- John mEnglish form of Latin Johannes, New Testament Greek Iōannēs, a contracted form of the Hebrew name Johanan ‘God is gracious’ (the name of several different characters in the Old Testament, including one of King David's ‘mighty men’). John is the spelling used in the Authorized Version of the New Testament. The name is of great importance in early Christianity: it was borne by John the Baptist (the precursor of Christ himself, who baptized sinners in the River Jordan), by one of Christ's disciples (John the Apostle, a fisherman, brother of James), and by the author of the fourth gospel (John the Evangelist, identified in Christian tradition with the apostle, but more probably a Greek-speaking Jewish Christian living over half a century later). The name was also borne by many subsequent Christian saints and by twenty-three popes, including John XXIII (Giuseppe Roncalli, 1881–1963), whose popularity was yet another factor influencing people to choose this given name. It was also a royal name, being born by eight Byzantine emperors and by kings of Hungary, Poland, Portugal, France, and elsewhere. In its various forms in different languages, it has been the most perennially popular of all Christian names.Cognates: Irish: EOIN (SEE Eoin), SEÁN (SEE Seán). Scottish: IAN (SEE Ian), Iain, Eòin, Seathan. Welsh: IEUAN (SEE Ieuan), SIÔN (SEE Siôn). French: Jean. Breton: Yann. Italian: Giovanni, Gianni. Spanish: Juan. Catalan: Joan. Galician: Xoán. Portuguese: João. Basque: Ion, Yon. Romanian: Ion. German: Johann, Johannes, Hans. Low German: Johan. Dutch: Jan. Danish, Norwegian: Jens, Johan, Jan. Swedish: Johan, Jöns, Jon, Jan. Polish: Jan; Iwan (an E. Polish, Belorussian, or Ukrainian form. Czech: Johan, Jan. Russian: Ivan. Hungarian: János. Finnish: Juhani, Jussi, Hannu.
First names dictionary. 2012.