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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

masc. proper name, in the Bible, one of the 12 men sent by Moses to reconnoiter Canaan, from Hebrew Kalebh, literally "dog-like," from kelebh "dog."


Caleb, sometimes transliterated as Kaleb (, Kalev; Tiberian vocalization: Kālēḇ; Hebrew Academy: Kalev) is a figure who appears in the Hebrew Bible as a representative of the Tribe of Judah during the Israelites' journey to the Promised Land. A reference to him may also be found in the Quran, although his name is not mentioned.

Caleb (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Caleb is a fictional character played by Nathan Fillion in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by Joss Whedon. The character is a sadistic sociopath with a pathological hatred of women.

According to Whedon, the character was introduced because the mutable, non-corporeal nature of the First Evil "meant that we didn't really have anything to push against. We needed... a sidekick. Somebody physical that we can see from episode to episode." Whedon describes him as "the creepiest priest", adding, "he is the most bald-faced misogynist we've had since, well, since last year, with Warren."

Caleb (disambiguation)

Caleb is a figure who appears in the Bible as a representative of Judah.

Caleb may also refer to:

  • Caleb, California
  • Caleb (given name), a masculine name of Hebrew origin
  • NOTS-EV-2 Caleb, an American space launcher of the 1950s
  • "Caleb", a song on the album Unia by Finnish metal band Sonata Arctica
Caleb (son of Hezron)

Caleb was the great-grandfather of the architect Bezalel. He is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:18 as "Caleb son of Hezron". Per the context, Caleb was an Israelite by lineage, which (if the Kenizzite hypothesis holds) would make it implausible that he and Caleb the representative of Judah are the same person (even though the Talmud argues so in Sotah 11b). 1 Samuel 25:3 states that Nabal, the husband of Abigail before David, was "of the house of Caleb". It is not stated whether this refers to one of the two Calebs mentioned in the Bible, or another person bearing the same name.

Caleb (given name)

Caleb is a Hebrew masculine given name. The Hebrew spelling of the name Caleb - כלב - is identical with the spelling of the word "dog" - "kelev". The composing of the Bible antedates by thousands of years the introduction of the Niqqud system of diacritical signs which modern Hebrew uses to represent vowels. Thus, it is difficult to ascertain how the name was originally pronounced. Many name books and websites list the meaning of "Caleb" as "Dog". It is noteworthy that many Biblical characters bore animal names, including names which in the sensibilities of later times would be considered insulting, such as the woman prophet Hulda whose name means "weasel". In some traditions, Caleb's being a "dog" symbolizes his devotion to God.

An alternate Hebrew meaning offered for "Caleb" is "faithful, devotion, whole hearted, bold, brave". This, on the basis of its being actually a compound word, a phenomenon quite common in ancient Hebrew. Col (כל, Caf + Lamed) = "all" or "whole"; Lev (לב, Lamed + Bet) = "heart". Therefore, Caleb (or Calev as pronounced in Hebrew) would actually mean "whole hearted". This might be due to the Biblical Caleb, a companion of Moses and Joshua, being noted for his astute powers of observation and fearlessness in the face of overwhelming odds.

Another plausible origin is a transposition of a name found in other ancient Semitic languages such as Phoenician and Ugaritic, meaning "servant of the Lord" 1

The early Medieval King Kaleb of Axum was the most well-known monarch of this kingdom (in modern Ethiopia and Eritrea). The name "Caleb" was popular among the English Puritans, and was introduced by them to America.

Usage examples of "caleb".

Caleb pointed to the screen as they all watched avians disintegrating in the air, their disparate parts leaving bloody trails as they dropped to the plains well before the spread of the settlement.

As the representative of the United States district attorney, who is too ill to conduct this prosecution, it is my duty to prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that that man who is seated over there, that man known as Roger Pawling, is guilty of the deliberate, horrible murders of Captain Caleb Dawn and First Officer Dirk Morton.

Attorney General Bates he knew to be a poor lawyer, Cameron at War and Welles at Navy he considered hack politicians, and Caleb Smith at Interior he dismissed as a Hoosier joke.

Espensheid, Dan Rabinowitz, Caleb Rabinowitz, Karen Lovell, Mark Gallagher, Bob Wincott, Lee Suckno, and Georgette Piligian.

Gladstone, who is fast nearing his eightieth birthday, would boast, in the style of Caleb, that he was as good a man with his axe as he was when he was forty, but I would back him,--if the match were possible, for a hundred shekels, against that over-confident old Israelite, to cut down and chop up a cedar of Lebanon.

How far would those snoops go, if they suspected Caleb and his family had something to do with the launch?

Welles, Montgomery Blair, Chase of Treasury, and Caleb Smith of Interior were in their late- or midfifties, and Lincoln, whom Scott knew to be fifty-two, was the youngest of the lot.

Lieutenant Senior Grade Caleb Rustin, she told the admiral, as her Fleet spy.

It took Lady Nimisha some twenty minutes to reach her skimmer, where Caleb Rustin was standing, looking bewildered.

Lieutenant Commander Caleb Rustin, who has recently been appointed naval attache to our Yard.

It was inevitable that Nimisha and Caleb enjoyed some intimacies, the result of long hours of intense, cerebral work that had ended in rather special, to him, interludes.

The Fleet was attempting to come up with a more economical version, which she and Caleb privately referred to as the Faulty Four, while she refined the satisfactory units of the Mark 3 and started from the beginning to conceive further innovations that would make the Mark 5 nearer to her ideal.

Nimisha never told her dam that today she, Caleb, and Jeska were taking Cuiva on her first space walk.

Cuiva was a better mathematician than Nimisha, Jeska, or Caleb, She was therefore also a better programmer.

She also was aware that one of the reasons Caleb liked his present assignment was the extra time it allowed him to spend with Belac.