I had no idea that is was common in Europe! My American heritage fails me again!
Also Flemish:
With 319 142 bearers, Jan is the 1st most common masculine given name in the Czech Republic (2014 Data). With 236 473 bearers, Jan is the 1st most common masculine given name in the Netherlands (2014 Data). With 130 598 bearers, Jan is the 6th most common masculine given name in Sweden (2014 Data). With 77 329 bearers, Jan is the 8th most common masculine given name in Belgium (2014 Data). With 73 825 bearers, Jan is the 2nd most common masculine given name in Norway (2014 Data). With 51 636 bearers, Jan is the 9th most common masculine given name in Denmark (2014 Data). Source:
In the beginning of the 1360s every 8th man in Bohemia and Moravia (today's Czech republic) was Jan.
I've always liked this name but I wouldn't use it. The name Jan is very popular in Europe. It's like any form of John except Evan; timeless and suitable for men of any age, while Evan could only fit for young men to me...
Not a big fan of the name. Knew a Jan once, he smelt a bit funny. Very funny actually.
Jan Axel Blomberg, known by his stage name "Hellhammer", is the drummer of the Norwegian Black Metal band.
Also Estonian:
The variant "Jan" exists in Occitan also (At the very least, in the Limousin and Gascon dialects. "Joan" is far more common, and is found just about everywhere), and is the name of a famous person from Limousin, Jan dau Melhau.Name shown in a journal article: Wikipedia has a cite note, which I've translated after the link: "In the fixed classic form by Loís Alibèrt, it advises the form 'Joan' and considers 'Jan' a Frenchism. But the form 'Jan' is the sole one used in Limousin in recent centuries."Another carrier, from a region speaking the Gascon dialect: (also mentioned are "his mother, Jana Dòsque", and "his daughter, Jana Clotilda". This would be the feminine.)Music lyrics in southern Gascon. The page formatting is off, but the lyrics appear correct. Here we again see "Jan" (m), "Jana" (f): de Pèira, a woman from the border region between the Languedocian and Gascon dialects (these lyrics appear to be in Languedocian), also uses the feminine "Jana" in one of her songs:^Following the potential that "Jan" is in the Limousin dialect only, other sources *without* the Limousin dialect included only mention "Joan" as a given name. However, the other sources I've found show it's at least present in Gascon and the border dialects also.
Jan Stenerud is a former professional football player for the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, and the NFL's Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, and Minnesota Vikings. He is the first pure placekicker to be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stenerud is distinguished as being the first Norwegian to play in the National Football League.
Jan Egil Brekke is a Norwegian football midfielder who currently plays for Alta IF. He has played in the Norwegian Premier League for FK Bodø/Glimt and Tromsø IL. He grew up in Karasjok, and is the brother of fellow footballer Leif Arne Brekke.
Jan de Bont (born October 22, 1943) is a Dutch cinematographer and film director. He is best known for being the cinematographer of Die Hard and directing the films Speed and Twister.
Jan Zimmermann is a German goalkeeper who is currently playing for 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Heidenheim.
My friend from Bavaria is named Jan Niklas but people call him just Nick because nobody can pronounce Jan correctly. I think it's pronounced like "yawn", but it's a very unusual name in America.
The name is also rather common in Iceland.
My name is Jan. It was an extremely common name in my native Netherlands in the 50s and 60s and somewhat less so today. Jan Akkerman, Dutch guitarist (Brainbox, Focus).
The name Jan was given to 107 baby boys born in the US in 2012.
Jan is also a Catalan male name, a diminutive of Joan, the Catalan form of John. [noted -ed]
This name is basically the Dutch version of John. It used to be extremely common and it´s seen as very boring and old-fashioned. I've never met anyone my age (early twenties) with this name but I do have half a dozen older relatives who were named Jan, including my grandfather. I was surprised to find that it is still in the top thirty in the Netherlands but now that I think about it, I kind of like the thought of it still being in use. It's a lot better than all those new wanna-be American names.
Jan van de Cappelle (1626-1679) was a Dutch marine landscape painter.
Jan Hermansz van Bijlert (1597 or 1598 – November 1671) was a Dutch portrait painter in the style of Caravaggio.
Jan Breughel (1568-1625) was a Flemish painter and draughtsman. He had two sons: Jan and Ambrosius.
Jan Gerritsz van Bronckhorst (1603–1661) was a Dutch Golden Age painter and engraver.
Jan de Bray (1627-1697) was a Dutch painter of portraits.
Jan Dirksz Both (1618-1652) was a Dutch painter, draughtsman and etcher.
Jan Borman II (1479-1520) was a Netherlandish sculptor, mainly in wood.
Jan Borman III continued his father's tradition.
Johannes (Jan) Symonsz van der Beeck (1589, Amsterdam - buried 17 February 1644, Amsterdam) was a Dutch painter.
Jan de Beer [Netherlandish Painter, ca.1475-1528]
Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten (1622-1666) was a Dutch painter.
Jan de Baen (1633-1702) was a Dutch painter.
Jan Asselyn (1615-1652) was a Dutch painter of French descent. Famous for 'The Threatened Swan'.
