Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on John

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Greek, Hebrew, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 27
Simple meaning:
God is gracious

Characteristics of John

  • Cooperative
  • Considerate
  • Compassionate
  • Nurturing
  • Sensitive
  • Patient
  • Loving
  • Kind
  • Gracious
  • Balanced

Etymology & Historical Origin - John

John is the anglicized version of the Latin “Iohannes”, the Greek “Iōannēs” and the Hebrew “Yochanan” all of which translate to "Yahweh (God) is gracious" or "God is generous, merciful". John is a name that originated in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) as one of King David’s mighty men. However, John owes most of its popularity in usage to two prominent New Testament figures: John the Baptist and John the Apostle. Therefore, John has traditionally been a name of great importance since early Christianity. John the Baptist (like Jesus) was born under miraculous circumstances. The angel Gabriel appeared to his father (Zechariah) claiming that God will give his barren wife (Elizabeth) a son (John) to help prepare the way for the Messiah (Jesus). “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and lived in the wilderness until he became manifest to Israel.” [Luke 1:80]. John the Baptist had the distinction of baptizing Jesus himself in the River Jordan. John the Apostle was a fisherman, the brother of James, and a follower of Christ. He is most known as one of the authors of the four gospels of the New Testament. John’s gospel focuses on Jesus as the “Eternal One of from heaven” and is considerably more theological and philosophical than the other three gospels. John is a name with many forms: Sean (Irish), Ian (Scottish), Giovanni (Italian), Jean (French), Juan (Spanish), Johann (German), Jan (Dutch), and Ivan (Russian). The name was reintroduced to Western Europeans after the First Crusade (11th century) by the Eastern Christians from the Byzantium Empire. From that point on, John became a wildly popular choice among the English, bestowed upon one in every five boys by the later Middle Ages. John has been borne by 23 Roman Catholic popes, eight Byzantium Emperors, scores of saints, many kings and several U.S. Presidents. In all of its many forms in various languages, John has been a perennial favorite. In the English-speaking world, John is arguably the most successful name ever.

Popularity of the Name John

There’s not a whole lot one can say about the popularity of the name John in America. It can be summed up by two words: extremely popular. The U.S. government began tracking naming trends in 1880. Between 1880 and 1923, John was the #1 name in America. Between 1924 and 1928, John was ranked #2 (usurped by Robert). Between 1929 and 1952, John was the third most popular male name (after James and Robert). Basically, for well over 100 years, John has been a Top 10 pick among American parents for their little boys. The name just fell off the Top 20 list in 2009 marking the first time in its history is hasn’t been a central choice. Today, Biblical characters like Jacob, Ethan, Noah and Elijah are beating out the more traditional English names like John, Robert and Thomas. Still, there’s no denying the lasting endurance of John. God was gracious enough to give the barren Elizabeth her son John. Will you pick this gracious name for your son? It’s a risk-free choice. A true English staple shared by many great men.
Popularity of the Boy Name John
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - John

  • Literary Characters of the baby name John

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name John

    Dr. John Hamish Watson (Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) John Watson is the quintessential “side-kick” to the main character, being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation to narrate the deeds of his friend, Sherlock Holmes, in all but four of the series’ stories. (This iconic series has been adapted to countless films and television series, among other media.) John Watson is an honored war veteran who goes to live with Holmes at 221B Baker Street in London and becomes his best friend and assistant, as well as chronicler. Watson is characterized as physically fit and brave; he only seems a little “slow” by his own admission, as he continually and modestly sings the praises of the cool and brilliant Holmes. But John Watson is no fool, he. After all, the great Holmes himself suffers him to be at his side in all his detecting adventures. He relies upon John Watson, in fact, to give him entry into the larger social world beyond the brainy Holmes’ narrow confines. John Watson makes Sherlock Holmes human, and that’s no small feat!

    John “Long John” Silver (Treasure Island) Long John Silver is the famous pirate in Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved 1883 classic, Treasure Island. And he’s a classic himself – peg-legged, wicked, wily, rakish and sporting a parrot on his shoulder. He set the bar for all pirates since. He calls himself a “gentleman of fortune” – well, there’s a nice euphemism for you. And he intends to be a true gentleman, saving his loot for the future. He is educated, he is married, he is a property owner. He just happens to make a living by pirating. He even serves as a father figure to the tale’s protagonist, Jim Hawkins, causing the young boy great dismay when his true nature is revealed. Even though he’s the “bad guy”, we just can’t help liking him – isn’t that the way with the best of villains? So, while he does plan to murder and pillage and commit all manner of heinous crimes, in the end Stevenson allows him to escape – and leaves us wanting more of him.

