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Gender: Female Meaning of Janet: "God's gracious gift" Origin of Janet: Diminutive of Jane

The name Janet is a girl's name of English origin meaning "God's gracious gift". Janet and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Blessed and discussed in our forums with posts like "Themed Families..".

From the experts:

Janet started as a pet form of Jane, but has long been used independently. Five hundred years ago Janet was a royal favorite in Scotland, where it remains a popular choice. Here, however, Janet has been on a downhill slide since the 1960s, with Grandma Janet now knitting booties for baby Janae. Or even, increasingly, Jane.

There have been several Janets recently involved in US government, Janet is a leading member of the Jackson family, and Janet Evanovich is a bestselling author; and in the past there have been first Best Actress Oscar winner Gaynor, Psycho screamer Janet Leigh, and the mother of Jackie Kennedy.

There are several attractive foreign versions that might prove appealing alternate namesakes for Gran Jan--Gianetta, Zaneta, Janneth, Sinead or Janica.

Find other names based on Janet using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Janet

Janet Damita Jo Jackson, American pop singer
Janet Leigh (born Jeanette Helen Morrison), American actress
Laura Augusta "Janet" Gaynor, American actress
Janet Wood Reno, former U.S. attorney general
Janet Ann Napolitano, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and Arizona governor
Janet McTeer, English actress
Janet Beth Evans, American Olympic swimmer
Janet Norton Lee Bouvier, mother of U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Janet Evanovich, American novelist
Janet Susan Mary "Viva" Hoffman, American actress
Janet E. A. Henfrey, English actress
Janet Maslin, American journalist and movie critic
Janet Lee, Taiwanese-American tennis player
Janet Street-Porter (born Janet Vera Ardern), English media personality
Jeanette Marie "Janet" Waldo, American actress
Janet Carol Wolfenbarger, highest-ranking woman in the U.S. Air Force
Janet Wright, Canadian actress and director
Janet Louise Yellen, American economist and Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Meakin Poor, American landscape designer
Janet Elizabeth Lennon, singer with American girl group The Lennon Sisters
Janet Lynn, American Olympic figure skater
Janet Rosenberg Jagan, 6th President of Guyana
Janet Carr, Australian TV producer
Janet Michelle Ellis, English TV presenter and actress
Janet Fielding, English actress
Janet Steeper Burkle, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers and wife of billionaire Ron Burkle

Pop Culture References for the name Janet

Janet Weiss, character in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
Janet van Dyne, the Wasp in the Marvel Comics
Interplanet Janet, character on TV's "Schoolhouse Rock"
Janet Wood, character on TV's "Three's Company"
Janet and John, main characters in British postwar primary school reading textbooks
Janet, character in The Magic School Bus series
Janet "Jay" Kyle, character on TV's "My Wife and Kids"
Janet Leach, character in the movie "Appropriate Adult"
Janet "Butterfly" Taylor, character in the Orphans series by V.C. Andrews
Janet Armstrong, character in G. A. Henty's, Both Sides the Border
Janet Robins, character in the "St. Clare" book series by Enid Blyton
Janet Smythe, character on TV's "Best Friends Whenever"
Janet van de Graaff, character in musical "The Drowsy Chaperone"
"Janet King," Australian TV drama and its main character
"Janet's Big Dance Number," song by Frank Zappa
Janet, character in American sitcom "The Good Place"

Jennet, Jennette, Jannetta, Jenetta, Janetta, Janit, Janette, Janot, Jenette, Jannet, Janeta, Jinnett, Jinnet

Janet's International Variations

Zaneta (Russian) Gianetta (Italian) Sioned (Welsh) Janneth (Scottish)


paulapuddephatt Says:


I prefer Janice, Janis or Janine. Those can all be Jan or Jani for short, too.

Jay Lea Says:


Growing up with this name was tough.

"Big as a planet" and so on. Rocky Horror and Miss Jackson made it cool but young people today are confounded trying to spell it.

I embraced it a little once I realised I was named after my Grandmother, Juanita, who will be 103 this year. But, I still cringe when hearing my name. My middle name is worse, so no help there. And "Jan" conjures Jan Brady, the mental one.

I implore you, don't do this to your daughter. It's a super feminine name that will limit her if she wants to be taken seriously as a scientist or computer person.

unicornluvgirl Says:



caroblaise Says:


I like it! It's cute. Although the name styles are different, it works!

unicornluvgirl Says:


I started loving this name! I would probably only use it in the middle though. Does Niamh Janet sound bad?

caroblaise Says:


The description was a bit uncalled for....

Guest Says:


And you could always sing "Dammit, Janet. I love you." (from Rocky Horror Picture Show!)

Guest Says:


"Grandma Janet is knitting booties for baby Janae."

Okay, I don't think it's that bad! Janet can be revived! It has so many "modern" nicknames, like Jana, Jani, Netta, ect.