Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Tobin (TOH-bihn) is a Hebrew name meaning "God is good" as a variation of Tobias, but it is also an English surname derived from Tobias, and an Irish surname, brought over by the Norman surname St. Aubyn (Latinized as de St. Albino), from the town of Aubyn in France. It also comes with the desired nickname Toby, but can also have the nickname Binx. Both Toby and Tobias were used in Medieval times, but Toby was used more often until the Reformation. Tobia/h and Tobit are alternate forms.
Saint Aubin d'Angers (Aubyn, Albinus) was Bishop of Angers in 529 and was known for his generosity and caring for those who would otherwise be looked down upon, such as slaves, orphans, and widows. His feast day is March 1st. There have been many places named after him, including dozens in France. The names Albinus, Aubin and Aubyn are from the Latin alba, meaning "white."
There have been a range of namesakes over the years, including Tobin Dax from Star Trek DS9, 1950's NFL quarterback Tobin Rote, actor Tobin Bell, Nobel Prize winner James Tobin, and musician Tobin Sprout. Tobin was recently chosen by Karolina Kurkova, the supermodel, for her son.
In 2011 the baby name Tobin was given to 134 baby boys, and by 2015 it decreased slightly to 127. It ranked from 1958 to 1978 on the U.S. top 1000, but low on the charts. Tobias currently ranks at #316 in 2015.