123 Variations of John

For centuries the most popular of all boy baby names, borne by saints, kings, and countless other illustrious notables, John is still in the Top 20. For a new spin on one of the longest-running favorite baby names, try one of John's international variations.
  1. Jack
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Jack may have fallen from its Number 1 place in England, but in the US it's as popular as it was at its height in the 1920s and 1930s. A durable, cheery, everyman form of John, Jack ranks as one of the most popular boy names starting with J.
  2. Jane
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      No, we don't consider Jane too plain. In fact, for a venerable and short one-syllable name, we think it packs a surprising amount of punch, as compared to the related Jean and Joan.
  3. John
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      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.
  4. Evan
    • Origin:

      Welsh variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Evan has a mellow nice-guy image that has kept it popular, while it has been widely used in Wales since the nineteenth century. And interestingly—and surprisingly—enough, Evan charts highly for boys in France.
  5. Zane
    • Origin:

      Possible variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Western novelist Zane (born Pearl!) Grey made this name famous. Now, it's in tune with the style of our times, retaining that appealing cowboy image.
  6. Jackson
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "son of Jack"
    • Description:

      Jackson is one of those names that's much more popular than you think, coming in near the top of our annual Playground Analysis, which ranks names by grouping all their spellings together. There were nearly 17,000 baby boys named Jackson -- along Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon, Jaxen, Jaxyn, Jaxsen, and Jaxsyn -- which counted together makes it the Number 3 boys' name.
  7. Ian
    • Origin:

      Scottish version of John
    • Meaning:

      "the Lord is gracious"
    • Description:

      Ian is Scottish form of John, derived from the Hebrew name Yohanan. It is an Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic Iain, which is also a viable spelling. Ian was introduced to Americans by Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
  8. Ewan
    • Origin:

      Scottish form of Gaelic Eoghan
    • Meaning:

      "born of the yew tree"
    • Description:

      This appealing name has a good chance of catching on due to the popularity of Ewan McGregor, and the trend towards Gaelic names in general. Pronunciation is YOO-un.
  9. Gianna
    • Origin:

      Italian, diminutive of Giovanna or feminization of Gianni, forms of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      The Italian Gianna undoubtedly owes much of its popularity in the US to its status as an honor name for John. Before the importation of Gianna, there was no truly workable feminine form of John, so Gianna found widespread favor among American parents with Italian roots and far beyond.
  10. Jacqueline
    • Origin:

      French, feminine diminutive of Jacques
    • Meaning:

      "supplanter"
    • Description:

      Jacqueline originated as a feminine form of Jacques, the French variation of James, and therefore Jacob. Jacob was ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov, and gets its meaning, "supplanter" from the story of Jacob supplanting his brother Esau as the first-born son in the Bible. Jacqueline was first used in France in the Middle Ages.
  11. Sean
    • Origin:

      Irish variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Sean, after a long reign as one of the top Irish boys' names in the US, has now slipped as parents look to fresher Irish choices such as Liam and Aidan. In Ireland, Sean is still highly popular, but variation Senan, an Anglicized spelling of diminutive Seanan, is also stylish in Ireland. While Sean is the Irish form of John, Seanan and Senan may be thought of either as Sean diminutives or relatives of the Latin word "senator".
  12. Ivan
    • Origin:

      Russian variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      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.
  13. Siobhan
    • Origin:

      Irish Gaelic
    • Meaning:

      "god is gracious"
    • Description:

      Siobhan is the Irish variation of Joan, which is derived from the ancient Anglo-Norman name Jehanne. In this way Siobhan is indirectly related to the name Sinead—the Irish form of Jeannette, which also derived from Jehanne—although Sinead is not a nickname for Siobhan. Siobhan was the name of several early Irish queens and was introduced to the American public by the actress Siobhan McKenna.
  14. Giovanni
    • Origin:

      Italian variation of John
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Giovanni is a venerable Italian classic that suddenly sounds fresh and cool. Ubiquitous in Italy, it has countless notable namesakes, from writer Boccaccio to designer Versace (nn Gianni).
  15. Joanna
    • Origin:

      Variation of Johanna
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Joanna derives from the Greek name Ioanna, which in turn came from the Hebrew name Yohannah. It is featured in the New Testament as a woman who accompanied Jesus on his travels and eventually reached saint status. Other names related to Joanna include Joan, Joanne, Johanna, and Jana.
  16. Joan
    • Origin:

      English variation of Johanna
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.
  17. Johanna
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Johanna is the version of this name used in Holland, Germany, and Scandinavia. The extra h makes Johanna a slightly more dignified version of Joanna.
  18. Jaxon
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Jackson
    • Meaning:

      "son of Jack"
    • Description:

      Jaxon has been mostly climbing in popularity since it entered the Top 1000 in 1997, proving that many parents have decided to rev up the cool factor of Jackson by giving it this streamlined spelling. (Though we still prefer the original.)
  19. Shane
    • Origin:

      Anglicized variation of Sean
    • Meaning:

      "God is gracious"
    • Description:

      Shane ambled into the picture via the 1953 movie, adding a cowboy twist to its Irish essence. Shane is even more popular in Ireland than in the USA or the UK. Singer Siobhan O'Connor and actor Kevin Sorbo have sons named Shane.
  20. Jonty
    • Origin:

      Diminutive of Jonathan
    • Meaning:

      "gift of Jehovah"
    • Description:

      Jaunty, to say the least, Jonty might be an option if Johnny feels too old school. It has been noticed most often on the playing fields, as in U.K. rugby player Jonty Parkin (born Jonathan) and South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes (Jonathon).