Tobias…

is a Greek version of the Hebrew biblical name “Toviyah”, meaning “Yahweh is good”. The name Tobias has traditionally been popular among Jews; among English speakers it was commonly adopted after the Reformation.

 

 

Facts

Gender:         Masculine

Pronounced: To-bee-ahs (German)

Tə-bie-əs (English)

 

 

History

In the Middle Ages, it was most famous from the tale of ‘Tobias and the Angel’ in the apocryphal Book of Tobit.

The tale begins with Tobit, who defies a law that forbids burying murdered Jews. Tobit is punished for his insurrection and being blinded by birds. The sightless father, no longer able to travel, sends his son Tobias to a faraway town collecting a debt due him. Along the way, a stranger makes friends with Tobias and guides him to the town.

Along the way, the pair kill and dissect a huge fish. Tobias does not yet know his protector and companion is the angel Raphael. But under the angel’s guidance, a poultice is made of the fish’s guts that later restores the father’s eyesight. And—as anything angelically devised should—dispels a demon. Meanwhile, the angel guides Tobias to cross the Tigris safely.

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Popularity

Tobias is a widely used name; it has 33 variants that are used in both English and other languages.

The most popular variants are the following shown in the graph.

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Tobias is fairly popular as a baby name for boys. The name’s popularity has been growing since the 1960s. Its usage peaked modestly in 2007 with 0.025% of baby boys being given the name Tobias. It ranked at #477 then. In 2010, its usage was 0.024% and its ranking #519, and it was the most popular among all boy names in its group.

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