John: Still the Number One Name?

John Collage

We all know that John was the #1 name for ages. A venerable classic, John’s history of use traces back to the New Testament.

The name has faded over the last few generations, dropping from perpetual #1 to a still-common #26 in 2014.

But if you look at the US Top 100, it could be that maybe – just maybe – John’s influence is far from over.

Is John still the most popular boy’s name in the US? Read on …

John: Names in the Boys’ Top 100

In pure numbers, John’s heyday is long over. The name has fallen steadily since the 1920s, leaving the US Top Ten in the 1980s, and the Top 20 after 2008.

But look a little more closely at the US Top 100:

  • Jackson, a surname name derived from John, ranked #17, given to 12,121 boys.
  • John still held on to #26, given to 10,600 boys.
  • Jack ranked #41, given to 8,685 boys.
  • At #44, Jonathan was the name of 8,035 boys.
  • #46 Jaxon was the name of 7,635 boys.
  • Evan, a Welsh form of John, ranked #58, and was the name of 6,667 boys.
  • Ian, a Scottish form of John, came in at #77, and was given to 5,422 boys.
  • #85 Jaxson was given to 4,900 boys.
  • #98 Juan, the Spanish form of John, was given to 3,887 boys.

Add them up, and that’s 67,952 newborn boys given a form of John – either a nickname, surname, or other European-language version.

Noah, the #1 name in the US as of 2014, was given to just 19,144 boys.

John: The Competition

Are there other names that, if all forms are tallied, would still rival John? Let’s see:

  • The logical possibility is Jacob and James. Jacob was a long-time #1 name in the US, and James is just as evergreen as John. There were 14,301 boys named James, plus 17,712 called Jacob. That’s 32,013 boys – more than Noah, but far short of John.
  • Another thought is Joseph and Jose. But add up 11,995 boys named Joseph, plus 5,442 more called Jose, and you still fall short, with just 17,437 boys.
  • Here’s a possibility: Liam and William. There were 18,342 Liams and 16,687 Williams. That’s 35,029 – more than Jacob/James, but still less than John & company.
  • Luke and Lucas are fewer than 23,000.

John: Names for Girls

Just one feminine form currently ranks in the girls’ Top 100: the Italian Gianna, #95 in 2014.

But there are dozens of feminine forms, and many others do chart in the US Top 1000: Jane, for one, and Joanna in more than one spelling, as well as Gianna’s longer form, Giovanna.

John: Most Popular?

It’s not accurate to call the most popular name for boys in the US, not when the overwhelming majority of boys answer to something other than John.

And yet, it’s fair to call this name the most influential. Even as parents have looked for something different, fresh, and distinctive, it’s fascinating to see how many of those choices circle back to that longtime favorite.

What’s your favorite form of John?

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8 Comments

If you put *all* of the names that can be related to John [from Hebrew Yochanan] together, there are 92491 boys with those names. If you take out the names that could have other origins [e.g. Zane/Zayne/Zain/Zayn is also an Arabic name, and a form of Alexander; Hank can be from John or Henry; etc.], there are 88899 boys. [Jackson, John, Jack, Jonathan, Jaxon, Evan, Ian, Jaxson, Juan, Giovanni, Ivan, Sean, Jax, Zane, Shane, Johnny, Johnathan, Shawn, Jensen, Jaxton, Zayne, Gianni, Jaxen, Bowen, Johan, Hank, Jon, Zain, Shaun, Giovani, Giancarlo, Zayn, Jonathon, Deshawn, Johnathon, Jovani, Jovanni, Giovanny, Ean]

The #2 name would be Jacob [Hebrew Ya’aqob] and its forms, with 48346 (44098). [Jacob, James, Santiago, Diego, Jameson, Jake, Jay, Thiago, Jamison, Jakob, Jaime, Jimmy, Kobe, Jacoby, Jamie, Seamus, Jaycob, Semaj]

