Ivan (name)

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Word/nameSlavic (Old Church Slavonic Їωан), from Greek; from Hebrew
Meaning"God is gracious"
Other names
Related namesSee Ifan & "John" in other languages

Ivan (Cyrillic: Иван or Iван) is a Slavic male given name, a variant of the Greek name Iōánnēs (English: John) from Hebrew יוֹחָנָן Yôḥānnāh meaning 'God is gracious'. It is popular in Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Croatia, Belarus, North Macedonia, and Montenegro and has also become more popular in Romance-speaking countries since the 20th century.


Ivan is the common Slavic Latin spelling, while Cyrillic spelling is two-fold: in Bulgarian, Russian, Macedonian, Serbian and Montenegrin it is Иван, while in Belarusian and Ukrainian it is Iван. The Old Church Slavonic (or Old Cyrillic) spelling is Їωан.

It is the Slavic relative of the Latin name Johannes, corresponding to English John.[1] This Slavic version of the name originates from New Testament Greek Ἰωάννης (Iōánnēs) rather than from the Latin Io(h)annes. The Greek name is in turn derived from Hebrew יוֹחָנָן (Yôḥānān), meaning "YHWH (God) is gracious". The name is ultimately derived from the Biblical Hebrew name יוחנן (pronounced [joχanan]), short for יהוחנן (pronounced [jəhoχanan]), meaning "God is merciful". Common patronymics derived from the name are Ivanović (Serbo-Croatian), Ivanov (Russian and Bulgarian), and Ivanovich (Russian, used as middle name), corresponding to "Ivan's son".


The name is common among Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Croats, Belarusians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, and to a smaller extent Czechs[2][3] and Slovaks.

Ivan is the most common male name in Bulgaria (as of 2013)[4] and Croatia (as of 2013).[5] In Serbia, it was the 9th most common male name in the period of 1971–1980; 6th in 1981–1990; 9th in 1991–2000.[6]

It is one of the most common names (among the top hundred) in Croatia, with over thirty thousand namesakes living there. The name Ivan was the most popular from years 1930 to 1940. The peak year was 1930. It was the least popular from years 2003 to 2013.[7]

Since the 20th century, it is becoming more popular in the Romance-speaking world; Italian (both the original form and the italianized version, Ivano), Spanish (as Iván), and Portuguese (sometimes Ivã).

Ivan was also occasionally used by various parties during World War II as a general name for the Soviets.[8]


Its female forms are Ivana (West- and South Slavic) and Ivanna (East Slavic), while Ivanka and Iva are diminutives by origin. South Slavic male diminutives (including historical) are Ivaniš, Ivanko, Ivanča, Ivanče, etc.

Notable people[edit]




  • John of Rila (Ivan Rilski), Orthodox hermit, Bulgarian patron saint



Science, academia, business and other[edit]

Other notable people with the given name "Ivan"



  1. ^ MFnames.com - Origin and Meaning of Ivan
  2. ^ http://www.behindthename.com/names/usage/czech
  3. ^ "Jméno: 'Ivan', počet výskytů 23197 v celé ČR" (in Czech). Kdejsme.cz. 2016.
  4. ^ "Имената в България през 2014 година (Предварителни данни)" (PDF). nsi.bg (in Bulgarian). 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  5. ^ "ŽENE U HRVATSKOJ PO PRVI PUT BOLJE OBRAZOVANE OD MUŠKARACA Koliko Hrvata ima e-mail, a koliko ne zna ni čitati?". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 26 July 2013. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Најчешћа имена и презимена" (in Serbian). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. 2011.
  7. ^ https://actacroatica.com/en/name/Ivan/
  8. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/news/obituaries/exceptional-voice-of-the-bear-from-berlin/2008/04/24/1208743144542.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)