Jan (name)

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PronunciationCzech: [ˈjan][1]
German: [ˈjan][1][a]
Dutch: [ˈjɑn][1]
Polish: [ˈjan][1]
Meaning"YHWH has been gracious"[2]
Other names
Related namesJohn, Jaan, Jann, Evan, Giovanni, Hans, Juan, Hovhannes, Ion, 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, Croatian, Czech, Devon dialect, Dutch, German, Kazakh, Polish, Slovak, 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, Greek, and Armenian.

Netherlands and Flanders[edit]

In the Netherlands and Flanders, 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 Netherlands national football 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, Janneke or Jantje are more common.

Because it used to be so common, it found its way into many expressions[5] still widely used today, even though the popularity of the name itself has faded. "Jan met de pet", literally "Jan wearing a cap", signifies the common man; and "Jan en alleman", literally "Jan and everyman", signifies a large group of people, often used when referring to a cross-section of society.

People (first name)[edit]

People (middle name)[edit]

  • Kim Dickens (born Kimberly Jan Dickens) (born 1965), 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. ^ a b c d Duden Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (6 ed.). Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut & F.A. Brockhaus AG. 2006. ISBN 3-411-04066-1.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  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.