J by TooFarNorth via Flickr

She’s another spin on the stylish Jane, with a fashionable -elle ending, too.

Thanks to Christina for suggesting her (all grown-up) daughter’s name as our Baby Name of the Day: Janelle.

Janelle entered the US Top 1000 in 1931.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

You May Also Like:

What do you think?


  1. As a Janelle in her late twenties, I’m fascinated by this discussion 🙂 I will say that the vast majority of Janelles I know were born between 1975 and 1985 or thereabouts… I am always surprised when I meet a Janelle who is older than 35 or younger than 20. Because of that, I think Janelle is headed for mom-name status unless it becomes popular among the -Elle set.

    My name has grown on me, and I like it now. It’s common enough to be pronounced correctly and usually people can spell it too– always a bonus in my book! I also really like that there are so many nickname options. I have most commonly been called Nelly and Janny, but occasionally Jane or Elle.

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments on my name 🙂

  2. Janelle is, sadly, a bit of a ‘bogan’ name here in Australia (chav? White trash? Whatever the equivalent is elsewhere).

    The character on ‘Neighbours’ (very popular soap runnign since 1985) didn’t help.

  3. Janelle has the same dated feel as Susan and Karen. If pressed, I might pick Janine or Jeanne nn Jeannie as preferred alternatives to Jane. But honestly, I like Jane–simple, classic and spare.

  4. I’m not keen on Janelle, it sounds very dated to me – but not old enough to be vintage. The nicknames Elle and Nell are probably the name’s only saving grace for me. Johanna is probably my favourite of all the feminine John names you’ve mentioned, although I tend to dislike most “J” names aside from Juno, Juniper and January – I’m a hard one to convince!

  5. I’m an avid Teen Mom viewer, so I don’t think I could past that association with Janelle since she’s such a troubled young woman.

    Janelle sounds like very similar to names like Jamarcus to me; her French roots aren’t immediately obvious. I really prefer Jane.

    1. Sarah, the funny thing about the French stats is that Janelle was barely a blip until recently. Even now, she’s #469. In the US, that’s the equivalent of Annabella, Celeste, Nancy, Cara, or Asia – pretty uncommon. But since there are fewer births in France, I assume Janelle is even more rare.

      So I’m not confident that she has French roots, as much as she is in use right now … and I’m not sure what that means!

      1. Abby, that’s really interesting about Janelle’s use in France. I really wasn’t confident about Janelle having French roots when I wrote that, oops! But the -elle ending I think can sound French, like Michelle. All I meant is that when I hear and say Janelle, I don’t hear a French name or a feminine of John, I hear a Ja- name, like Jamarcus.

  6. I know several Janelles, and all are my age. That being said, I would find it odd to meet a baby with that name. It is kind of pretty, though, so I can see parents using it. I personally prefer plain ol’ Jane. Or the lovely Johanna.