John (given name)
|Name day||June 24|
|Meaning||"YHWH has been gracious", "graced by YHWH" (Yohanan)|
|Nickname(s)||Jack, Johnny, Jackie|
|Related names||Evan, Giovanni, Hanna, Hans, Juan, Hovhannes, Ian, Iban, Ioan, Ioane, Ivan, Iven, Ifan, Jack, Jackson, Jan, Jane, Janez, Jean, Jhon, Joan, João, Johan /Johann, Johanan, Johannes, Jovan, Juhani, Seán/ Seaghán, Shane, Siôn, Yūḥanna, Yahya, Younan, Yonan, Yohannes|
|Popularity||see popular names|
John is a common masculine given name in the English language of originally Semitic origin. The name is derived from the Latin Ioannes and Iohannes, which are forms of the Greek name Iōannēs (Ἰωάννης), originally borne by Hellenized Jews transliterating the Hebrew name Yohanan (יוֹחָנָן), "Graced by Yah", or Yehohanan (יְהוֹחָנָן), "Yahweh is Gracious". There are numerous forms of the name in different languages; these were formerly often simply translated as "John" in English but are increasingly left in their native forms (see sidebar).
It is among the most common given names in Anglophone, Arabic, Persian, Turkic and European countries; traditionally, it was the most common, although it has not been since the latter half of the 20th century. John owes its unique popularity to two highly revered saints, John the Baptist (forerunner of Jesus Christ) and the apostle John (traditionally considered the author of the Gospel of John); the name has since been chosen as the regnal or religious name of a vast number of emperors, kings, popes and patriarchs. Initially, it was a favorite name among the Greeks but it flourished in all of Europe after the First Crusade.
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The name John is a theophoric name originating from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yôḥānān), or in its longer form יְהוֹחָנָן (Yəhôḥānān), meaning "YHWH has been gracious". Several obscure figures in the Old Testament bore this name, and it grew in popularity once borne by the high priest Johanan (fl. 407 BC) and especially by king John Hyrcanus (d. 104 BC). In the second temple period, it was the fifth most popular male name among Jews in Judaea and was borne by several important rabbis, such as Yochanan ben Zakai and Yochanan ben Nuri. The name has also long extended among Semitic women Near Eastern Christian peoples such as the Assyrians, Syriac Arameans and Maronites, with various derivatives extant, such as Younan, Yonan, Youkhanna and Youkhanan.
The name John in its Greek form Ἰωάννης (Iōannēs) features prominently in the New Testament, being borne by John the Baptist, John the Apostle, and several others; the Gospel of John, three epistles, and Revelation are each attributed to a "John". As a result, the name became immensely popular in Christian societies.
In the Latin-speaking regions of the Roman Empire, the name was Latinized as Johannes (pronounced like the Greek). The local populations in these areas of the Roman Empire soon changed Roman names to fit their own dialect, which included dropping the suffixes -us and -es from such names.
In the Roman sphere of influence, Johannes became the Italian Giovanni (also Gianni, Gian and other derivatives). In the Black Sea region, the name became the Romanian Ioan. In Iberia the name eventually changed to the Spanish Juan, feminine Juana; in the medieval Portuguese it was Juo / Joane / Joan, now João (pronounced [ʒuˈʌ̃ũ]), feminine Joana, and also Ivo; in Galician, the orthography is Xan or Xoán, feminine Xoana. In Gaul, it became the Old French Jehan (the 16th century John Calvin still spelled his name Jehan Cauvin) and later Jean (pronounced [ʒɑ̃]); the female form was Jehanne (the 15th century Joan of Arc still spelled her name Jehanne) and later Jeanne. In the Occitano-Romance area it became Joan (feminine, Joana) and Jan in Occitan and Catalan, from older Iouan and Iohan. In Ladin it became Giuani.
The Germanic languages (including German, English and Scandinavian) produced the masculine Johann (also Johan (Dutch), Joan, Jan (Dutch), Jannis, Jens (Danish and Frisian), Jóhannes, Jóhann, (Icelandic and Faroese), Hans (German, Dutch and Scandinavian) and the feminine Johanna (also the Dutch diminutives Johanneke, Hanneke, Janneke, and Joke). In England, the name John came from the Anglo-French language form Johan, itself from the Old French form Jehan. Prior to the standardization in English of the letter 'J', the letter 'I' was used interchangeably; following this shift, forms beginning in J- such as John began to be pronounced in their modern fashion with <dʒ> rather than <j> (y). Seventeenth-century English texts still spelled the name Iohn. Since then, it has been spelled in its current form, John. The feminine form changed from Jehanne to Joanne, Joan and Jo.
