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Gender: Male Meaning of John: "God is gracious" Origin of John: Hebrew John's Popularity in 2017: #27

The name John is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "God is gracious". John is ranked #27 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Bible Names for Boys and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

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, at which point American baby namers finally seemed to be tiring of this most straight-arrow, almost anonymous John Doe of names and started to replace it with fancier forms like Jonathan and the imported Sean and Ian. 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.

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 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, 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.

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

Famous People Named John

Saint John the Baptist, cousin of Jesus
Saint John the Apostle
John I-VIII, Byzantine emperors
John I-XXIII, popes
John Paul I and II, popes
John, King of England
John Balliol, King of Scotland
John Milton, English poet
John Hancock, American revolutionary
Lt. Col. John Laurens, American revolutionary and abolitionist
John Adams, 2nd U.S. president
John Wesley, English founder of Methodism
John Quincy Adams, 6th U.S. president
John Tyler, 10th U.S. president
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th U.S. president
John Wycliffe, Morning Star of the Reformation
John Smith, English settler of North America
John Locke, English political philosopher
John Davison Rockefeller, American business magnate
John Lounsbery, American animator
John Jacob "Jack" Astor IV, an American business mogaul; richest person to die on the Titanic
John Sidney (Blyth) Barrymore, American actor
John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison), American actor
John Glenn, American astronaut and politician
John Major, Prime Minister of the U.K.
John Cleese, English actor and comedian
John Winston Lennon, English musician of The Beatles
John R. "Johnny" Cash, American country music singer
John Joseph Travolta, American actor and singer
John Rhys-Davies, Welsh actor
John, King of Denmark
John I and II, Kings of Hungary
John Donne, English poet
John Keats, English poet
John Hoyer Updike, American novelist
John Scot Barrowman, Scottish-American actor
John Adam Belushi, American actor/comedian
John Michael Green, American novelist
John Clayton Mayer, American singer-songwriter
John Alec Entwhistle, bassist of English band The Who
(Arthur) John Gielgud, English actor
John Foster Dulles, U.S. Secretary of State
John William Oliver, English comedian and TV personality
John Michael Turturro, American actor
John Edmund Andrew Phillips, lead singer of American band The Mamas and the Papas
John Christopher Reilly, American actor
John (Cougar) Mellencamp, American singer
John Dolmayan, Armenian-American drummer for band System of a Down
John Carter Hensley, American actor
John Joseph Edward "Jack" Cassidy, American actor
Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter, American actor
John Singer Sargent, American painter
John Cummings aka Johnny Ramone, guitarist of American band The Ramones
John Paul Henry Daniel Richard Grimes, of Irish twin duo "Jedward"
John Richard Deacon, bassist for English band Queen
John Paul Cusack, American actor
John Young, American astronaut
John Franklin, English Royal Navy officer and explorer of the Arctic
John Marcellus Huston, American film director
(Nigel) John Taylor, bassist for English band Duran Duran
John William Oates, musician of American duo Hall & Oates
John Mark "Johnny" Galecki, American actor
John Ross Bowie, American actor
John Phillip Stamos, American actor/musician
John Patrick "Jack" Douglass, American comedy vlogger
John Wesley Shipp, American actor
John "Barney" Yazici aka ThatGuyBarney, Turkish-American YouTuber
John-David Duggar(b.1990), 3rd child (2nd son) of reality TV's Duggar family. Twin brother of Jana Marie
John Owen Lowe, son of American actor Rob Lowe
John Aether Ramirez Land, son 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" Marriott, Sr., founder of Marriott International
John Sidney McCain III, American politician, senior US Senator from Arizona
John Brooks, American author, activist and blogger devoted to raising awareness of suicide and a barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge
John Verhoek, Dutch footballer
Prince John Charles Francis of the United Kingdom, fifth and youngest son of George V and Mary of Teck
John Ledin, Swedish guitarist, son of Swedish musician Tomas actor
John Burke Krasinski, American actor

