John (first name)

John (first name)

Infobox Given Name Revised
name = John

pronunciation=IPA|/ˈdʒɒn/, IPA|/ˈdʒɑn/)
gender = Male
meaning = God is gracious
footnotes =

John is an English name for males.


The name "John" originates from יוחנן Yôḥānnān, which means "Yahweh is gracious." Yahweh is the name of God used by the Jewish people. Yôḥānnān was the name of several important Jewish rabbis in the Second Temple Period in Israel, such as Yochanan ben Zakai and Yochanan ben Nuri.

The name had gained popularity among Jews in Judea and Galilee by the time the area became a province of the Roman Empire in 6 A.D. It was the given name of Yochanan ben Zechariah, a Jewish prophet known in English as John the Baptist. It was also the given name of Yochanan ben Zibhdi, a fisherman from Galilee who became one of the favorite students (called disciples) of Jesus Christ and so is known in English as John the Apostle. Because Yochanan also wrote one of the four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ called gospels, the Gospel of St. John, he is also known as John the Evangelist.

The texts that tell of the lives of both these men named Yochanan were written in Greek, and their name was adapted in Greek as Ἰωάννης, Iōannēs (pronounced YIO-an-NES). The name Ioannes became extremely popular among the early Christians, and bearers include such noted members of the early church as Ioannes Chrysostomos and the Ioannes who wrote the Book of Revelation.

Because of the great respect Christians had for these men, the name came into use in other parts of the Christianized Roman Empire, even in remoter parts such as Gaul and Britain. The Western areas of the Roman Empire did not, however, speak Greek like the areas in the East. Instead, they spoke Latin. Accordingly, in the Western part of the Roman Empire the name was Latinized as Iohannes (pronounced like the Greek).

The local populations in these areas of the Roman Empire soon changed Roman names to fit their own dialect, which included dropping the suffixes -us and -es from such names. In the Roman sphere of influence, Johannes became the Germanic Johann, for example, the Slavic languages Ivan, and Ion in the area on the Black Sea that is now Romania. On the outskirts of the Empire in the newly converted Ireland it became the Irish Eoin. In some cases, the pronunciation of the original initial "Y"/"I" also changed to variants of "J", so that in Iberia the name eventually changed to the Spanish Juan and the Portuguese Juo and Ivo (now João). In Gaul, it became the Old French Jehan and later Jean (pronounced /ʒɑ̃/).

In the 11th century the French duke William the Conqueror invaded and conquered England and brought his French knights and their dialect with him. In England, the French name Jean came to be pronounced like the current name John, though prior to the adoption into English of the letter 'J', the letter 'I' was used. Seventeenth Century English texts still spelled the name Iohn. Since then, it has been spelled in its current form, John.

In English speaking countries

Since the time of the Crusades, John has been a common given name in English speaking countries, and either it or William was the number one name in England and English speaking North America from around 1550 until the middle of the twentieth century. John was the most popular name given to male infants in the United States until 1924, and though its use has fallen off gradually since then, John was still the 20th most common name for boys on the Social Security Administration's list of names given in 2006. [ [ Popular Baby Names] ] It was also long the most common male name in the UK, but by 2004 it had fallen out of the top 50 names for newborn boys in England and Wales. [ Top UK baby names 2004] ] By contrast Jack, which was a nickname for John but is established as a name in its own right, was the most popular name given to newborn boys in England and Wales every year from 1995 to 2005. [ [ National Statistics] ]

In Great Britain, the name John has not been a popular name for members of the royal household, however. King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215; Prince Alexander "John", the youngest son of King Edward VII, died shortly after birth, and Prince John, the youngest son of King George V, died in his sleep in 1919. As such, the name John has been considered unlucky by the British Royal Family and its use avoided. It was reported that Diana, Princess of Wales wished to name her elder son "John", after her own father, but was prevented from doing so by royal tradition.

Common mistakes

Because the name "Jonathan " is sometimes abbreviated as "Jon", "John" is sometimes falsely considered to be a short form of "Jonathan", especially in the United States, where the latter name is sometimes misspelled "Johnathan" as a result. "John" is a variation of the Hebrew name Yôḥānnān, whereas "Jonathan" derives from the Hebrew יוֹנָתָן Yônāṯān, which means "Gift from Yaweh" and thus is a longer version of Nathan.

