Biblical name, composed of two different Hebrew elements, Yah(weh) and El, both of which mean ‘God’ the implication of the name is that the Hebrew God, Yahweh, is the only true god. This is a common name in the Bible, being borne by, among others, one of King David's ‘mighty men’ (1 Chronicles 11:38), and a minor prophet who lived in the 8th century bc. The name has been perennially popular as a Jewish name; it was also taken up by the Puritans and other Christian fundamentalists. The name has long been in regular use in North America but was uncommon in Britain until the 1990s. Well-known bearers of the name include the American singer and entertainer Joel Grey (b. 1932), the West Indian cricketer Joel Garner (b. 1952), and the American film director Joel Coen (b. 1954). The French form Joël is also used in the English-speaking world.