    John Galt (Atlas Shrugged) John Galt is the iconic hero of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. Coming from a humble background, John Galt’s intelligence and individualistic philosophy aid in his propulsion forward as an inventor. Alas, the society in which he labors is one of collectivism, wherein individual accomplishment is downplayed in favor of the common good. Our John’s not having that, and he sets off to arrange a monumental “creative strike” by all the best minds in the world in an effort to bring this numbing, bureaucratic modus operandi to a halt. After being apprehended and tortured by the government, John Galt is rescued by the protagonist, Dagny Taggart, and the loyalist strikers, whereupon they all convene to build a new society on the ashes of the old. John Galt has recently been given a new surge in popularity by the Tea Party, who carried “Who is John Galt?” signs at many of their events.

    John Thornton (The Call of the Wild) John Thornton is the gold prospector who rescues and comes to love the dog, Buck, in Jack London’s most beloved novel, The Call of the Wild, published in 1903. Buck starts life as a pampered pet before he is stolen and sold for a sled dog in the Yukon. When John Thornton saves him from being beaten to death and nurses him back to health, Buck gives all his affection and loyalty to Thornton, and the two become inseparable. John is a good man who is more than capable of human friendships, but his love and respect for animals is his defining characteristic. Buck undergoes a gradual return to the primitive, from whence every creature came, but his abiding love for his master keeps him from giving over to it completely. Buck returns the favor of life restored when he saves Thornton from drowning. It is only when John Thornton dies that Buck answers the call of the wild and follows the wolves deep into the forest, returning each year to pay homage at his master’s grave.

    John Yossarian (Catch-22) John Yossarian is the protagonist of Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel, Catch-22 (also a 1972 Mike Nichols movie starring Alan Arkin). John is a B-25 bombardier in World War II stationed off the coast of Italy, whose motto is: “to live forever or die in the attempt”. To that end he employs any means at hand to avoid flying missions, including faking insanity (well, not entirely). The Catch-22 is that the Army recognizes that anyone wanting to avoid being killed is actually sane, so no luck there. John Yossarian is a complex and compelling character. At once patriotic and self-serving, brave and cowardly, life-loving and self-destructive – he is a human being par excellence. He refuses to dishonor his fellow soldiers by accepting a face-saving deal for going AWOL, and ultimately he deserts the military, stating that: “There’s nothing negative about running away to save my life.” Hear, hear. And we hope he made it to Sweden in one piece.

    Sir John Falstaff (The Merry Wives of Windsor, etc) John Falstaff is the rotund, braggadocio comic knight who figures in three of Shakespeare’s plays, The Merry Wives of Windsor , Henry IV, Part I and Henry IV, Part II. Old Sir John is only too happy to assist Prince Hal in his youthful rebellion against his father. Falstaff is disreputable, dishonest, and disloyal; he’s a drunk and a debaucher, a scoundrel and a lazy, opportunistic cad. And people - not just Prince Hal - keep coming back for more. John Falstaff seems to embody the baseness of character that lies dormant in the best of us, and he provides us a vicarious thrill through his carefree and careless actions. Ultimately, however, Prince Hal becomes King Henry V, and as he puts on the robes of kingdom, he sheds the tatters of waywardness and rejects Falstaff. So do we, but perhaps just a little reluctantly, for laughter, no matter the source, is as necessary as bread and water.

  • Popular Songs on John

    Popular Songs on John

    (The legend of) Johnny Kool - a song by Brian Setzer

    A Girl Called Johnny - a song by The Waterboys

    Abraham Martin and John - a song by Smokey Robinson

    Abraham, Martin and John - a song by Emmylou Harris

    Abraham, Martin, and John - a song by Harry Belafonte

    Angry Johnny - a song by Poe

    Ballad of John and Yoko - a song by The Beatles

    Ballad of Spider John - a song by Jimmy Buffett

    Be Good Johnny - a song by Men At Work

    Big Bad John - a song by Jimmy Dean

    Big John - a song by The Shirelles

    Big, Bad John - a song by Johnny Cash

    Blue John's Blues - a song by The Barclay James Harvest

    Brother John - a song by Big Head Todd & the Monsters

    Brother John - a song by the Blues Traveler

    Bye Bye Johnny - a song by Chuck Berry

    Bye Bye Johnny - a song by The Rolling Stones

    Claire and Johnny - a song by Chuck Brodsky

    Dance with Me Johnny - a song by The Mollys

    Dear John - a song by Aimee Mann

    Dear John - a song by Cyndi Lauper

    Dear John - a song by Diesel Boy

    Dear John - a song by Elton John

    Dear John - a song by Hank Williams

    Dear John - a song by Ryan Adams

    John - a song by Lil Wayne [explicit]

