Gender: Male Meaning of John: "God is gracious" Origin of John: Hebrew John's Popularity in 2019: #28

John Origin and Meaning

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

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.

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.

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.

16 names similar to John

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like John. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than John, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #28

- this week

Famous People Named John

Pop Culture References for the name John

Johnny, Jon, Jovanni, Johan, Jaxon, Jack, Jahn, Joen, Jackie, Jonnie, Johnnie, Jovanney, Jonté, Jhan, Jonny, Jhon,


ParanoidAndroid Says:


True, along with Benjamin, Robert, and William. I should’ve better specified as to why I prefer John over them. Yes, while they’re all traditional, I feel like John is a little less used today than all of the aforementioned. And I also think John, like many other traditional names such as Matthew and Thomas, are more appealing than other traditional names like Benjamin. It’s all a matter of preference.

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Michael is pretty traditional.

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Too common, and slang for a toilet.

ParanoidAndroid Says:


A classic. To put it concisely, John has enough appeal and namesakes to last it a few more centuries. Although the amount of Johns is decreasing, John is certainly more pleasant yet serious than the trite slew of Michaels, Aidans, Liams, and Benjamins. An overused choice, sure, but it’s definitely worth considering this classic.

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.