Joanna

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Joanna
Pronunciation /ˈænə/
Gender female
Origin
Word/Name Hebrew > Greek
Meaning God is gracious
Other names
Related names Jan, Jane, Jayne, Janet, Janette, Janice, Jean, Jeane, Jenny, Jeanny, Joan, Joann, Joanne, Johanna, Jenna, Jennah, Yoanna

Joanna is a feminine given name deriving from Koine Greek Ἰωάννα Iōanna from Hebrew יוֹחָנָה Yôḥānnāh meaning 'God is gracious'. Variants in English include Joan, Joann, Joanne, and Johanna. Other forms of the name in English are Jan, Jane, Janet, Janice, Jean, and Jeanne.

The earliest recorded occurrence of the name Joanna, in Luke 8:3, refers to the disciple "Joanna the wife of Chuza," who was an associate of Mary Magdalene. Her name as given is Greek in form, although it ultimately originated from the Hebrew masculine name יְהוֹחָנָן Yehôḥānān or יוֹחָנָן Yôḥānān meaning 'God is gracious'. In Greek this name became Ιωαννης Iōannēs, from which Iōanna was derived by giving it a feminine ending. The original Latin form Joanna was used in English to translate the equivalents in other languages; for example, Juana la Loca is known in English as Joanna the Mad. The variant form Johanna originated in Latin in the Middle Ages, by analogy with the Latin masculine name Johannes. The Greek form lacks a medial -h- because in Greek /h/ could only occur initially.

The Hebrew name יוֹחָנָה Yôḥānnāh was borne by men in earlier centuries, but in modern usage it has become feminine, to provide a Hebrew equivalent for the name Joanna and its variants. The Christian Arabic form of John is يوحنّا Yūḥannā, based on the Syriac form of the name. For Joanna, Arabic translations of the Bible use يونّا Yuwannā based on Syriac ܝܘܚܢ Yoanna, which in turn is based on the Greek form Iōanna.

Sometimes in modern English Joanna is reinterpreted as a compound of the two names Jo and Anna, and therefore given a spelling like JoAnna, Jo-Anna, or Jo Anna. However, the original name Joanna is a single unit, not a compound. The names Hannah, Anna, Anne, Ann are etymologically related to Joanna just the same: they are derived from Hebrew חַנָּה Ḥannāh 'grace' from the same verbal root meaning 'to be gracious'.

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