Proper Noun

  • The third son of Noah, brother to Shem and Ham, who received a blessing from God with Shem, considered to be the ancestor of the Japhetic people(s) .
  • A male given name from Hebrew of biblical origin.


  • From Middle English Jafeth (as attested in Wycliffe's Bible), from Old English Iafeth (see e.g. Aelfric of Eynsham) and Middle French Japhet, both from Late Latin Iaphet, Iafeth, from Koine Greek Ἰάφεθ, from Hebrew יֶפֶת. Further origin uncertain; folk etymology as well as rabbinical and patristic claims usually point to a meaning like "enlarged", in reference to Genesis 9:27, or "fair" (pale, in reference to complexion).

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