#3 = Liam [Germanic Wilhelm], 36784 [Liam, William, Wilson, Guillermo, Willie, Will, Billy]

#4 = Alexander [Greek Alexandros], 29767 (26893) [Alexander, Alex, Alejandro, Xander, Zane, Zander, Alexis, Alex, Zayne, Alessandro, Zain, Alexzander, Zayn]

#5 = Lucas [Latin lux/Greek Loukas], 28150 [Lucas, Luke, Luca, Lukas, Luka, Luciano, Lucian, Lucca]

#6 = Aiden [Gaelic Aodhan], 26347 (24029) [Aiden, Ayden, Aidan, Keegan, Aden, Adan, Hayes, Aydin, Keagan, Aaden, Aydan, Aidyn]

#7 = Nathan [Hebrew Natan], 22836 (13628) [Nathan, Jonathan, Nathaniel, Johnathan, Nathanael]

#8 = Michael [Hebrew Mikha], 22836 (13628) [Michael, Micah, Miguel, Mitchell, Micheal, Mike]

#9 = Nicholas [Greek Nikolaos], 22306 (11670) [Nicholas, Cole, Colin, Kai, Nicolas, Collin, Nico, Nikolai, Nikolas, Nixon, Niko, Nickolas, Kole]

#10 = Christopher [Greek Christos], 21867 [Christopher, Christian, Cristian, Chris, Kristopher, Kristian, Cristiano, Cristopher]

#11 = Jason [Greek Iason], 21204 [Jace, Jason, Jase, Jayce, Jayceon, Jayson, Jayse]

#12 = Noah [Hebrew Noach], 19625 [Noah, Noe]

#13 = Matthew [Hebrew Mattityahu], 19466 [Matthew, Mateo, Matteo, Mathew, Matias, Matthias, Mathias]

#14 = Joseph [Hebrew Yosef], 19401 [Joseph, Jose, Joe, Yusuf, Joey, Yosef, Yousef]

#15 = Charles [Germanic Karl], 18866 (18380) [Charles, Carson, Carlos, Charlie, Karson, Carl, Giancarlo, Kale]

#16 = Andrew [Greek Andreas], 18233 [Andrew, Andres, Andy, Andre, Anderson, Drew, Deandre, Anders]

#17 = Mason [English], 17676 [Mason, Mayson, Maison]

#18 = Jayden [Hebrew Yadon], 17374 [Jayden, Jaden, Jaiden, Jaydon, Jadon]

#19 = Kayden [Gaelic Cadan], 16026 [Kayden, Kaiden, Kaden, Cayden, Caden, Caiden, Kaeden]

#20 = Henry [Germanic Heimirich], 15815 (14364) [Henry, Harrison, Kendrick, Enrique, Hendrix, Hank, Harry, Henrik]

#21 = Joshua [Hebrew Yehoshua], 15627 [Joshua, Jesus, Josue]

#22 = Ethan [Hebrew Etan], 15619

#23 = Anthony [Latin Antonius], 15256 [Anthony, Antonio, Tony, Anton]

#24 = Benjamin [Hebrew Binyamin], 14540 [Benjamin, Benson, Ben]

#25 = Daniel [Hebrew Daniyel], 14533 [Daniel, Danny]

#26 = David [Hebrew], 14453 [David, Dawson, Davis, Davion, Davian]

#27 = Logan [Gaelic lagan], 13579

#28 = Carter [English], 12702 [Carter, Karter]

#29 = Max [Latin Magnus], 12268 (10367) [Maxwell, Max, Maximus, Maximiliano, Maximilian, Maxim, Maxton, Mack, Maximo, Magnus]

#30 = Caleb [Hebrew Kalev], 11877 [Caleb, Kaleb]

#31 = Marcus [Latin mas/maris/Mars], 11710 (10961) [Marcus, Mark, Martin, Mario, Marco, Marcos, Jamari, Marc, Markus, Marcelo, Marquis, Marcel, Jamarion]