Pop Culture References for the name John

John, fourth book in the New Testament
1, 2, &3 John, epistles in the New Testament
John Coffey, character in "The Green Mile" novel/movie
John Trent, character in "In the Mouth of Madness"
John Winchester, character on TV's "Supernatural"
John Bender, character in "The Breakfast Club"
John Hamish Watson, character in the Sherlock Holmes series
Dr. John Montague/Markway, character in "The Haunting of Hill House"
John Garret from Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
John Smith, character in "I Am Number Four" series
John Smith, main character in 'The Dead Zone' series
John Smith, alias of the Doctor on TV's Doctor Who
John Ross Ewing I, II, and III, characters on TV's "Dallas"
John Nelson, character in video game "The Sims"
John "Johnny" Burb, character in video game "The Sims"
John Kennish, character on TV's "Switched at Birth"
John Bennett, character on TV's "Orange is the New Black"
John Sheppard, character on TV's "Stargate: Atlantis"
John Crichton, character on TV's "Farscape"
John Connor, character in The Terminator series
John Hayden, Character in "Abandon" series by Meg Cabot
John, main character in G. A. Henty's, For the Temple
John Becker, character on TV's "Becker"
John Clasky, character in movie "Spanglish"
John Egbert, character in webcomic Homestuck
John Bennett, character on TV's "Alphas"
John Brooke, character in the Little Women series
John 'Demi' Brooke Jr, character in the Little Women series
John James Rambo, main character in "Rambo" series
John Masters, character from Star of Babylon by Barbara Wood
John Dee, main character in the "Kronos Chronicles"
John the Savage, character in "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley
John McBain, character on American soaps "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital"
John Locke, character on TV's "Lost"
Little John, one of Robin Hood's Merry Men
John Monad, character on TV's "John from Cincinnati"
John Whitefoot, character in G. A. Henty's, Orange and Green
John Gage, a character on TV's "Emergency!"
John Townsend, character in "Yesterday's child" by Barbara Wood
John Reese, character on TV's "Person of Interest"
John Moore, character in "The Alienist"
Red John, villain on TV's "The Mentalist"
John Glenn Tracy, character from The Thunderbirds series
John Swanson, son of Ron Swanson and Diane Lewis on TV's Parks and Recreation
Dr. John "JD" Dorian, character on the TV show "Scrubs"
Dr. John Carter, character from TV show "ER"
John Andrew Diggle aka Spartan, character on TV's "Arrow"
John Reed, a character from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"
John "Pyro" Allerdyce, character from X-men comics
John Proudstar aka Thunderbird, character from X-men comics
John Wilkes, character from "Gone with the Wind"
John Jones, also known as J'onn J'onzz and Martian Manhunter, character from DC Universe
John Stewart, also known as The Green Lantern, character from DC Universe
John Corben, also known as Metallo, character from DC Universe
John Grayson, character from DC Universe
John Constantine, character from DC Universe
Dr. John Wade Prentice Jr. and his father John Prentice Sr., characters from "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"
John, slang for a toilet
John Kramer, main character in the SAW movie franchise, played by Tobin Bell
John Murphy, main character in the TV show "The 100"
John Proctor, a character in Arthur Miller's play, "The Crucible."
John Michael Shelby, character in bbc series Peaky blinders


ILoveBabyNames123 Says:



TechnoKitten Says:


Why not use the variations like:Sean,Ian,Jean,Giovanni...

josephinedagnall Says:


This is one of my all time favourite names. It's very versatile - anyone can be called John - but, as the name continues to fall down the popularity ladder, it's unlikely there will be multiple Johns to a class. I'd use this name in a heartbeat!

Kellie Horn Says:


I like the nickname Little John, like from Robin Hood.

letmein Says:


This name is way too common and popular. No thanks.

Alaina Says:


I hate the name John! So Blah. Why can't it be Jonathan or something? -.-

jimmiedickins Says:


john is my name i was named after 2 johns in my family i love my name i am proud to be a john

Psimppyg614 Says:


I have a John, he's 10 now. I always thought it sounded strong, manly, very handsome and dependable. I always called him John, or Baby John, but as he got to be around 4-5 years old, starting pre-K and kindergarten, he really decided for himself, he's no "Johnny". When people would call him Johnny, he'd frown and correct them: "My name is John, J-O-H-N".... Still one of my favorite memories as a mother. It's a very flexible name. His Oma and one uncle call him John-Boy, he doesn't mind that. But don't call him Johnny....

