Jan (name)

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GenderMale & Female
Word/nameHebrew, via Dutch
Meaning"YHWH has been gracious"[1]
Other names
Related namesJohn, Jaan, Jann, Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Juan, Hovhannes, Ian, Ioan, Ioane, Ivan, Iven, Ifan, Jack, Jackson, Jane, Janez, Jean, Jhon, Joan, João, Johan/Johann, Johanan, Johannes, Jonne, Jovan, Juhani, Seán, Shane, Siôn, Xan, Xoán, Yahya, Yann, Yohannes

Jan is a variant of John in various languages and is a short version of Johannes.

The name is used in Afrikaans, Belarusian, Circassian, Catalan, Cornish, Czech, Devon dialect, Dutch, German, Polish, Slovenian, Scandinavian and Finnic languages. In English, it is a shortened form of the first names Janice, January or Janet, with corresponding pronunciation. It has a separate origin in Persian.

The Netherlands[edit]

In the Netherlands, the name used to be one of the most popular given first names. From the 1950s the occurrence of the name decreased. In 2014, no more than 3% of the boys are given this name.[3] However, it still is one of the most widely distributed names. It is also the most common name of Dutch players in the national team.[4]

The name Jan is sometimes combined with another first name, such as in Jan Peter (for instance in Jan Peter Balkenende), or in Klaas Jan (for instance in Klaas Jan Huntelaar). Very rarely the name Jan is given to a girl, as variants like Jannie or Janneke are more common.

Because the name is so common, the name is used in many expressions,[5] such as "Jan met de pet" (Jan with a cap on its head), standing for a common person, generally from a lower social class, or "Jan en alleman" (Jan and all other people), standing for everybody.

People (first name)[edit]

People (middle name)[edit]

  • Kim Dickens (born Kimberly Jan Dickens), American actress

People (last name)[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ There is also a German surname spelled Jan but pronounced [ˈjaːn].


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ a b c d Duden Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (6 ed.). Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus AG. 2006. ISBN 3-411-04066-1.
  3. ^ Instituut, Meertens. "NVB - populariteit voornaam Jan". www.meertens.knaw.nl. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  4. ^ "'Jan' meest voorkomende voornaam in historie Oranje". Retrieved 2015-06-12.
  5. ^ "Jan (Persoonsnaam)". www.etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2015-06-12.