#32 = Cole [English coal], 11688 (7996) [Colton, Cole, Kolton, Colten, Kolten, Kole]

#33 = Dylan [Welsh Dyllanw], 11396 [Dylan, Dillon, Dilan]

#34 = Gabriel [Hebrew Gavriel], 10826

#35 = Leo [leo/leon/levon/lev “lion”], 10400 [Leo, Leonardo, Leon, Leonel, Leonidas, Lionel, Leonard]

#36 = Landon [English land], 10397 [Landon, Landen, Landyn, Langston]

#37 = Isaac [Hebrew Yitzhak], 10363 [Isaac, Issac]

#38 = Richard [Germanic Ricohard], 10047 (4848) [Hudson, Richard, Ricardo, Ricky]

#39 = Grey [English], 10037 [Grayson, Greyson, Graysen, Grey]

#40 = Julian [Latin Iulius], 9754 [Julian, Julius, Julio, Julien]

#41 = Owen [Gaelic Eoghan/Greek Eugenios], 9652 (9363) [Owen, Eugene, Tyrone]

#42 = Oliver [French Olivier], 9595 [Oliver, Alvaro]

#43 = Ryan [Gaelic Rian], 9465 (9026) [Ryan, Rayan]

#44 = Jeremiah [Hebrew Yirmiyahu], 9286 [Jeremiah, Jeremy]

#45 = Cameron [Gaelic Caimshron], 9238 [Cameron, Kameron, Camron, Kamron, Camren, Kamryn]

#46 = Sebastian [Latin Sebastianus], 9237

#47 = Wyatt [English Wigheard], 8812

#48 = Hunter [English], 8759

#49 = Austin [Latin Augustus], 6263 [Austin, August, Augustus, Agustin, Augustine]

#50 = Isaiah [Hebrew Yeshayahu], 8661 [Isaiah, Izaiah, Isaias]

#51 = Connor [Gaelic Conchobhar], 8156 [Connor, Conor, Konnor, Konner]

#52 = Brayden [Gaelic Bradan], 7979 [Brayden, Braden, Braeden, Braiden]

#53 = Levi [Hebrew], 7958

#54 = Brandon [Gaelic Breanainn], 7854 [Brandon, Brendan, Brennan, Brenden]

#55 = Bryson [Latin Bricius], 7711 (7500) [Bryson, Bryce, Brycen, Brice, Brayson]

#56 = Thomas [Aramaic Ta’oma], 7691 [Thomas, Tomas, Tommy]

#57 = Aaron [Hebrew Aharon], 7649 [Aaron, Aron]

#58 = Angel [Greek Angelos], 7568 [Angel, Angelo, Deangelo]

#59 = Jordan [Hebrew Yarden], 7495 (7277) [Jordan, Jordyn, Jordy, Judson]

#60 = Xavier [Basque Etxaberri], 7081 [Xavier, Javier, Xzavier, Zavier]

#61 = Josiah [Hebrew Yoshiyahu], 7058 [Josiah, Jasiah, Joziah]

#62 = Adrian [Latin Hadrianus], 6943 [Adrian, Adrien]

#63 = Theodore [Germanic Theudoric], 6929 (2778) [Theodore, Derek, Derrick, Theo, Terry]

#64 = Bryan [Celtic bre], 6862 (6367) [Bryan, Brian, Brayan, Bryant, Brentley, Brent]

#65 = Dominic [Latin Dominicus], 6855 [Dominic, Dominik, Dominique]

#66 = Gavin [Welsh Gawain], 6805 [Gavin, Gavyn]

#67 = Zachary [Hebrew Zekharyah], 6593 [Zachary, Zachariah, Zackary, Zechariah]

#68 = Tyler [English], 6501 [Tyler, Ty]

#69 = Adam [Hebrew adama], 6480 [Adam, Adan, Edison]

