"God is gracious"

John Origin and Meaning

The name John is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "God is gracious".

John reigned as the most popular of all boys' Christian names for 400 years, from the time the first Crusaders carried it back to Britain until the 1950s. Then American baby namers finally seemed to tire of this straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names, replacing it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian.

John is an English derivative of the Hebrew name Yochanan via the Latin name Iohannes, itself coming from the Greek Ioannes. John was a key name in early Christianity, borne by John the Baptist, John the Apostle and John the Evangelist, plus 84 saints and 23 popes, as well as kings and countless other illustrious notables. Contrary to popular belief, the names John and Jonathan are unrelated, the latter being an elaboration of Nathan.

Because many of today's baby Johns get their names for familial rather than stylistic reasons, John isn't as ubiquitous as it once was. For modern parents, the nickname Jack or an international form like Gianni feels much fresher. But John is still one of the Top 10 boy names starting with J of all time.

The international versions of John are perennial classics in their own cultures: the French Jean, the Irish Sean, the Scottish Ian, the Welsh Evan and Ewan, the Italian Giovanni, and Gianni the Spanish Juan, the German Johann/Johannes, the Slavic Jan, the Russian Ivan, and on and on.

Celebrities who have gone with the timeless John include Michelle Pfeiffer, Bono, Johnny Depp, Lauryn Hill, Bridget Moynahan, and Rob Lowe.

Jon may be an abbreviated spelling of John or a short form of Jonathan.

# 26 in the US

John Rank in US Top 1000

# 131 on Nameberry

John Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

John Popularity

Famous People Named John

  • John "Johnny" Christopher Depp IIAmerican actor
  • John "Jack" Christopher Depp IIIson of Johnny Depp
  • Saint John the Baptistcousin of Jesus
  • Saint John the Apostle
  • John IVIII, Byzantine emperors
  • John IXXIII, popes
  • John Paul I and IIpopes
  • JohnKing of England
  • John BalliolKing of Scotland
  • John MiltonEnglish poet
  • John HancockAmerican revolutionary
  • Lt. Col. John LaurensAmerican revolutionary and abolitionist
  • John Adams2nd U.S. president
  • John WesleyEnglish founder of Methodism
  • John Quincy Adams6th U.S. president
  • John Tyler10th U.S. president
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy35th U.S. president
  • John WycliffeMorning Star of the Reformation
  • John SmithEnglish settler of North America
  • John LockeEnglish political philosopher
  • John Davison RockefellerAmerican business magnate
  • John LounsberyAmerican animator
  • John Jacob "Jack" Astor IVan American business mogaul; richest person to die on the Titanic
  • John Sidney (Blyth) BarrymoreAmerican actor
  • John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison)American actor
  • John GlennAmerican astronaut and politician
  • John MajorPrime Minister of the U.K.
  • John CleeseEnglish actor and comedian
  • John Winston LennonEnglish musician of The Beatles
  • John R. "Johnny" CashAmerican country music singer
  • John Joseph TravoltaAmerican actor and singer
  • John RhysDavies, Welsh actor
  • JohnKing of Denmark
  • John I and IIKings of Hungary
  • John DonneEnglish poet
  • John KeatsEnglish poet
  • John Hoyer UpdikeAmerican novelist
  • John Scot BarrowmanScottish,American actor
  • John Adam BelushiAmerican actor/comedian
  • John Michael GreenAmerican novelist
  • John Clayton MayerAmerican singer,songwriter
  • John Alec Entwhistlebassist of English band The Who
  • (Arthur) John GielgudEnglish actor
  • John Foster DullesU.S. Secretary of State
  • John William OliverEnglish comedian and TV personality
  • John Michael TurturroAmerican actor
  • John Edmund Andrew Phillipslead singer of American band The Mamas and the Papas
  • John Christopher ReillyAmerican actor
  • John (Cougar) MellencampAmerican singer
  • John DolmayanArmenian,American drummer for band System of a Down
  • John Carter HensleyAmerican actor
  • John Joseph Edward "Jack" CassidyAmerican actor
  • Jonathan Southworth "John" RitterAmerican actor
  • John Singer SargentAmerican painter
  • John Cummings aka Johnny Ramoneguitarist of American band The Ramones
  • John Paul Henry Daniel Richard Grimesof Irish twin duo "Jedward"
  • John Richard Deaconbassist for English band Queen
  • John Paul CusackAmerican actor
  • John YoungAmerican astronaut
  • John FranklinEnglish Royal Navy officer and explorer of the Arctic
  • John Marcellus HustonAmerican film director
  • (Nigel) John Taylorbassist for English band Duran Duran
  • John William Oatesmusician of American duo Hall & Oates
  • John Mark "Johnny" GaleckiAmerican actor
  • John Ross BowieAmerican actor
  • John Phillip StamosAmerican actor/musician
  • John Patrick "Jack" DouglassAmerican comedy vlogger
  • John Wesley ShippAmerican actor
  • John "Barney" Yazici aka ThatGuyBarneyTurkish,American YouTuber
  • JohnDavid Duggar(b.1990), 3rd child (2nd son) of reality TV's Duggar family. Twin brother of Jana Marie
  • John Owen Loweson of American actor Rob Lowe
  • John Aether Ramirez Landson of Dania Ramirez & John Land
  • John David Linch (b. 2007)son of American legal commentator and television host Nancy Grace
  • John Phillips (b. 2009)son of American actress Julie Bowen
  • John "Rocco" Falconetti (b. 2009)son of former artistic gymnast Shannon Miller
  • John Nash Chatham (b. 2014)son of American actor Wes Chatham and American sports broadcaster Jenn Brown
  • John Willard "Bill" MarriottSr., founder of Marriott International
  • John Sidney McCain IIIAmerican politician, senior US Senator from Arizona
  • John BrooksAmerican author, activist and blogger devoted to raising awareness of suicide and a barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge
  • John VerhoekDutch footballer
  • Prince John Charles Francis of the United Kingdomfifth and youngest son of George V and Mary of Teck
  • John LedinSwedish guitarist, son of Swedish musician Tomas actor
  • John Burke KrasinskiAmerican actor
  • John Candylate Canadian actor & comedian
  • John LithgowAmerican Actor
  • John GoodmanAmerican Actor
  • John Ronald Reuel "J.R.R." TolkienEnglish writer , author of The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, The Silmarillion

