Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1,000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.
The first English bearer of the name was Henry II's daughter, Jhone, but the modern spelling was soon established, which is why Saint Jeanne d'Arc was translated as Joan, making her the most illustrious wearer of the name. By Shakespeare's time, Joan had become so overused that it was ripe for replacement by the newly coined Jane, the reverse of what happened in twentieth-century America.
Some livelier foreign versions of Joan include Giovanna, Siobhan, Ione and Juana.
Lists containing Joan:
- Short & Strong Girl Names
- John's International Variations
- Coolator for Girls' Names
- Mad Men Names
- Royal Names for Girls
- Old People Names
- One-Syllable Middle Names for Girls
- Midcentury Baby Names
- Middle Names for Girls
- Saints' Names for Girls
- 100+ Classic Girls’ Names — below the Top 1000
- 1930s Baby Names