Alternate forms

Other language forms

* Eoin (Irish language derivation of Seán; in Irish and Scottish Gaelic refers to the Apostle)
* Evan (Anglicized form of Welsh Ieuan or Ifan)
* Giovanni, Gianni (Italian)
* Gjon (Albania)
* Giuàn (Western Lombard)
* Ġwanni, Ġwann, Ġanni (Maltese)
* Ian (Scottish derived from Gaelic "Iain")
* Ιωάννης, Γιάννης (Ioannis, Giannis) (Greek)
* Ion (Romanian)
* Ivan (Bulgarian, Croatian, Russian and other Slavic language nations)
* Jan (Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Faroese, Polish, Czech, German)
* Ján (Slovak)
* Janez (Slovenian)
* Jani (Finnish)
* Jānis (Latvian)
* János (Hungarian)
* Jean (French)
* Jens (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)
* Jevan (variation of Evan)
* Joan (Catalan)
* João (Portuguese)
* Joanes (Basque)
* Jógvan (Faroese)
* Johan (Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Faroese)
* Johann (Germanic: German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch)
* Johannes (Germanic: German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch)
* Jon (Norwegian, Swedish, Basque)
* Jón (Icelandic, Faroese)
* Jonas (Lithuanian, Swedish)
* Joni (Fijian)
* Jovan (Serbian)
* Juan (Spanish / Filipino), feminine form Juana with diminutive Juanita
* Juhani (Finnish)
* Seán (Irish Seán, after the French Jean)
* Shane (anglicized form of Seán)
* Shaun (anglicised form of Seán)
* Shawn (anglicised form of Seán)
* Shon (Israeli Hebrew) שון (from Shawn)
* Siôn (Welsh)
* Yahya (Arabic: يحيى) Muslim version of John
* Yohanu (Telugu)
* Yohanes (Eritrean)
* Yohannan (Malayalam)
* Yohani (Kirundi)
* Yohanna (Arabic: يوحنا) the Arabic/ Aramaic language derivative used by Christians of the Levant.

Feminine forms

* Giovanna (Italian)
* Ioana
* Ivana (Croatian)
* Jana (Czech, Slovak)
* Janina (Polish)
* Jane (English)
* Janet, Janice, both shortened as "Jan"
* Jean
* Jeanne (French)
* Jeanette (French, adopted as an English name)
* Joan
* Joana (Portuguese, Catalan and Basque)
* Joanne
* Johanna
* Jóhanna (Icelandic, Faroese)
* Johanne (Norwegian, Danish)
* Jovana (Serbian)
* Seonaid, Sinead, Seonag
* Ιωάννα , Γιάννα ( Ioanna , Gianna ) (Greek)

Pet, diminutive and alternative forms

* Hans (pet form of Johannes)
* Hansel/Hänsel (Bavarian/Austrian diminutive of Hans)
* Hasse (Very common pet form of Hans in Swedish)
* Ivica, Ivo, Ivek (Croatian diminutives of Ivan)
* Jack (English dimunitive of John)
* Jock (Scottish dimunitive of John)
* Jeník, Jenda, Jeníček, Honza, Honzík, Honzíček (Czech diminutives of Jan)
* Jan, Jani, Janko (Slovenian diminutives of Janez)
* Jancsi (Hungarian diminutive of János)
* Johnny/Johnnie (English pet name for John)
* Jonn
* Jovo, Jovica (Serbian diminutives of Jovan)
* Juanita (Spanish feminine diminutive)