In Welsh, the name John is rendered as Ieuan (pronounced [ˈjəɨ̯an]), Ifan (pronounced [ˈɪvan]), Iwan (pronounced [ˈɪu̯an]), Ioan (pronounced [ˈjoːan]) or, borrowed from English, Siôn (pronounced [ˈʃoːn]). A pet form is Ianto (pronounced [ˈjantɔ]). Ifan eventually became rendered into English as Evan. In Irish, it is written as Eóghan/Eoghan (pronounced [ˈoːənˠ]), Eóin, Eoin (pronounced [ˈoːənʲ]) or Seán (pronounced [ˈʃɑːn]). The latter is a Gaelicisation of the Norman–French 'Jean'. In some cases, the pronunciation of the original initial "Y"/"I" also changed to variants of "J". In Scotland, it is Iain or Ian. In Cornish (archaically; Jowan/Iowan) and Devon dialects, the form Jan gives rise to the nickname of Plymothians as 'Janners' and the midsummer festival of St. John, Golowan. The Breton form of this name is Yann, the Manx is Juan, and the Cornish is Yowann.
Central and Eastern European derivatives
John has been a common given name in English-speaking countries, and either it or William was the number one name in England and English-speaking North America from around 1550 until the middle of the 20th century.
John was the most popular name given to male infants in the United States until 1924, and though its use has fallen off gradually since then, John was still the 20th most common name for boys on the Social Security Administration's list of names given in 2006. In modern times John is the most common name in the United States, born as a first or middle name by 39.93 people per thousand; of these, 72.86% have it as the given name. When the statistics of the name are compared to the population statistics of America, the approximate number of people named John in the USA is 12,328,091 and the number of Johns in the USA is increasing by 104,925 each year.
John was also among the most common masculine name in the United Kingdom, but by 2004 it had fallen out of the top 50 names for newborn boys in England and Wales. By contrast Jack, which was a nickname for John but is now established as a name in its own right, was the most popular name given to newborn boys in England and Wales every year from 1995 to 2005. However, John has not been a popular one for members of the royal family. The memory of King John is tainted by negative depictions of his turbulent reign and troublesome personality and by his role as villain in the Robin Hood stories; Prince John, the youngest son of Edward VII, died shortly after birth; and The Prince John, the sickly youngest son of George V, died at age 13. It was reported[by whom?] that Diana, Princess of Wales wished to name her first son (who was ultimately named Prince William) after her own father, John Spencer, but was dissuaded by royal tradition.
Because the name Jonathan is sometimes abbreviated as Jon, John is often incorrectly considered to be a short form of Jonathan.[original research?] John comes from the Hebrew name Yôḥānān, whereas Jonathan derives from the Hebrew יוֹנָתָן Yônāṯān, which means "Gift from YHWH" and thus is a longer version of Nathan.
In other languages
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|Language||Masculine form||Feminine form|
|Afrikaans||Jan, Johan, Johann, Johannes, Hannes, Hans||Hanna, Jana, Janke, Johanna|
|Albanian||Gjin, Gjovan, Gjovalin, Gjovanin, Gjoni, Jovan, Xhoni||Gjovana, Gjonika, Joana|
|Arabic||يحيى (Yaḥyā, Qurʾānic), يوحنا (Yūḥannā, Biblical) or حنّا (Henna or Hanna)|
|Aramaic (Syriac)||ܝܘܚܢܢ (Yuḥanon), ܚܢܐ (Henna or Hanna), ܐܝܘܢ (Ewan)|
|(Armenian||Հովհաննես (Hovhannes); Classical Armenian: Յովհաննէս (Yovhannēs)|
|Basque||Manez, Ganix, Joanes, Iban||Ibane, Jone|
|Belarusian||Ян (Yan), Янка (Yanka), Янэк (Yanek), Ясь (Yas'), Iван (Ivan)||Янiна (Yanina)|
|Bengali||ইয়াহিয়া (Iyahiya), য়াহয়া (Yahya)|
|Breton||Yann, Yannig||Jan, Janig, Yannez|
|Bulgarian||Иван (Ivan), Йоан (Yoan), Янко (Yanko), Яне (Yane)||Ивана (Ivana), Иванка (Ivanka), Йоан[н]а (Yoana), Яна (Yana), Янка (Yanka)|
|Catalan||Joan, Jan, Ivan||Joana, Jana, Janna|
|Chinese||Simplified: 约翰 (Yuēhàn) Traditional: 約翰 (Yuēhàn)|
|Coptic||ⲓⲱϩⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ (Iohannes), ⲓⲱⲁ (Ioa)|
|Croatian||Ivan, Ivo, Ive, Ivica, Ivano, Ivanko, Janko, Ivek||Ivana, Iva, Ivanka, Ivančica, Ivka|
