Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Van

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 840
Simple meaning:
Multiple possible meanings

Characteristics of Van

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Van

Van is the truncated form of Evan or Ivan (as well as Vance). Both Evan and Ivan are the Welsh and Russian forms of John, respectively, and so mean “God is gracious” (see the name John for more detail). Vance is the transferred use of an English surname with Anglo-Saxon roots. It comes from the Olde English “fenn” indicating a “marsh, fen” (a fen is an inland, low-lying marshland containing nutrient rich soil). As a topographical surname, Vance would have been assigned to a person dwelling near a marsh area. In earlier English dialects, the “f” and “v” sounds were interchangeable which is how Fenn eventually morphed into Vance. Aside from being a short form of these various other boy names, Van could also be considered a name associated with the Vietnamese people. Vân (雲) means “cloud” in Vietnamese and Văn (文) means “knowledge, culture” in Sino-Vietnamese (Chinese). Lastly, Van is the Dutch word for “of/descended from” used in surnames like Dutch born artist Vincent van Gogh and famed guitarist Eddie van Halen.

Popularity of the Name Van

Surprisingly, Van has been on the U.S. charts since 1880 (the first year the government began tracking naming trends). This one feels much too modern to go back that far. In fact, Van was respectably popular back in the late 19th century and early 20th and saw a little jump in the 1940s thanks to a leading actor at the time named Van Heflin. The 1960s marked the beginning of Van’s slow and steady descent until he finally succumbed to obscurity in the 1990s. Van did recently reappear on the charts in 2005 but the name is pretty uncommon by today’s standards. Van’s recent resurrection to the charts may have had something to do with the sitcim “Reba” which featured a likable character named Van Montgomery played by actor Steve Howey.
Popularity of the Boy Name Van
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Van

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Van

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Van

    Van We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Van.

  • Popular Songs on Van

    Popular Songs on Van

    Van - a song by the Descendents

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Van

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Van

    Van - We cannot find any children’s books featuring a character named Van.

  • Famous People Named Van

    Famous People Named Van

    Famous People Named Van - Van Morrison (b. George Ivan Morrison, Northern Irish musician); Van Cliburn (b. Harvey Lavan Cliburn, pianist); Van Hansis (b. Evan Vanfossen Hansis, actor); Van Heflin (actor); Van Johnson (actor); Van Nelson (American runner and Olympian)

  • Children of Famous People Named Van

    Children of Famous People Named Van

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

  • Historic Figures

    Van - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy Name Van

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 - Van

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