Forms and transliterations

* Biblical Hebrew יהוחנן unicode|Yəhôḥānān
** Biblical Hebrew יוחנן unicode|Yôḥānān
*** Amharic ዮሀንስ (Yohannəs)
*** Armenian Հովհանես (Hovhanes), diminutive: Հովիկ (Hovik)
*** Aramaic language
**** Malayalam (India) യോഹന്നാന് (Yohannan), ഉലഹന്നാന് (Ulahannan)
*** Arabic يحيى (ArabDIN|Yaḥyā), يوحنا (ArabDIN|Yuḥanna)
**** Turkish Yahya
**** Persian یحیی (Yahyā)
**** Azeri Yəhya, Yühənna
*** King James Version of the Bible Old Testament English Johanan
*** Septuagint Greek Ἰωάννης (Ioannis), Iōhannēs, Iōannēs, female Ἰωάννα (Ioanna)
**** Modern Greek Γιάννης (Yannis), Γιάννη (Yanni), Γιάννος (Yannos), diminutive Γιαννάκης (Yannakis), female Γιάννα (Yanna), female diminutive Γιαννούλα (Yannoula)
***** Bulgarian Яни, Янко, Йоан, Иван (Yani, Yanko, Ioan, Ivan), female Яна, Яница, Йоана, Ивана (Yana, Yanitsa, Ioana, Ivana)
**** Latin Ioannes, Joannes, feminine Ioanna, Joanna
***** Albanian Gjon
***** Asturian Xuan
***** Basque Joanes, Jon, feminine Joana, Jone
***** Breton Yann
***** Catalan Joan, diminutive Jan, feminine Joana
***** Cornish Jehan, Jowan, Jowann
***** Galician Xoán
***** Germanic Johannes, Johann, Joann, feminine Johanna, Joanna
****** Danish/Dutch/Swedish Jan, Jonny, Johan, Hampus, Hannes, Hans
*******Afrikaans Jan, Johan
****** Estonian Jaan, Jaak
****** English John, diminutive Johnny, Jack, Jacky, in Scotland Jock
*******Māori, Hone
****** Esperanto Johano
****** Finnish Johannes, Juhana, Juhani, Juha, Juho, Jussi, Jukka, Hannes, Hannu, Janne, Jani, obsolete Juhannus (current meaning midsummer day, also the name day for names of this family), obsolete Juntti (current meaning "hick"), feminine Johanna, Jonna
****** French Jean, diminutive Jeannot, feminine Jeanne, feminine diminutive Jeannette
******* English feminine Jan, Jane, Juana, Joan, Jean, feminine diminutive Janet
******* Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic Seán (Anglicized as Eóin, and Shane), Seathan (Anglicized as Eathain, Iain, Ian, and Eóin), feminine Sine (Anglicized as Sheena), feminine diminutive (Jeanne) Sinéad, feminine diminutive (Jeannette) Siobhán
******** English Shawn(a), Shaun(a), Chaun(a)
********* Israeli Hebrew שון (Shon)
******* Welsh Siôn, feminine Siân
****** German Jan, Johann, Johannes, diminutive Hans, feminine Johanna
****** Germanic diminutive Hans
******* Czech informal Honza
****** Icelandic Jóhannes, diminutives: Jóhann, Jón, Jens, Hannes, Hans, feminine Jóhanna, Jensína, feminine diminutive Jóna, "Hansína"
****** Faroese Jóan(n)es, diminutives: Johan(n)/Jóhan(n), Jón, Janus/Jens, Hans, feminine: Jóhanna, Jensina, feminine diminutive Jona/Jóna, Hansina
****** Indonesian Yohanes,Yahya,Yohan
****** Latvian Jānis
****** Lithuanian Jonas
******Polish Jan
******* Polish diminutive Janek, Jasiek, Jaś, Jasio"'
****** Romanian Iancu
****** Slovak Ján
****** Slovenian Janez, diminutive Anže, feminine Jana
***** Hungarian János, diminutives: Jani, Jancsi or by suffixing any of the previous with ka (i.e. Janika)
***** Interlingua Johannes, feminine Johanna
***** Italian Giovanni, feminine Giovanna
****** Italian diminutive Gian, Gianni, Nanni, Nino, feminine diminutive Gianna, Vanna, Nina
***** Korean 요한 (Yohan), 요환 (Yohwan)
***** Mandarin Chinese 約翰 Yuēhàn
***** Taiwanese Iok-hān (Protestant), unicode|Jio̍k-bōng (Catholic)
***** Portuguese João, feminine Joana
***** Spanish Juan, feminine Juana, diminutive feminine Juanita
***** Welsh Ieuan, Evan, Jones (surname), Ioan, Iwan, Ianto
**** Old Slavonic Ιωанъ (Ioan), feminine Ioana
***** Belarusian Ян (Jan), Янка (Janka) and Іван (Ivan)
***** Bulgarian Йоан (Yoan), feminine Йоана (Yoana)
***** Bulgarian Иван (Ivan), feminine Ивана (Ivana)
***** Croatian Ivan, Ivo, Ivica, feminine Ivana, also Vanja, both feminine and masculine
***** Czech Jan (diminutive Jenda, Jeníček), feminine Jana (diminutive Janička)
***** Macedonian Иван (Ivan), feminine Ивана (Ivana)
***** Macedonian Јован (Yovan), feminine Јованка (Yovanka) or Јова (Yova) (archaic form)
***** Polish Jan, feminine Janina, Joanna
***** Romanian Ion, Ioan, diminutive Ionel, Ionuţ, Nelu, Ionică feminine Ioana, diminutive Oana
***** Russian Иван (Ivan), diminutive Ваня (Vanya), feminine Ивана (Ivana) (feminine form virtually nonexistent), Ivanov, Ivanovich (family name)
****** English Ewan, Evans (family name), Ivan
****** Spanish, Portuguese, Italian Ivan, Iván, feminine Ivana
****** Spanish (family name, Son of John/Ivan) Ibañez
***** Serbian Ivan, feminine Ivana, also Vanja, both feminine and masculine
***** Serbian Jovan, feminine Jovana or Jovanka
***** Slovak Ivan, feminine Ivana, Ivanka
***** Slovenian Ivan, feminine Ivana, also Vanja, both feminine and masculine
***** Ukrainian Іван (Ivan), diminutive Івась (Ivas'), Івасик, (Ivasyk), feminine Іванна (Ivanna)
*** Standard Hebrew יוחנן (unicode|Yoḥanan)
**** Israeli Hebrew Yochanan

ee also

* Eoin
* Giovanni
* Hans
* Ioannis
* Ivan
* Jaan
* Ján
* Janez
* Jean
* João
* Johan
* Johann
* John
* Jon
* Jón
* Jonathan
* Juan
* Juhani
* Shawn
* Siôn
* Yannis
* All Wikipedia pages beginning with John []


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