The direct translation for the name Joseph into Italian is Giuseppe (pronounced dju-zep-eh).
Both Giuseppe and Joseph, are thought to have their origins in Hebrew, although many languages have their own variant of the name.
Origin and meaning of Giuseppe
In Hebrew, the name Giuseppe is Yosef, and is thought to be the equivalent of a Hebrew Biblical name meaning 'god will increase'. In Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, the name appears as Yôsēp̄.
Giuseppe and religion
The history of the name Giuseppe is linked to a number of religious texts, with three major religions all refering to equivalents of the name in their holy scripture: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
In biblical terms, the name for Giuseppe - Yosef - is associated with two different meanings:
In the first instance, it is linked to the root word asaf, which means 'taken away' and appears in the context of Rachel's struggles to bear a son.
A second meaning for Yosef appears in the same context, when Rachel speaks of god 'adding' to her a son, which is where the most common theory of the name's meaning appears.
Famous Italian Giuseppes
With Italy being a predominantly Catholic country, names related to the Bible are overwhelmingly the norm. Because of this, it is not uncommon to hear names like Giuseppe being used to this day, with several notable examples being:
- Giuseppe Verdi - composer
- Giuseppe Tornatore - film maker
- Giuseppe Franco - well known hairdresser
- Giuseppe Meazza - soccer player.