GENDER: Masculine
OTHER SCRIPTS: יוֹנָתָן (Ancient Hebrew)
PRONOUNCED: JAHN-ə-thən (American English), JAWN-ə-thən (British English), YO-na-tan (German), ZHAW-NA-TAHN (French)  [details]

Meaning & History

From the Hebrew name יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan), contracted to יוֹנָתָן (Yonatan), meaning "YAHWEH has given", derived from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho) referring to the Hebrew God and נָתַן (natan) meaning "to give". According to the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of Saul. His relationship with his father was strained due to his close friendship with his father's rival David. Along with Saul he was killed in battle with the Philistines.

As an English name, Jonathan did not become common until after the Protestant Reformation. A famous bearer was the Anglo-Irish satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), who wrote 'Gulliver's Travels' and other works.
VARIANTS: Johnathan, Johnathon, Jonathon (English), Jonatan (German), Jonatan (Swedish), Jonatan (Norwegian), Jonatan (Danish)
DIMINUTIVES: Jonty (English (British)), Jon, Jonny (English)
OTHER LANGUAGES/CULTURES: Ionathan (Biblical Greek), Yehonatan, Yonatan (Biblical Hebrew), Ionathan (Biblical Latin), Yehonatan, Yonatan, Yoni (Hebrew), Jónatan (Icelandic), Ionatán (Irish), Gionata (Italian), Jônatas (Portuguese), Jonatan (Spanish)


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Entry updated May 31, 2018