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Gender: F Meaning of Jean: "God is gracious" Origin of Jean: English and Scottish, from French variation of Johanna

Popularity: this week.

Originally a feminine of John, Jean was popular in Scotland long before it found favor elsewhere, and had its most shining moment here in the era of Jean Harlow (born Harlean), ultimate symbol of silver screen glamour, but now, though there are many grandmas and even moms with the name, it doesn't seem all that baby-friendly.

A perennial on the popularity list until it finally dropped off in 1994, Jean was in the Top 20 from 1922 to 1936., and was extremely well used as a middle name, as in Michael Jackson's song "Billie Jean" and tennis champ Billie Jean King, not to mention Hermione Jean Granger from Harry Potter/. It was also the actual first name of Scout Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. Maggie Smith shone in the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and nickname Jeanie was commemorated in the Stephen Foster classic song "I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," as well as in the early sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie.

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Famous People Named Jean

Jean Arthur (born Gladys Georgianna Greene), American actress
Jean Harlow (born Harlean Harlow Carpenter), American actress
Jean Merilyn Simmons, English actress
Jean Dorothy Seberg, American actress
Jean Stapleton, American actress
Jean Bartel, Miss America 1943
Billie Jean King, American tennis player
Britney Jean Spears, American pop singer
Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin, American comedienne
(Jean) Paige Turco, American actress
Jean Rhys (born Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams), Dominican novelist
Eva Jean, daughter of American actress Maria Pitillo

Pop Culture References for the Name Jean

"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie," novel by Muriel Spark and 1969 movie
Jean Fordham, character in Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County"
Hermione Jean Granger, character in the Harry Potter series
Jean Louise "Scout" Finch, main character in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Jean "Jeanie/Seana" Bueller, character in movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
Jean Grey, character in X-Men comics
Mary Jean, character in Lily Tomlin's sketches
"Billie Jean," 1983 Michael Jackson song
"Jean," 1969 song by Oliver
Blue jeans

Gene, Geni, Jeana, Jeane, Jeanee, Jeaneen, Jeanelle, Jeanene, Jeanetta, Jeanette, Jeanie, Jeanine, Jeanique, Jeanna, Jeanneen, Jeannette, Jeannie, Jeannine, Jeannique, Jenette, Jenica, Jennet, Jennetta, Jennine

Jean's International Variations

Janne (Finnish) Jeanne (French) Sine, Sina (Irish Gaelic) Jana (Latvian) Jasia, Jonnanina, Jena, Janina, Janka, Janeska (Polish) Jennice (Scottish Gaelic) Ivana (Slavic)