#70 = Miles [Slavic milu], 6403 [Miles, Myles, Milo]

#71 = Wesley [English west], 6394 [Wesley, Weston, Westin]

#72 = Malcolm [Latin columba], 6222 (1220) [Colin, Collin, Malcolm, Cullen, Callum, Coleman]

#73 = Damian [Greek damao], 6117 [Damian, Damien, Damon]

#74 = Kevin [Gaelic Caoimhin], 5859

#75 = Luis [Germanic hlud], 5767 [Luis, Louis, Lewis, Gino]

#76 = Eric [Norse Eirikr], 5761 [Eric, Erick, Erik]

#77 = Parker [English], 5677

#78 = Chase [English], 5533 [Chase, Chace]

#79 = Steven [Greek Stephanos], 5515 [Steven, Stephen, Esteban, Stefan, Steve]

#80 = Bentley [English bent], 5292 [Bentley, Bentlee, Benton]

#81 = Kingston [English king], 5292 [Kingston, King, Kingsley]

#82 = Camden [English campas denu], 5265 [Camden, Kamden, Camdyn, Kamdyn]

#83 = Kason [Gaelic Cathasach], 5189 [Kason, Cason, Kayson, Case, Kasen, Casey, Cayson, Kaysen, Kase, Kaison]

#84 = Vincent [Latin Vincentius], 5186 (4339) [Vincent, Enzo, Vicente, Vincenzo]

#85 = Nolan [Gaelic Nuallan], 5181

#86 = George [Greek Georgios], 5052 (4829) [George, Jorge, Gino]

#87 = Easton [English east], 4961

#88 = Emmett [Germanic Emmerich], 4940 [Emmett, Emerson, Emmitt, Emery, Emory, Emmet]

#89 = Emmanuel [Hebrew Imanuel], 4933 [Emmanuel, Manuel, Emanuel]

#90 = Tristan [Celtic Drustan], 4924 [Tristan, Tristen, Triston, Tristian]

#91 = Blake [English blac/blaec], 4913

#92 = Cooper [English], 4803

#93 = Lincoln [Celtic lindo + Latin colonia], 4785

#94 = Justin [Latin Justus], 4783 [Justin, Justice, Justus]

#95 = Brody [Celtic], 4666 [Brody, Brodie]

#96 = Jude [Hebrew Yehudah], 4505 (4287) [Jude, Judah, Judson, Yehuda]

#97 = Edward [English Eadweard], 4451 (3988) [Edward, Eduardo, Eddie]

#98 = Roman [Latin Romanus], 4397 [Roman, Romeo]

#99 = Emiliano [Latin Aemilius], 4359 (2741) [Emiliano, Emilio, Maximiliano, Maximilian]

#100 = Francisco [Germanic Frank], 4313 [Francisco, Frank, Franklin, Francis, Franco, Frankie]

…etc. [I did the entire list. 😀 ]

I noticed a few mistakes in that list after I posted this, but I’m not going to let my OCD get the better of me — I’ll just let it be. 😉

My Johnny rocks his name!

Jonathan is a different name though isn’t it? I wouldn’t count it in the stats.

What about Sean, shane and Ewan?

It seems that Jake, Jameson (and all its variations), Jacoby, Santiago, Tiago, Diego, Jaime, Jacques, and Jamie, etc. should be included in your tally for forms of Jacob/James. I wonder if that would change the results?

If you go out of the top 100, there are foreign forms of John to count: Giovanni, clocking in at rank 125 with 3,230 citations, Jensen, rank 395 with 783 citations, and Johan, rank 579 with 477 citations.

I wonder if you want to put Santiago with the Jacob/James forms? In 2014, the name was #115 with 3,417 citations.

I prefer Jon. Don’t no why the spelling seems to make a difference but John seems old and plain, while Jon seems handsome and classic. Possibly Jon Snow as influence there =)