Boy Baby Name

Jonathan

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Quick Facts on Jonathan

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 3
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 42
Pronunciation:
JAHN-ə-thən
Simple meaning:
God has given; friendship, loyalty

Characteristics of Jonathan

  • Inspirational
  • Highly Intuitive
  • Spiritual Teacher
  • Extremely Bright
  • Uplifting
  • Truth-seeker

Etymology & Historical Origin - Jonathan

Jonathan is a Hebrew name, borne from the Old Testament as one of King Saul’s sons. Jonathan is also a devoted friend and supporter of the young David (despite the fact that his father, Saul, is extremely jealous of David). He is thus seen as a symbol of loyalty and friendship. Upon Jonathan’s death in the Bible, David laments: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant you have been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26). Jonathan comes from Yehonathan which is Hebrew meaning “Yahweh has given”. It essentially contains the same Hebrew element as the names Nathan and Matthew, “mattan” meaning “gift”. Brother Jonathan was also the pre-Uncle Sam symbol of the United States of America, derived from Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785), a friend and confidante of George Washington. Washington called Trumbull “Brother Jonathan” in reference to the Biblical passage mentioned above. As such, Brother Jonathan is not only emblematic of an American, but he is also symbolic of a true and loyal friend. Like many other Hebrew Old Testament names, Jonathan was taken up by the Puritans and other Christian dissenters after the Protestant Reformation. One of the most notable namesakes comes from the 17th / 18th century Anglo-Irish writer, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745).

Popularity of the Name Jonathan

The name Jonathan has been on the U.S. popularity charts for over a century (which is as far back as we have available data); although, certainly Jonathan was originally brought to America by way of the Puritan colonizers long before that. Fast forward to the beginning of the 20th century, the name pretty much jumped around the chart at low levels of popularity. It wasn’t until the 1950s before the name really picked up any steam. It entered the 1960s as a Top 100 most popular name for boys, and by the end of that decade, he hit the Top 50. By far, the most successful decade for Jonathan was the 1980s when he averaged #17 in terms of usage nationwide. Today, the name is slipping a little, but it’s still hanging onto a Top 50 position. Names that start with “J” are among the most popular for boys, and some parents prefer the rolling three syllable sound (like Joshua, Jefferson or Julian). Jonathan has more dimension than the simple age-old favorite “John”. And yet the pet form, Jon, also provides another option.
Popularity of the Boy Name Jonathan
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Jonathan

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Jonathan

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Jonathan

    Jonathan Harker (Dracula) Jonathan Harker is one of the central characters of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel, “Dracula.” A young and naïve solicitor, Jonathan is sent to Transylvania to assess the estate of Count Dracula, a foreigner who wishes to move to England. Unfortunately, he quickly finds himself a prisoner in the castle. This doesn’t thwart his determination to uncover the real nature of his captor, the vampire Count Dracula. In the end, Jonathan Harker emerges as a brave and fearless fighter.

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull (Jonathan Livingston Seagull) Jonathan Livingston Seagull is the title character of Richard Bach’s novella published in 1970. The story (really, a fable) centers around Jonathan, a seagull who does not conform to the ways of his flock. Seagulls are more concerned with eating than with flight – for Jonathan, learning to fly becomes his obsession and his passion. As a result, he is expelled from his flock and lives the life of an outcast happily focused on his flying. Eventually he meets other gulls like him, seeking a “higher plane of existence.” He befriends the wisest of all the gulls, Chiang, who teaches him to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived." The story is about striving for self-perfection and is loaded with Eastern philosophies. "The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other."

  • Popular Songs on Jonathan

    Popular Songs on Jonathan

    Jonathan - We cannot find any popular songs featuring the name Jonathan.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Jonathan

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Jonathan

    Bears on Hemlock Mountain (Alice Dalgliesh) - "There are no bears on Hemlock Mountain, No bears, no bears at all." Or so young Jonathan is told by the grown-ups as he sets out alone over Hemlock Mountain. But as Jonathan discovers on that cold winter night, grown-ups don't always know… Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Shadow-Catcher (Betty Levin) - It’s 1892 and Jonathan Capewell, a farm boy who dreams of becoming a big-city detective, is sent from home to look after his mysterious grandfather. Grandpa is a traveling photographer, and his independent ways have never included family members — certainly not his youngest grandchild. After a grueling journey, Jonathan and Grandpa shoot an image of a puzzling struggle on a raging river in the Maine woods. At first they don't suspect it's anything more than a logging accident. But later the scene comes back to haunt them when a stranger shows an uncommon interest in the undeveloped negatives. Who is this over-friendly stranger? Why does he seem so determined to have those pictures? The clues point to something that Jonathan has already begun to suspect: what happened on the rapids that day was no accident. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Stinker from Space (Pamela Service) - In the middle of an outerspace battle, space warrior Tsynq Yr is forced to land on earth and switch into the body of a skunk. But earth is no place for him. Thank goodness Karen stops by. With her computer-whiz friend Jonathan, the three of them hatch a hair-raising scheme involving all the local skunks and even the space shuttle to get their new friend back into orbit! Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Maia Wojciechowska) - A touching holiday story about a young boy and his widowed mother who ask a scrooge-like wood-carver to carve figures for their Christmas Nativity scene. This is a story of healing and transformation. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Jonathan

    Famous People Named Jonathan

    Famous People Named Jonathan - Jonathan Taylor Thomas (actor); Jonathan Banks (actor); Jonathan Demme (director); Jonathan Franzen (writer); Jonathan Swift (writer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Jonathan

    Children of Famous People Named Jonathan

    Famous People who Named their Son Jonathan - Geraldine Page (actress); Gregory Peck (actor); Paulina Porizokova (model); Ric Ocasek (musician)

  • Historic Figures

    Jonathan - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Jonathan Swift (30 Nov 1667 - 19 Oct 1745) - Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland to Anglo-Irish parents in 1667. His works are both playfully absurd and extremely witty, but pointed in their targets as contemporary critical social commentary. A grandmaster of satire, Swift’s works (“Gulliver’s Travels” and “A Modest Proposal” most memorably) have been making readers guffaw at the hilariously absurd prose delivered with dead-pan humor. For instance, “A Modest Proposal” is an essay suggesting (quite seriously and grotesquely) that poor Irish people, as a means to avoid their poverty, simply sell their children as food to the wealthy. This was Swift’s way of illuminating society’s inhumane treatment and disregard of the poor. “Gulliver’s Travels” is considered one of the greatest satires on human nature. A brilliant man, Jonathan Swift’s contribution to English literature is immense.

Personality of the Boy Name Jonathan

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Variations of the Baby Name - Jonathan

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