Jane (given name)

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Lady Jane Grey is a famous Jane.
Gender Female
Word/name Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, English
Meaning "Yahweh is gracious/merciful"
Region of origin Worldwide
Other names
Nickname(s) Janie, Jenny
Related names John, Joanna, Joan
Popularity see popular names

Jane is a feminine given name. It is the English form of the Old French name Jehanne, which was an old feminine form of the male name Johannes or Ioannes (also the source of the English name John), a Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Iōannēs), which is derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan), a short form of the name יְהוֹחָנָן (Yehochanan), meaning "Yahweh is merciful".[1]

The name was first used in large numbers in the mid-16th century for the daughters of aristocrats as an alternative to the more commonplace Joan. The two names have alternated popularity. In the early 19th century, Jane was again seen as a name with a certain amount of glamour. Joan became more popular in the early to mid-20th century, when it was ranked in the top 500 most popular names given to girls in the United States, but the name has again been displaced by Jane on the popularity charts in the 21st century.

Name variants[edit]

Alternate forms include:

People with this name[edit]


  • Jhane Barnes, fashion designer ("h" added as adult)
  • Jane Burden (1839–1914), pre-Raphaelite model and muse, known for her beauty
  • Jane Frank (1918–1986), American artist
  • Jane Kelly (born 1956), artist and journalist



  • Calamity Jane (1852–1903), U.S. frontierswoman
  • Jane Addams (1860–1935), American Nobel Peace Prize-winning social worker and co-founder of Hull House
  • Jane Horney (born 1918), Swedish spy during WWII
  • Jane Roe, alias of Norma Leah McCorvey, plaintiff in the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States


News media[edit]


  • Jane Harman (born 1945), member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 36th congressional district
  • Jane Hill (born 1936), Australian politician


Royalty and nobility[edit]



Fictional Janes[edit]

Characters in animation[edit]

Comic book characters[edit]

Characters in literature[edit]

  • Dick and Jane, characters by Zerna Sharp
  • Jane (Ender's Game), an entity resembling modern conceptions of AI, from the Ender's Game series
  • Jane, Wendy Darling's daughter from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan mythos. Jane was also the central character in the Disney Peter Pan movie sequel, Return to Neverland
  • Jane Banks, one of the Banks' children, a child of Mr. & Mrs. Banks in the Mary Poppins books, film, and stage musical
  • Jane Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice, the eldest sister of the Bennet family
  • Jane Eyre (character), the titular character of a famous novel by Charlotte Brontë and several film adaptations based on it
  • Miss Marple, an elderly spinster and amateur detective created by mystery writer Agatha Christie and whose first name is Jane
  • Jane Porter (Tarzan), the sweetheart of Tarzan
  • Jane, a member of the Volturi guard in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga
  • A Yorkshire witch in the Power of Five series by Anthony Horowitz, Jayne Deverill
  • Jane Studdock, protagonist in That Hideous Strength, written by C.S. Lewis
  • Jane Crocker, a character in the webcomic Homestuck by Andrew Hussie

Characters in TV, film, & theater[edit]

  • Jane (7th Heaven), a character on 7th Heaven
  • Jane Christie, a character from the TV series Coupling
  • Jane Beale (previously Collins), a character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders
  • Jayne Cobb, a male character on the sci-fi series Firefly
  • G.I. Jane, a 1997 war-movie, with Demi Moore in the leading role
  • Jane Mancini, a character on Melrose Place who returned for the 2009 remake.
  • Jane Vaughn, a character in Degrassi: The Next Generation
  • Jane Volturi, a character in the Twilight books and movies.
  • Jane Margolis, a character in the television series Breaking Bad
  • Jane Rizzoli, a character in the television series Rizzoli & Isles

Characters in video games[edit]

See also[edit]