Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Same Name?!--John

What can you say about John? Thanks to a pair of admirable Bible characters, it's one of the most popular boys' names of all time, extremely common in all three major branches of Christianity (Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, & Protestant). It didn't lose its hold in America until the 80s, and even then, it's still in the top 25. It's also one of the few traditional names with a comparable range of both male and female versions.
For some, John is a solid classic, for others, it's bland and tired.
And despite the similarity in English, it's actually unrelated to Jonathan.

Original Hebrew form: Yochanan [יוֹחָנָן] (yoh-kha-nahn)
Greek transliteration: Yoannes (yoh-AHN-nehs)
Latin form: Iohannes (yoh-AN-nes)

Modern versions:
  • Evan (EV-an)--Welsh. Anglicized from Iefan. Other forms include Ifan (EE-van), Ieuan (YAY-an), Ioan (YOH-an), Iwan (EE-wan), and Sion (SHON [via Jehan]).
  • Ganix (JAHN-eesh)--Basque
  • Giovanni (joh-VAHN-nee)--Italian
  • Hank (HANK)--Medieval English (via Hann)
  • Hann (HAHN)--Medieval English (via Johannes). Diminutive is Hankin.
  • Hans (HAHNS)--Dutch, German, Scandinavian (via Johannes)
  • Honza (HON-zah)--Czech (via Hans)
  • Ian (EE-an)--Scottish. Older form is Iain.
  • Ion (YON)--Romanian
  • Ivan (ee-VAHN or EYE-van)--Slavic
  • Jack (JAK)--English (via Jankin
  • Jan (YAHN, JAN)--Czech, Dutch, German, Medieval English. English diminutive is Jankin.
  • Janez (YAHN-ez)--Slovene
  • Jehan (zheh-han)--Medieval French
  • Jens (YENS)--Dutch
  • João (ZHOO-ow)--Portuguese
  • Johan (YOH-han)--German, Scandinavian
  • Johannes (yo-HAN-nes)--Late Latin
  • Jovan (YOH-van)--Macedonian, Serbian
  • Juan (HWAHN)--Spanish
  • Keoni (keh-oh-nee)--Hawaiian
  • Sean (SHAHN)--Irish. Sometimes anglicized to Shane.
  • Xoan (SHOH-awn)--Galician
  • Yann (YAHN)--Breton. Diminutive is Yannick.

Feminine forms:
  • Gianna (JAHN-nah)--Italian
  • Ioanna (yoh-AHN-nah)--Greek
  • Ionela (yoh-NEL-lah)--Romanian
  • Ivana (ee-VAH-nah)--Slavic
  • Jana (YAH-nah)--Dutch, German
  • Jane (JAYN)--English (via Jehanne). Diminutives are Janet, Janice, and Jenny.
  • Janneke (YAH-neh-keh)--Dutch
  • Jean (JEEN)--English, Scottish (via Jehanne). Scottish diminutive is Jessie.
  • Jeanne (ZHAHN)--French (via Jehanne). Diminutives are Jeannine and Jeannette.
  • Jehanne (zheh-hahn)--Medieval French
  • Joan (JONE)--English (via Johanne)
  • Joana (zhoo-AH-nah)--Portuguese
  • Joanna (joh-AN-nah)--English
  • Johanne (zhoh-ahn)--Medieval French
  • Jovana (yoh-VAH-nah)--Macedonion, Serbian
  • Seona (SHOH-nah)--Scottish (via Joan)
  • Sheena (SHEE-nah)--Scottish (via Jeanne)
  • Sian (SHAHN)--Welsh
  • Siobhan (shi-VAWN)--Irish (via Jehanne). Anglicized to Shevon or Chevonne.
  • Zana (ZHAH-nah)--Slovene

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