|Czech||Jan, Honza, Johan||Jana, Johana|
|Danish||Hans, Jens, Jan, Johan, Johannes||Hanne, Johanne|
|Dutch||Han, Hannes, Hans, Jan, Johan, Johannes, Jannes, Jens, Wannes, Sjeng||Hanne, Hanna, Hannah, Jana, Janke, Janne, Janneke, Jannetje, Jantje, Johanna|
|English||Ian, John, Johnny, Jack, Shawn, Sean, Shaun, Shane||Joan, Joanna, Joanne, Joann, Jan, Jane, Jayne, Jayna, Janet, Janice, Janis, Jean, Jeane, Jeanne, Jeannie|
|Estonian||Jaan, Juhan, Juho, Janno, Jukk, Jaanus, Johannes, Hannes, Hans||Jaana, Johanna|
|Faroese||Jann, Janus, Jens, Jenis, Jóan, Jóannes, Jónar, Jógvan, Jóhann, Jóhannes, Hannis, Hanus, Hans|
|Finnish||Hannes, Hannu, Jani, Janne, Johannes, Joni, Juha, Juho, Juhani|
|French||Jean, Jehan (outdated)||Jeanne, Jeannette (short), Jehane (outdated)|
|Georgian||იოანე (Ioane), ივანე (Ivane), იოვანე (Iovane), ვანო (Vano), ივა (Iva)|
|German||Hans, Hannes, Johannes, Johann, Jan, Jens||Jana, Janina, Johanna, Hanna, Hanne|
|Greek||Ιωάννης (Ioannis), Γιάννης(Yiannis, sometimes Giannis)||Ιωάννα (Ioanna), Γιάννα (Yianna, sometimes Gianna)|
|Hebrew||יוחנן (Yôḥānān) Johanan||יוחנה (Yôḥannā) Johanna|
|Hungarian||János, Jancsi||Johanna, Hanna (moniker), Zsanett (moniker)|
|Icelandic||Jón, Jóhann, Jóhannes, Hannes||Jóhanna|
|Indonesian/Malay||Iwan, Yahya, Yan, Yaya, Yohan, Yohanes, Yuan||Yohana, Yana, Hana|
|Irish||Seán, Shaun, Eoin||Sinéad, Seona, Siobhán, Síne, Siún|
|Italian||Giovanni, Gianni, Giannino, Ivan, Ivano, Ivo, Vanni, Nino, Vannino||Giovanna, Gianna, Giannina, Ivana, Iva, Nina, Vania|
|Kazakh||Жақия (Zhaqiya, Yahya) Шоқан (Shoqan)|
|Latin||Iohannes, Ioannes Iohn|
|Latvian||Jānis||Jana, Janīna, Janīne|
|Lithuanian||Jonas||Janina, Jonė, Janė, Joana|
|Macedonian||Јован (Jovan), Јованче (Jovanče), Иван (Ivan), Јане (Jane)||Јована (Jovana), Јованка (Jovanka), Ивана (Ivana), Иванка (Ivanka), Јана (Jana)|
|Malayalam||യോഹന്നാൻ (Yōhannān) ഉലഹന്നാൻ(Ulahannan) ലോനപ്പൻ(Lonappan) നയിനാ൯(Nainan, Ninan)|
|Norwegian||Johan, Johannes, John, Jon, Jan, Hans|
|Persian||یوحنا (Yohannan), یحیی (Yahya)|
|Portuguese||João, Ivo, Ivã||Joana, Iva, Ivana|
|Romanian||Ioan, Ion, Ionuţ, Ionel, Ionică, Nelu, Iancu||Ioana, Ionela|
|Russian||Иван (Ivan), Иоанн (Ioann, Hebrew form)||Яна (Yana), Жaннa (Žanna), Иoaннa (Yoanna, Hebrew form)|
|Scots||Ian, John, Jock,|
|Scottish Gaelic||Ian, Iain, Eòin, Seathan||Seòna, Seònag, Seònaid, Siubhan, Sìne|
|Serbian||Јован (Jovan), Иван (Ivan), Јанко (Janko), Јовица (Jovica), Ивица (Ivica), Ивко (Ivko)||Јована (Jovana), Ивана (Ivana), Јованка (Jovanka), Иванка (Ivanka)|
|Slovak||Ján, Johan||Jana, Johana|
|Slovene||Janez, Ivan, Ivo, Jan, Janko, Anže, Anžej|
|Swedish||Ivan, Jan, Johan, Junkka, Johannes, John, Hans, Hannes, Hampus||Johanna, Hanna|
|Syriac (Aramaic)||ܝܘܚܢܢ (Yuḥanon), ܚܢܐ (Ḥanna), ܐܝܘܢ (Ewan)|
|Turkish||Yahya, Yuhanna, Jan|
|Ukrainian||Іван (Ivan), Іванко (Ivanko)||Іванна (Ivanna), Іванка (Ivanka)|
|Welsh||Evan, Ianto, Ieuan, Ifan, Ioan, Siôn||Siân, Sioned, Siwan|
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 146, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
- Behind the Name: John.
- Bauckham, Richard (2006). Jesus Christ and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony. p. 70. ISBN 0-8028-3162-1.
- For example, Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol.
- Mike Campbell. "Behind the Name: Meaning, origin and history of the name Jón". Behind the Name.
- For example, Jón Sigurðsson.
- "Popular Baby Names". Ssa.gov. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- "Top UK baby names 2004". Babycentre.co.uk. Archived from the original on April 6, 2006. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- "National Statistics". Statistics.gov.uk. September 8, 2009. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- Mike Campbell. "Meaning, Origin and History of the Name John". Behind the Name. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- Mike Campbell. "Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Jonathan". Behind the Name. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
- Faroe Media. "Málráðið". Málráðið.
- "다국어 성경 (See e.g. Luke 1:13,60,63)" (in Korean). holybible.or.kr. Retrieved January 23, 2013.