Quick Facts on Jonas
- German, Greek, Nordic
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Etymology & Historical Origin - Jonas
Jonas is the Greek form of Jonah which 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 agrees. The story of Jonah and the Whale was immensely popular in medieval times which gave rise to the name. While Jonas is used among English-speakers, it’s not as popular as the Hebrew form of Jonah right now. Jonas is more common in Nordic countries and Germany. It is a Top 10 boy’s name in Austria, Germany, Greenland, Lichtenstein, Norway and among the German-speaking Swiss. It is also the Lithuanian form of John.
Popularity of the Name Jonas
Jonas and Jonah have done a flip-flop in popularity in the past 100 years. At the turn of the 20th century, Jonas was more popular than Jonah. But now, at the turn of the 21st century, Jonah is the more popular form of this darling yet ancient name. In fact, Jonah is almost five times more popular than Jonas. That may be good news to parents who don’t like over-used or trendy names. Jonas has never reached anything on the charts beyond mild moderation. There was a period where Jonas was climbing the charts at a pretty good clip in the first decade of the 21st century. This may have been influenced by the popular boy-band the Jonas Brothers. But in the past couple of years, Jonas has dropped in popularity. If you’re a parent of German or Nordic ancestry, Jonas might be a good choice for you. It’s a fun name given the Biblical story and the etymology, i.e., “dove” is an emblem of peace. That’s a nice thought.
Popularity of the Boy Name Jonas
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Jonas
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Jonas
Jonas We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Jonas.
Popular Songs on Jonas
Jonas and Ezekial - a song by the Indigo Girls
Jonas Psalter - a song by Styx
My Name Is Jonas - a song by Weezer
Children's Books on the Baby Name Jonas
Jonas y el gran pez (Zondervan) - Now in this English/Spanish bilingual edition! God forgives Jonah because Jonah says he is sorry. God loves Jonah. God loves you and he will forgive you, just as he forgave Jonah. Recommended for ages 4-8.
The Giver (Lois Lowry) - Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does Jonas begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. A 1994 Newbery Medal winner. Recommended for ages 10-15.
Famous People Named Jonas
Famous People Named Jonas - Jonas Salk (physician, developer of the polio vaccination)
Children of Famous People Named Jonas
Famous People Who Named Their Son Jonas - Jamie Farr (actor)
Personality of the Boy Name Jonas
The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change. Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy. This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive.
Variations of the Baby Name - Jonas