Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Jonah

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 135
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Jonah

  • Communicative
  • Creative
  • Optimistic
  • Popular
  • Social
  • Dramatic
  • Happy

Etymology & Historical Origin - Jonah

Jonah is a Biblical name of Hebrew origins and is borne by the hot-tempered, disobedient Israelite prophet in the short book of the Bible bearing his name. Ironically, the name comes from the Hebrew word “yonah” meaning “dove” when in fact it’s a creature of the sea, not a creature of flight, who ultimately saves Jonah. In the Bible, God tells Jonah to go east to Nineveh (the Assyrian capital) and declare His plan to destroy it for their sinful ways. What does Jonah do? Later God! He hightails it west on a boat headed for modern-day Spain. In retaliation, God sends a violent storm to the seas which threatens to destroy the ship. Jonah is left to confess to his fellow sailors that the storm is actually his fault for disobeying God and the only way to save themselves is to throw Jonah overboard. Given to human self-preservation, the sailors give Jonah the old heave-ho. Later Jonah! Once in the high seas with no floatation device, Jonah cries out to God for help. The Lord rescues his naughty prophet by sending a “big fish” (traditionally referred to as a whale) to swallow Jonah and keep him safely until he’s delivered to the dry shores. When God commands Jonah to go to Nineveh again, this time the prophet wisely obeys. The story of Jonah and the Whale was immensely popular in medieval times which gave rise to the name.

Popularity of the Name Jonah

The name Jonah was used very sparsely at the turn of the 20th century. It bounced on and off the charts between 1880 and 1910, and then it completely disappeared from circulation for almost 60 years. Jonah finally returned from its long hibernation in 1970 and advanced an impressive 600 positions on the charts in 10 short years. During the 1980s, the name languished at levels of low-to-moderate popularity, appearing destined for mediocre usage at best. Suddenly, between 1993 and 1994, the name climbed a whopping 450 spots on the charts in two short years. What happened? Well, 1993 was the year that the romantic-comedy and blockbuster “Sleepless in Seattle” was released. This movie featured an adorably precocious kid named Jonah Baldwin, the son of the main character Sam, and who sets in motion the movie’s plot line after innocently calling into a talk-radio show in an effort to find a wife for his widowed father. Clearly, American parents responded back in 1993. Today the name is lingering even closer to a Top 100 spot on the list of most-favored boy’s names. Interestingly, the name is already a Top 100 in our two whale-loving states: Hawaii and Alaska. No coincidence there!
Popularity of the Boy Name Jonah
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Jonah

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Jonah

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Jonah

    Jonah (Cat’s Cradle) Jonah is the narrator of Kurt Vonnegut’s satiric science-fiction novel, Cat’s Cradle, first published in 1963. Jonah (also known as John) narrates the book and is a minor character in it, just like Ishmael of Moby Dick; he even begins the book with “Call me Jonah”. Jonah is writing a book about the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when he comes across the story of the (fictional) co-creator of the atom bomb. He becomes involved with the grown children of that scientist, and together they embark upon a typically Vonnegut-inspired fantastic adventure on a Caribbean island. The plot includes a mad dictator, a nihilistic religious cult, an invented substance that pollutes the waters and kills most of the population, and a final apocalypse. Throughout all this, our Jonah manages to come across as a man of common sense and high humor, although deeply pessimistic at the same time. Well, wouldn’t you be?

  • Popular Songs on Jonah

    Popular Songs on Jonah

    Jonah - a song by Breathe

    Jonah - a song by Paul Simon

    Jonah and the Whale - a song by Tim O'Brien

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Jonah

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Jonah

    A Special Fish for Jonah: Because God Has a Job for Everyone (Andy McGuire) - Author and artist Andy McGuire presents a refreshing children’s look at the story of Jonah with unforgettable watercolor characters, witty prose, and a heartwarming lesson that God has a special job for everyone. The wave of excitement starts when God assigns Angelfish the daunting task of choosing the right sea creature to swallow a man and then catapult him onto land. As Angelfish nears the end of the hilarious auditions, she discovers how God plans to tackle this mission: “I’ll swallow anything,” said the special fish. “I’ve swallowed furniture and tools and toys and treasure chests and small boats. If it falls in the water, I’ll swallow it.” The angelfish smiled. “Have I got a job for you!” Parents, grandparents, and teachers will enjoy sharing this whale of a tale to remind children that God uses each of us in unique ways to do His work. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Jonah and the Big Fish (Kelly Pulley) - Jonah and the Big Fish, part of The Beginner's Bible series, is now one of the I Can Read books for early readers. In this story, children will discover what happened when Jonah ran away from God. And they'll smile when they read that Jonah prays for and receives forgiveness. This easy-to-read book serves as a steppingstone to encourage early readers to learn about God. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Whale And Jonah (Deedra Scherm) - It’s a whale of a tale, but believe me…it’s true! Enjoy this wonderful Bible story told from the whale’s perspective as he recounts the story of how God is faithful to forgive! Little ones will enjoy the message of this book while being delighted by the engaging illustrations. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Jonah

    Famous People Named Jonah

    Famous People Named Jonah - Jonah Hill (actor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Jonah

    Children of Famous People Named Jonah

    Famous People who Named their Son Jonah - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Jonah.

  • Historic Figures

    Jonah - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Jonah from the Bible (8th Century B.C.) - We already told you the Biblical story of Jonah and the “whale” above, but there’s more to Jonah. After the “big fish” spits Jonah back up safely on land, and after Jonah wisely agrees to heed the original command of God to go to Assyria and preach, the prophet sets off for Nineveh to deliver God’s threat of destruction. In fact, Jonah almost can’t wait to be the bearer of bad news to the people of the ancient Near East whom he despises. “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” [Jonah 3:4] He gleefully exclaims. What he’s not prepared for is that the Assyrians actually listen. They do exactly what God wants; they repent. Every last one of them. So God spares them, and Jonah has the audacity to be displeased with the Lord, accusing him in essence of being too merciful. Jonah sets up camp outside of the city waiting to see what will transpire with the Assyrians and probably to pout some more. God sends scorching heat to the area, but grows a plant high enough to provide shade for Jonah. The next day, God sends a worm to destroy the plant, leaving no more shade. Jonah whines and cries that he wants to die. God explains that Jonah cared about this plant even though he neither created nor planted it. But it was valuable to him nonetheless. In other words, how can God not care about the humans and animals He created. How can He not show them mercy when they are willing to right a wrong? So goes the short Book of Jonah in the Bible.

Personality of the Boy Name Jonah

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Variations of the Baby Name - Jonah

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