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name John

    Children's Books on the Baby Name John

    Giant John (Arnold Lobel) - John is a friendly giant who lives among musical fairies. But the time comes when he must venture out into the world to get a job. Soon, he befriends a king and queen who ask him to stay and work for their family. Through his adventures, Giant John learns what it means to care about people and for them to care about him. This heart-warming tale of friendship is as fresh today as it was when originally published in 1964. The child-friendly illustrations, complete with the detailed, crosshatching lines, reveal Arnold Lobel’s great talent as an artist and, most of all, as a storyteller. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Goodnight, Johnny Tractor (Running Press) - Say goodnight to all the animals on Merriweather Farm with Johnny Tractor and Allie Gator as the two friends get ready for bed. They bid goodnight to the birds in the trees, the dog on the porch, and the horses in the barn, but who is still awake? This special glow-in-the-dark board book is sure to become a bedtime favorite! Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    John Coltrane's Giant Steps (Chris Raschka) - John Coltrane's musical composition is performed by a box, a snowflake, some raindrops, and a kitten. Recommended for ages 4-7.

    John Deere: Touch and Feel Tractor (Parachute Press) - DK brings John Deere's reputation for quality to this book series, along with eye-popping photos of their signature green and yellow tractors. Young readers learn about tractors, farming, as well as the world around them with incredible photographs, simple text, and a little help from Johnny Tractor. Preschoolers can touch "chunky" tractor tires, "spiky" grass, "bumpy" seeds, and much more. Each spread features a different texture and clear instruction that encourages young children to explore, and use their eyes and hands to recognize and name objects. Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    John's Secret Dreams : The Life of John Lennon (Doreen Rappaport) - This book will introduce Lennon to a new generation. As a child virtually abandoned by his parents, John found comfort in writing and drawing. Then rock and roll shook up his life, and a meeting with Paul McCartney sent it in a new direction. Lennon's life was a panorama of talent, inspiration, dreams, and despair. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    John, Paul, George & Ben (Lane Smith) - John, Paul, George, and Ben is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Lane Smith. The book tells the story of five of the Founding Fathers of American independence: John Hancock, Paul Revere, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. The book describes each of them to be independent, bold, honest, clever, or noisy. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Johnny Appleseed (Steven Kellogg) - Johnny Appleseed (his real last name was Chapman) is reintroduced in this succinct rendition of the life of a beloved American folk hero, from his birth in Massachusetts in 1774 to his death in Indiana in 1845. Kellogg chronicles Johnny's travels throughout the land, his legendary scattering of apple seeds (originally culled from the orchards he frequented as a child) and his storytelling of Bible and adventure stories to the children and adults he meets along the way, which were embroidered as they were passed along by word-of-mouth). Kellogg's illustrations illuminate a man that all schoolchildren know, in a polished blend of fact and fiction. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Johnny Tractor and Big Surprise: John Deere (Judy Katschke) - Big, strong Johnny Tractor, aka J.T. and spunky Allie Gator make a great team as they work on Merriweather Farm. When Allie loses something important, she turns to J.T. for help. After a long search yields more questions, wise Corey Combine helps them solve the mystery--and by the end of the story young readers will fall in love with these strong and cheerful friends. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Journey Cake, Ho! (Ruth Sawyer) - Johnny is leaving the farm because of hard times when his Journey Cake leads him on a merry chase that results in a farm yard full of animals and the family all together again. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Let's Be Enemies (Janice May Udry) - James used to be my friend. But today he is my enemy. James and John are best friends -- or at least they used to be. They shared pretzels, umbrellas, and even chicken pox. Now James always wants to be boss, and John doesn't want to be friends anymore. But when he goes to James' house to tell him so, something unexpected happens. Recommended for ages 3-7.

    One Was Johnny: A Counting Book (Maurice Sendak) - ‘One was Johnny -- but that's not all, count all the others who came to call.' Maurice Sendak received the Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. He has also received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the National Medal of Arts, and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Recommmended for ages baby to preschool.

