Girl Baby Name

Joanna

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Quick Facts on Joanna

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 342
Pronunciation:
jo-AN-ә
Simple meaning:
God is gracious; God is generous (merciful)

Characteristics of Joanna

  • Independent
  • Individualistic
  • Ambitious
  • Strong-willed
  • Inventive
  • Successful

Etymology & Historical Origin - Joanna

Joanna is the English/Latinate female equivalent of John. The Latin Iohannes (John) and Iohanna (Joanna) are ultimately derived from the Hebrew “Yochanan” meaning “Yahweh is gracious” or “God is merciful, generous” (the name John first appears in the Old Testament in the person of one of King David’s mighty men. The New Testament Johns (i.e., the Baptist and the Apostle) carry a lot of importance among Christians which is how and why this name has not only survived, but flourished throughout Western Civilization. However, separately, Joanna is a name borne from the Bible in her own right as well. She shows up variously in the Gospel According to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles as one of the very few women specifically named as “ministering women” who accompany Jesus on his travels. “And with him were the Twelve and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmaries: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, wife Chuza, (king) Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their means.” (Luke 8:2-3). These women are also mentioned in Luke 24:10-11 as having witnessed the resurrection, but when they initially described the events to the apostles, they were not believed. It could therefore be argued that Joanna was among the quickest of hearts to believe in Jesus as Christ. This would undoubtedly make Joanna an extremely significant name among the Christians. The feminine form of John (Joanna or Johanna) became popular in the Middle Ages.

Popularity of the Name Joanna

Joanna is a name that’s been in consistent usage since the U.S. government began tracking naming trends in 1880. At the turn of the 20th century, Joanna enjoyed only moderate usage, but the name would slowly and quietly climb the charts as the decades progressed. Interestingly, the height of Joanna’s success came in the 1980s when she was even a Top 100 favorite for two brief years (1984-1985). Since that time, the name has been going backwards down the charts, closer to more moderate levels of usage again. Her simpler sister, Joan, was a name of great success between the 1930s and 1950s – but while Joan has completely fallen off the female naming charts, Joanna has managed to maintain a spot. It’s a politely modest name with straightforward Christian origins (from John). Joanna is a pretty, three-syllable sound – a real lady-like name. For the little tomboys out there, this name can be shortened to Jo and Joey.
Popularity of the Girl Name Joanna
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Joanna

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Joanna

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Joanna

    Joanna Burden (Light in August) William Faulkner’s “Light in August” (published in 1932) is a story of outcasts in the racially charged South, and Joanna Burden is one of them. The “burden” she must carry (hence her last name) is being born into a family of white abolitionists – and this makes her quite unpopular in a town not too keen on equality. Only, her reasoning for advancing the Black people within white society is a bit unorthodox. As she herself says, she saw black people “not as people, but as a thing, a shadow in which I lived, we lived, all white people, all other people. I thought of all the children coming forever and ever into the world, white, with the black shadow already falling upon them before they draw breath.” In other words, she believed blacks reflected the sins of white man, and “…in order to rise, you must raise the shadow with you.” Not exactly the most honorable of motives, but her social views are progressive nonetheless.

  • Popular Songs on Joanna

    Popular Songs on Joanna

    Joanna - a song by Kool and The Gang

    Joanna - a song by Scott Walker

    Joanna - a song by Watashi-Wa

    Little Joanna - a song by McFly

    My Joanna Needs Tuning - a song by Uriah Heep

    When Joanna Loved Me - a song by Tony Bennett

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Joanna

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Joanna

    Joanna - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character with the first name Joanna.

  • Famous People Named Joanna

    Famous People Named Joanna

    Famous People Named Joanna - Joanna Kerns (actress); Joanna Lumley (English actress); Joanna MacGregor (concert pianist); Joanna Trollope (writer); Joanna Gleason (actress)

  • Children of Famous People Named Joanna

    Children of Famous People Named Joanna

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Joanna - Blake Edwards (director); Julie Andrews (actress/singer); Clive Barnes (critic); Diane Disney (granddaughter of Walt Disney); Monty Hall (TV personality); Regis Philbin (TV personality); Tony Bennett (singer)

  • Historic Figures

    Joanna - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Joanna - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Joanna.

Personality of the Girl Name Joanna

The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.

Variations of the Baby Name - Joanna

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