Ivan (name)

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

Ivan (Cyrillic: Иван or Іван) is a Slavic male given name, a variant of the Greek name Iōánnēs (English: John) from Hebrew יוֹחָנָן Yôḥānnān meaning 'God is gracious'. It is worldwide associated with Russia and its culture and is very popular in that country. The most popular name bearer of the name is the Russian knyaz and tsar Ivan the Fearsome.

It is also popular in Ukraine, Serbia, Slovenia, 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 Іван. 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 [jehoχanan]), meaning "God is merciful". Common patronymics derived from the name are Ivanović (Serbian and 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 Horvat (Ivan Horvat, d. 1394), Hungarian-Croatian nobleman, Ban of Macsó (1376–1381, and 1385–1386)
  • John of Palisna (Ivan od Paližne, d. 1391), Hungarian-Croatian nobleman, Ban of Croatia (1385–1386)
  • Ivan Bohun (died 1664), Cossack colonel
  • Ivan Bot, Hungarian-Croatian nobleman, Ban of Croatia (1493)
  • Ivan Mazepa, Hetman of Zaporizhian Host
  • Ivan Mažuranić, Austro-Hungarian nobleman, Ban of Croatia (1873–1880), and poet
  • Ivan Pidkova (died 1578), Cossack leader
  • Ivan Sirko (c. 1610–1680), Cossack military leader
  • Ivan Sulyma, Cossack leader


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




  • Ivan Barias, Dominican-American music producer and songwriter
  • Ivan Brunetti (born 1967), cartoonist
  • Ivan Bunin (1870–1953), Russian writer and Nobel laureate in literature
  • Ivan Della Mea (1940–2009), Italian singer-songwriter
  • Ivan Dixon (1931–2008), American actor, director and producer
  • Ivan Doroschuk (born 1957), lead vocalist for Men Without Hats
  • Ivan Dorschner (born 1990), Filipino-American actor, host and model
  • Ivan Franko (1856–1916), Ukrainian writer
  • Ivan (gorilla), painter
  • Ivan Graziani (1945–1997), Italian singer-songwriter
  • Ivan Jones, British Writer and poet
  • Ivan Kral (1948–2020), Czech-American musician
  • Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962), Croatian sculptor and architect
  • Van Morrison (George Ivan Morrison, born 1945), Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician
  • Ivan Moody (born 1980), singer of heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch
  • Ivan Šijak (born 1969), Serbian visual artist, professor, director, and cinematographer
  • Ivan Turgenev (1818–1893), Russian novelist
  • Ivan Urgant (born 1978), Russian television personality, presenter, actor and musician

Science, academia, business and other[edit]

  • Ivan Aboimov (born 1936), Russian diplomat and ambassador
  • Ivan Agayants (1911–1968), Soviet intelligence officer of Armenian origin
  • Ivan Ahčin (1897–1960), Slovene sociologist, publicist, journalist, author and politician
  • Ivan Aksakov (1823–1886), Russian littérateur and notable Slavophile
  • Ivan Boesky (born 1937), Wall Street trader who inspired the character of Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street
  • Ivan Chermayeff, graphic designer
  • Ivan Corea, Sri Lankan Anglican priest
  • Iván Duque Márquez (born 1976), Colombian politician and current president of Colombia
  • Ivan Gazidis (born 1964), chief executive of the Arsenal Football Club
  • Ivan Glasenberg (born 1957), CEO of Glencore, director of Xstrata and Minara Resources
  • Ivan Greenberg (1896–1966), English journalist
  • Ivan Ilyin (1883–1954), Russian religious and political philosopher
  • Ivan Kaufman (born 1961), President of Arbor Realty Trust
  • Ivan Massow (born 1967), chairman of the Institute of Contemporary Arts
  • Ivan Menezes (born 1959), CEO of Diageo, non-executive director at Coach, Inc.
  • Ivan Misner, chairman of BNI
  • Ivan Milat, Croatian Australian serial killer famous for the backpacker killings
  • Ivan Vsevolodovich Meshcherskiy (1859–1935), Russian mathematician
  • Ivan J. Parron, entertainment attorney and entrepreneur
  • Ivan Pavlov (1849–1946), Russian physiologist and Nobel laureate in Medicine & Physiology
  • Ivan Reitman (born 1946), Order of Canada, film producer and director, known for the Ghostbusters film series
  • Ivan Rogers (born 1960), British civil servant, former Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union
  • Ivan Samoylovych (died 1690), Hetman of Left-bank Ukraine
  • Ivan Seidenberg (born 1946), chairman & CEO at Verizon Communications
  • Ivan Selin (born 1937), former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Fulbright scholar
  • Ivan Tsybaev, co-founder and CEO at Trucker Path
  • Ivan Warner (1919–1994), New York politician and judge
  • Ivan Wettengel (1876–1935), Naval Governor of Guam

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)