    Peter Pan (JM Barrie) - Peter Pan, the book based on J. M. Barrie's famous 1904 stage play ("Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up") is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three Darling children - Wendy, John, and Michael - who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Seven Day Magic (Edward Eager) - It looked just like an ordinary library book, but when friends, Barnaby, John, Susan, Abbie and Fredericka open the book they see that it is all about them. So, for the next seven days, until the book is due back at the library, the children wish themselves into all kinds of magical adventures and the book records them all. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Biggest Bear (Lynn Ward) - When Johnny goes bear hunting, he comes back with a small surprise. A cute playful bear cub! Soon the cub grows too large to keep and Johnny must let it go...Recommended for ages 4-8.

    The Many Adventures of Johnny Mutton (James Proimos) - It's hard being the only sheep in class. Even so, Johnny Mutton refuses to follow the herd. Whether bringing a gift to his teacher, creating an outrageous Halloween costume, or enduring a game of basketball, Johnny always manages to find success by doing things just a bit differently. His sweet sense of humor, sheer delight in life's simple pleasures, and unexpected triumphs are the stuff of legend. So join Johnny Mutton, Momma, Mr. Slopdish, and Gloria Crust on this wild and woolly adventure. But be sure to watch out for those scary fake teeth! Part of a series. Recommended for ages 7-11.

    Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson) - Climb aboard for the swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime. Treasure Islandhas enthralled (and caused slight seasickness) for decades. The names Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins are destined to remain pieces of folklore for as long as children want to read Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous book. With its dastardly plot and motley crew of rogues and villains, it seems unlikely that children will ever say no to this timeless classic. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? (Jean Fritz) - Everyone knows that John Hancock was one of the first signers of the Declaration of Independence. But not many know that he signed his name so large to show how mad he was about how the colonists had been treated. This witty book highlights little-known facts about this historical figure. Recommended for ages 7-10.

  • Famous People Named John

    Famous People Named John

    Famous People Named John - John Milton (poet); John Locke (philosopher); John Adams (U.S. President); John Keats (poet); John Steinbeck (author); John F. Kennedy (U.S. President); John Lennon (musician); John Quincy Adams (U.S. President); John Denver (musician); John Elway (football player); John Glenn (astronaut); John Kerry (politician); John McCain (politician); John Travolta (actor); John Tyler (U.S. President); John Wayne (actor); John Hancock (Founding Father); John Coltrane (jazz great); John Ford (director); John McEnroe (tennis player); John Cleese (actor); John Barrymore (actor); John D. Rockefeller (businessman); John Bonham (musician); John Cusack (actor); John Fogerty (musician); John Hurt (actor); John Belushi (actor/comic); John Cassavetes (actor); John F. Kennedy, Jr. (aka John-John); John Turturro (actor); Little John (legendary fellow outlaw of Robin Hood); John Walsh (TV personality)

  • Children of Famous People Named John

    Children of Famous People Named John

    Famous People Who Named Their Son John - Bono (musician); Burt Lancaster (actor); Calvin Coolidge (U.S. President); Caroline Astor (socialite); Caroline Kennedy (author); Clark Gable (actor); Michelle Pfeiffer (actress); David E. Kelly (T.V. producer); Denzel Washington (actor); Dinah Shore (entertainer); Dwight D. Eisenhower (U.S. President); Franklin D. Roosevelt (U.S. President); George Bush (U.S. President); Gerald R. Ford (U.S. President); Jane Seymour (actress); Jim Henson (puppeteer); Jimmy Carter (U.S. President); John Adams (U.S. President); John Barrymore (Hollywood royalty); John Carradine (actor); John F. Kennedy (U.S. {resident); John Jacob Astor (businessman); John Lennon (musician); John McCain (politician); John Quincy Adams (U.S. President); John Tyler (U.S. President); John Wayne (actor); Johnny Cash (musician); Joseph Kennedy (businessman); Kris Kristofferson (musician); Martin Van Buren (U.S. President); Maureen O' Sullivan (actress); Nancy Grace (TV personality); Patricia Heaton (actress); Rob Lowe (actor); Roy Rogers (actor)

Personality of the Boy Name John

The Number 2 personality in numerology is all about cooperation and balance. It's the number of diplomats and mediators. They are not leaders, but strive rather for harmony in partnerships. These are the peacemakers. Equality and fairness are important in their dealings, and they are willing to share power and responsibility to achieve a harmonious outcome. This personality is calm and patient, waiting for things to evolve instead of pushing aggressively for an outcome. They are good-natured and easy-going, and care deeply on an emotional and spiritual plane. Twos appreciate beauty and nature and are intent on making the world a better place.

Variations of the Baby Name - John

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