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Gender: M Meaning of Ivan: "God is gracious" Origin of Ivan: Russian variation of John Ivan's Popularity in 2013: #137

Popularity: this week.

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 137 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.

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Famous People Named Ivan

Ivan Lendl, professional tennis player
Ivan Basso, Italian professional 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
Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov
Ivan Sanchez, Spanish actor
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, renowned Russian physiologist and Nobel Prize winner

Pop Culture References for the Name Ivan

Ivan Braginsky, personification of Russia in the manga/anime Axis Powers: Hetalia
"The One and Only Ivan", a Newbery Award-winning book by Katherine Applegate
Ivan Alexeev, from movie "Tapeheads" played by John Cusack

Van

Ivan's International Variations

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