The name Ivan is a boy's name of Russian origin meaning "God is gracious". Ivan is ranked #135 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Best Boy Names Starting with Vowels and discussed in our forums with posts like "Makeover name game: from one gender to the other".
From the experts:
Though some might find it a bit heavy-booted, Ivan is one of the few Russian boys' names to become fully accepted into the American naming pool. 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.