Jan Henryk Dąbrowski was a general of the Polish Army, and is a national hero of Poland. The Polish national anthem, Mazurek Dąbrowskiego ("Dąbrowski's Mazurka") is even named after him.
Jan is a popular boys name in Croatia, particularly since the 90s.
We also have this name in Croatia.
Czech photographers Samuel Saudek and Šárka Směšná have a son Jan.
Architect Jan Kaplický (KAHP-lit-skee), 18th April 1937, Prague – 14th February 2009, Prague.
Jan Blahoslav, author, theologist and historian
Jan Burian, songwriter and folk singer
Jan Čenský, actor
Jan Drda, journalist and author
Jan Hrubý, rock and jazz musician
Jan Hřebejk, director
Jan Janský, serologist, neurologist and psychiatrist. He is credited with the first classification of blood into the four types (A, B, AB, O) of the ABO blood group system.
Jan "Sladký" Kozina, rebel and literary character
Jan Kraus, actor and moderator
Jan Libíček, actor
Jan Garrigue Masaryk, diplomatist and politician
Jan Nedvěd, folk singer
Jan Neruda, poet and journalist
Jan Antonín Pacák, artist and drummer
Jan Palach, national martyr
Jan Panenka, musician and pianist
Jan Patočka, philospher and founder of Charta 77
Jan Petránek, publicist
Jan Antonín Pitínský, poet and theatrical director
Jan Pivec, actor
Jan Polák, footballer
Jan Evangelista Purkyně, scientist
Jan Roháč z Dubé, hussite marshal
Ján Roháč, TV and film director
Jan Rokycana, Hussite priest
Jan Rosák, moderator and actor
Jan Ruml, politician and journalist
Jan Jakub Ryba, composer
Jan Blažej Santini, architekt
Jan Sokol, professor and publicist
Jan Skácel, poet
Jan Svěrák, film director
Jan Špáta, film director
Jan Švejnar, economist
Jan Tříska, actor
Jan Křtitel Vaňhal, composer
Jan Veselý, bicyclist
Jan Vodňanský, author, poet and songwriter
Jan Werich, actor and author
Jan Zábrana, poet and author
Jan Dismas Zelenka, composer
Jan Zrzavý, painter and graphic designer
Jan Železný, athlet
Jan Želivský, Hussite priest
Indian rapper Jan "Rotvajler" Surmaj.
Famous bearers:
Musician Jan P. Muchow
Photographer Jan Saudek
Painter Jan Kaplický
Actor Jan Révai
Actor Jan Apolenář
Actor Jan Hrušínský
Actor Jan Hraběta
Actor Jan Dolanský
Actor Jan Antonín Duchoslav
Actor Jan Šťastný
Actor Jan Kanyza
Actor Jan Kačer
Priest Jan Hus, born 1369/1370 Husinec – 6/7/1415 in Kostnice was executed for heresy
Warrior Jan Žižka, 1360, Trocnov – 11/10/1424, Přibyslav
A famous bearer is hockey player Yan Pavol Šťastný, born 30. September, 1982 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
Jan is also used in Russia together with the feminine form Jana - another thing is that they both are more of modern names - you won't find easily a person let's say over 40 years old named Jan, unless his origins are Polish, Czech etc. You can check Jan out here: (, in Russian here: (, or simply with the help of Google - just write in cyrillic alphabet "Yan imya".Famous Russian Jans include Jan Godovsky, the leading soloist of Bolshoi Ballet and Jan Frenkel, a Soviet composer.
Some famous Czech bearers were the church reformator Jan Hus and Jan Ámos Komenský (Comenius).
Jan´s nicknames are Janek, Janko, Jenda, Jeník, Janik, Jannis, Janica, Jéňa ("Yaa-nia"), Jens.
Jan is a pretty name. His nicknames are Janko, Janek, Janik, Jenda, Janis.
In Sweden it is also common in combinations like Jan-Erik.
Jan Vermeer painted 'Girl with a Pearl Earring'. It's also the name of a book and a movie based on the book. The book's really good! Everyone should read it.
Listen to the German pronunciation of Jan here:
Jan Rubeš - famous Czech-Canadian actor.
I am a Brazilian male named Jan - when my parents decided on my name it was meant to be pronounced /Yan/, but as in Brazil j sounds like j, people are used to calling me /Jan/ instead of /Yan/. It can be a problem to some American friends for whom Jan is a girlie name.
My husband and father in law are named Jan, and are of Dutch origin. To my American ears the name sounds exotic and sexy; the sounds are all voiced with no plosives or fricatives for a very smooth, gentle, gliding sound. The name has a feeling of being intellectual and sophisticated, yet simple. In Holland the name is very common, but here it sounds unique to the point where some people we meet are hesitant to pronounce it.
It is pronounced more like Yahn. [noted -ed]
Jan van Eyck was the one who painted the famous portrait "The Arnolfini Marriage".
Jan Myrdal was a Swedish author, political writer and wine columnist.
This is a very common male name in Sweden. Pet name is Janne.

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