Evan is the Welsh form of John which is the English form of the Hebrew “Yohanan” meaning “Jehovah has favored” or "Yahweh is gracious" from “hanan” “he was gracious”. John is a name that originated in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) as one of King David’s mighty men; however, usage of the name is attributed more to the Johns from the New Testament (i.e., the Baptist and the Evangelist). John has traditionally been a name of great importance since early Christianity, but it wasn’t until the Crusades when Western Europeans were reintroduced to the name. By the 14th century, John was rivaling William for the top spot in England. Celtic Christians were equally enthusiastic about this name: the Irish adopted John as Seán, the Scottish as Ian, the Manx as Ean and the Welsh as Evan. As you can see from all the related names and variations to the right, John is a name that has come in many flavors. Evan is the Welsh flavor. Additionally, Evan has a second possible etymology so you get a bigger bang for your buck with this name. Many etymologists believe that Evan is related to the Welsh “ieuanc” meaning "young” from the Proto-Indo-European root *i̯eu- meaning "vital force, youthful vigor". Still hugely popular among Welsh baby boys, Evan is also embraced by all other English-speaking nations (it’s also quite popular in France).
Evan reached his highest point of popularity ever in 2009 when the name hit the #35 spot. For most of the name’s long existence on the U.S. popularity charts, Evan never achieved any meaningful success until the early 1980s when it finally crossed the Top 100 threshold (1983). And it hasn’t looked back since. In fact, right now, out of all the masculine names related to John, Evan is the fifth most popular today (Jackson, John, Jonathan and Jack still have him beat). Other John names that are currently on America’s Top 100 list are Jaxon, Ivan, Sean and Juan. It’s weird how all these names are related, but they are. Evan is a great choice for parents interested in capturing some of that “youthful” Welsh spirit. Despite its growing success, Evan still feels very original.