- this week

Gender: M Meaning of Ivan: "God is gracious" Origin of Ivan: Russian variation of John Ivan's Popularity in 2014: #132

One of the few Russian boys' names to become fully accepted into the American naming pool, though some might find it a bit heavy-booted, Ivan is now at a very respectable Number 132 on the popularity list, in the Top 200 since 1989, due largely to its popularity in the Hispanic community.

Ivan is, of course, ubiquitous in Russian culture. There is one of the brothers in The Brothers Karamazov, the protagonists of Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and the title character in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Real life Ivans include writer Turgnenev, biologist Pavlov, tennis player Lendl, and rulers Ivan the Great and --oops--Ivan the Terrible. Vanya is his warm and appealing nickname.

Famous People Named Ivan

Ivan III Vasilyevich aka Ivan the Great, Prince of Moscow
Ivan IV Vasilyevich aka Ivan the Terrible, Tsar of Russia
Ivan I Daniilovich Kalita, Prince of Moscow
Ivan II Ivanovich the Fair, Prince of Moscow
Ivan Alexander, Tsar of Bulgaria
Ivan Asen I and II, Tsars of Bulgaria
Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan, Russian WWII commander
Ivan Lendl, tennis player
Ivan Basso, Italian road bicycle racer
Ivan Aivazovsky, Russian painter
(Ivan) Nathan Followill, musician from band "Kings of Leon"
Ivan Todorovic, Serbian footballer (plays for Portugal)
Ivan "Kuki" Kukolj, Serbian singer
Ivan Sanchez, Spanish actor
Ivan Dodig, Croatian tennis player
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, renowned Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize winner
Ivan Bunin, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Pop Culture References for the name Ivan

Ivan Braginsky, personification of Russia in the manga/anime Axis Powers: Hetalia
"The One and Only Ivan", novel by Katherine Applegate
Ivan Alexeev, character in film "Tapeheads"
Ivan, character in animated series "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends"
"Ivan the Fool," short story by Leo Tolstoy
Ivan Vanko, villain in "The Invincible Iron" comics
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, title character in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"
Ivan, character in video game "Golden Sun"
Ivan Vassilevich Lomov, character in Anton Chekhov's "A Marriage Proposal"
Ivan Raidenovich Raikov, character in video game "Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater"
"The Death of Ivan Ilyich," novel by Leo Tolstoy
Ivan Karamazov, character in Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov"
Ivan, doorman in 2006 film "Curious George"
Ivan Veen, main character in Vladimir Nabokov's "Ada or Ardor"
Ivan Drago, boxer in film "Rocky IV"
Ivan Nikolayevich Ponyryov (Bezdomny), character in Mikhail Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita"
Ivan Shawbly, character on TV's "Mona the Vampire"


Ivan's International Variations

Vanusha, Vanya, Ioann (Russian) Eyvind, Eyvan (Irish Gaelic) Vána, Vánuska, Ivánek (Czech) Yvan (Breton) Iwan (Welsh)