known). If you cannot find one, now may be a great time to befriend an Isaac. Either way, show some appreciation by making an Isaac feel special today.
Travel back in time
Hopefully, we have already whetted your curiosity to learn more about the Isaacs of history. So, take this opportunity to conduct your own research into the past to dig up some fascinating stories and facts about famous Isaacs. They could be fictional characters too.
Learn a bit of Hebrew
Since Isaac does have its roots in Hebrew (Yitzhak), this might be a good opportunity to study the ancient language a bit and learn more. Just as Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit are popular languages of study, Hebrew also has a rich tradition, which can prove to be fascinating. It’s always good to expand one’s horizons a bit.
5 Facts About Isaac That You Should Know
The name is mentioned in the “Quran”
The name Isaac is mentioned as many as 15 times in the “Quran,” the holy book of Islam.
It’s a unisex name
Though fairly uncommon still, the female version of Isaac is… Isaac!
The very name suggests sacrifice
People named Isaac are said to have sacrificial personalities, often putting the wants of others before their own.
The ideal name for the academically inclined
Apparently, the ideal vocations for Isaacs include teachers, philosophers, writers, scientists, and ministers.
Isaacs hold a lot of promise
Since the original Isaac was essentially a child of promise, anyone named Isaac is said to be very promising indeed.
Why We Love National Isaac Day
It appreciates Isaacs around the world
We’re quite certain that everyone likes a bit of appreciation every now and then. With National Isaac Day, Isaacs all over the world get to be appreciated, solely by virtue of their name. Hopefully, it will inspire them to live up to their names too.
It can build historical interest
Considering the fact that the name Isaac has a very interesting origin story, our hope is that it will provide a stepping stone to more name explorations. Names are so interesting because of their rich histories. It’s a great way to free the etymologist within you.
Traces back to Jewish culture
Names that are rooted in the culture and identity of any community or people group provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about that culture. The name Isaac is one such name, which traces back to a story that has a special place in the hearts of Jews all over the world.
National Isaac Day dates