John in Pop Culture

  • Johnfourth book in the New Testament
  • 12, &3 John, epistles in the New Testament
  • John Coffeycharacter in "The Green Mile" novel/movie
  • John Trentcharacter in "In the Mouth of Madness"
  • John Winchestercharacter on TV's "Supernatural"
  • John Bendercharacter in "The Breakfast Club"
  • John Hamish Watsoncharacter in the Sherlock Holmes series
  • Dr. John Montague/Markwaycharacter in "The Haunting of Hill House"
  • John Garret from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • John Smithcharacter in "I Am Number Four" series
  • John Smithmain character in 'The Dead Zone' series
  • John Smithalias of the Doctor on TV's Doctor Who
  • John Ross Ewing III, and III, characters on TV's "Dallas"
  • John Nelsoncharacter in video game "The Sims"
  • John "Johnny" Burbcharacter in video game "The Sims"
  • John Kennishcharacter on TV's "Switched at Birth"
  • John Bennettcharacter on TV's "Orange is the New Black"
  • John Sheppardcharacter on TV's "Stargate: Atlantis"
  • John Crichtoncharacter on TV's "Farscape"
  • John Connorcharacter in The Terminator series
  • John HaydenCharacter in "Abandon" series by Meg Cabot
  • Johnmain character in G. A. Henty's, For the Temple
  • John Beckercharacter on TV's "Becker"
  • John Claskycharacter in movie "Spanglish"
  • John Egbertcharacter in webcomic Homestuck
  • John Bennettcharacter on TV's "Alphas"
  • John Brookecharacter in the Little Women series
  • John 'Demi' Brooke Jrcharacter in the Little Women series
  • John James Rambomain character in "Rambo" series
  • John Masterscharacter from Star of Babylon by Barbara Wood
  • John Deemain character in the "Kronos Chronicles"
  • John the Savagecharacter in "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
  • John McBaincharacter on American soaps "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital"
  • John Lockecharacter on TV's "Lost"
  • Little Johnone of Robin Hood's Merry Men
  • John Monadcharacter on TV's "John from Cincinnati"
  • John Whitefootcharacter in G. A. Henty's, Orange and Green
  • John Gagea character on TV's "Emergency!"
  • John Townsendcharacter in "Yesterday's child" by Barbara Wood
  • John Reesecharacter on TV's "Person of Interest"
  • John Moorecharacter in "The Alienist"
  • Red Johnvillain on TV's "The Mentalist"
  • John Glenn Tracycharacter from The Thunderbirds series
  • John Swansonson of Ron Swanson and Diane Lewis on TV's Parks and Recreation
  • Dr. John "JD" Doriancharacter on the TV show "Scrubs"
  • Dr. John Cartercharacter from TV show "ER"
  • John Andrew Diggle aka Spartancharacter on TV's "Arrow"
  • John Reeda character from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
  • John "Pyro" Allerdycecharacter from X,men comics
  • John Proudstar aka Thunderbirdcharacter from X,men comics
  • John Wilkescharacter from "Gone with the Wind"
  • John Jonesalso known as J'onn J'onzz and Martian Manhunter, character from DC Universe
  • John Stewartalso known as The Green Lantern, character from DC Universe
  • John Corbenalso known as Metallo, character from DC Universe
  • John Graysoncharacter from DC Universe
  • John Constantinecharacter from DC Universe
  • Dr. John Wade Prentice Jr. and his father John Prentice Sr.characters from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
  • Johnslang for a toilet
  • John Kramermain character in the SAW movie franchise, played by Tobin Bell
  • John Murphymain character in the TV show "The 100"
  • John Proctora character in Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible."
  • John Michael Shelbycharacter in bbc series Peaky blinders
  • John SturgisCollege Physics professor on the TV series "Young Sheldon"
  • John LaMarrcharacter on TV series "The Orville"
  • John Thomas "J.T." Lambertcharacter on ABC TGIF sitcom "Step by Step"
  • John HarrimanCaptain of the Enterprise,B in the 1994 film "Star Trek: Generations"
  • John Munchcharacter on TV's "Law and Order: SVU" and "Homicide: Life on the Street"
  • John James "Jack" McCoycharacter on "Law and Order"
  • John Tyreecharacter played by Channing Tatum in the movie "Dear John"

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