LostKid Says:


Every young John I know dislikes their name and chooses to go by another name or their initials. It's so common and way too boring for me.

Dolly S Says:


John's good, but Jack is great!

Eleri Gwenllian Says:


So do I. John is timeless and strong.

Eleri Gwenllian Says:


So much better to be called John - a good honest traditional name - than Jayden. I really like John.

Lou Says:


I'm a teenager, and I know five Johns in my age range. It's a a solid name, yes, but not novel at all.

Anna Calfee Says:


I disagree!

Michaela Says:


John is so blank and bland. It's been battered down by over-usage. No spark of life left. Try Jonathan, Ian, Johann, Johannes, Jean, or Sean instead!

caetano Says:


considering its #26 and has been top 20 forever, probably a lot.

caetano Says:


same. Its so boring with no personality left.

caetano Says:


you can have names that arent object of ridicule, yet arent shared with a million other guys.

caetano Says:


Meh. Way too boring and overused for me. No personality or spunk left in the name at all. You can still use classic historic names that arent shared with millions of other guys.

LowSlash Says:


When my friend was trying to come up with boy names that are familiar yet uncommon in the current generation, her mother suggested John. My friend ended up choosing a different name, but I think that was an inspired suggestion. Really, how many young Johns do you know? It may sound boring to some older ears, but I imagine it will sound fresh and novel in upcoming generations.

Anna Calfee Says:


John is a timeless classic. To each his own.

RoddyThlayli Says:


John is one of those names that I absolutely love, but would never use because of how normal it is (Robert, James and Logan are a couple others). Nobody's going to think "Hey, that's a cool name." or anything like that. If I ever have a kid, I want them to have a name that's unique but not bizarre (Pippin type names-- easy to spell and remember, but they probably won't meet another one). I've never actually met a John in real life. I have met a couple of Jacks, though.

J.J. Says:


I love the name John, and I really don't like when people say that certain names are "boring." As another poster said, children are not fashion statements. I'd rather my child have a "boring" name than one that makes them the object of ridicule and judgment, especially when they're adults trying to (pardon the pun) make a name for themselves. A name should be flexible enough to accommodate the actual adult human that child decides he or she is at all stages in their life. John fits the bill nicely without being slave to name trends.

headintheclouds Says:


This is the ultimate classic of classics. I used to think John was the epitome of a boring average name, but I've recently started to look at it in a new light. While I don't love it and won't go out singing the praises of John anytime soon, I can see its steadiness, simplicity, its handsome sound, wonderful name meaning and usage in history that makes up its appeal. SO many Johns are named after their fathers or various familial relations though; it would be nice to meet a baby John named so just because his parents just liked the name, and not just out of obligation.

Chloe14 Says:


Well, John isn't my favorite name! However, I love Jonathan. If I was to use John, I'd spell it Jon and it would be a nickname for Jonathan.

joyfulmomto8 Says:


I love John! Prefer it as a double name (John Patrick, John Isaac)... John is a timeless classic, with such a rich history. The great thing is now a days you don't hear of many baby's named John. For me John is a reminder of a time past, bringing to my mind the Kennedy's and all of their elegance . Just can't go wrong with John.

yvonne_virginia Says:


I really like this name! If I had been a boy, I would have been named John Constantine.

summersnow Says:


I know SO MANY Johns/Jonathons and four of them are in my own family. It's the most boring name please NO

DaisyMaisie Says:


i like this name, and the nickname johnny is cute

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


I don't see the appeal. It is THE most boring boy name I have ever heard

Daphodil Says:


I used to think it was super plain, but recently I have developed a fondness for John. Like a previous poster said: anyone can be John. And I love the nn Johnny.

Addie88 Says:


I love this name. Its classic every man quality and its refreshing sense of tradition in a world of Caidyn's make for a great choice. It may not win any popularity contests, but kids aren't fashion statements. I like John Nicholas as a combination a lot.

raevynstar Says:


John. The most average-guy name ever. To liven it up, use a double name like John David. Although it's perfect on its own...

Mutant11 Says:


I love how flexible the name John is. He's like a blank canvas. Anyone can be John.