JOCELYN f & m English, French
From a Germanic masculine name, variously written as Gaudelenus
, along with many other spellings. It was derived from the Germanic element gaut
, which was from the name of the Germanic tribe the Geats or Goths, combined with a Latin diminutive suffix. The Normans brought this name to England in the form Goscelin
, and it was common until the 14th century. It was revived in the 20th century primarily as a feminine name, perhaps an adaptation of the surname Jocelyn
(a medieval derivative of the given name). In France this is a masculine name only.
JODY f & m English
Probably either a variant of JUDY
or a diminutive of JOSEPH
. It was popularized by the young hero in Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' novel The Yearling
(1938) and the subsequent film adaptation (1946).
JOE m English
Short form of JOSEPH
. Five famous sports figures who have had this name are boxers Joe Louis (1914-1981) and Joe Frazier (1944-), baseball player Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999), and football quarterbacks Joe Namath (1943-) and Joe Montana (1956-).
JOEL m English, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Finnish, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹאֵל (Yo'el)
meaning "YAHWEH is God"
, from the elements יוֹ (yo)
and אֵל ('el)
, both referring to the Hebrew God. Joel is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament, the author of the Book of Joel, which describes a plague of locusts. In England, it was first used as a Christian name after the Protestant Reformation.
JOHANAN m Biblical
Form of Yochanan
) used in the English Old Testament. It was the name of a military leader in the time of the prophet Jeremiah
JOHANN m German
German form of Iohannes
). Famous bearers include German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), German novelist and poet Johann Goethe (1749-1832), and Austrian composers Johann Strauss the Elder (1804-1849) and his son Johann Strauss the Younger (1825-1899).
JOHN m English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Biblical
English form of Iohannes
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ἰωάννης (Ioannes)
, itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan)
meaning "YAHWEH is gracious"
, from the roots יוֹ (yo)
referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan)
meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan
in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus
. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod
Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter
(his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
JOHNNY m English
Diminutive of JOHN
. A famous bearer is American actor Johnny Depp (1963-).
JOKTAN m Biblical
in Hebrew. This is the name of a son of Eber in the Old Testament.
JOLÁNKA f Hungarian (Rare)
Created by the Hungarian writer András Dugonics for the main character in his novel Jólánka, Etelkának Leánya
(1803). He may have based it on Hungarian jóleán
meaning "good girl" or possibly on the name YOLANDA
JOLENE f English
Formed from JO
and the popular name suffix lene
. This name was created in the early 20th century. It received a boost in popularity after the release of Dolly Parton's 1973 song Jolene
JOLIE f English
in French. This name was popularized by American actress Angelina Jolie (1975-), whose surname was originally her middle name. It is not used as a given name in France.
JOLYON m English (Rare)
Medieval form of JULIAN
. The author John Galsworthy used it for a character in his Forsyte Saga
novels (published between 1906 and 1922).
JONAH m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah)
. This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. Jonah was commanded by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead fled by boat. After being caught in a storm, the other sailors threw Jonah overboard, at which point he was swallowed. He emerged from the fish alive and repentant three days later.... [more]
JONATHAN m English, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Biblical
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.... [more]
JONG-SU m Korean
From Sino-Korean 宗 (jong)
meaning "lineage, ancestry" and 秀 (su)
meaning "luxuriant, beautiful, elegant, outstanding", as well as other combinations of hanja characters with the same pronunciations.
JONQUIL f English (Rare)
From the English word for the type of flower, derived ultimately from Latin iuncus
JORAH m Biblical, Literature
From the Hebrew name יוֹרָה (Yorah)
meaning either "he teaches"
. This name is mentioned briefly in the Book of Ezra in the Old Testament. It was used by George R. R. Martin for a character in his fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire
(first published 1996) and the television adaptation Game of Thrones
(2011-2019). It is not known if Martin took the name from the Bible.
JORAM m Biblical
Contracted form of Yehoram
). This name belongs to several minor characters in the Old Testament, as well as being another name for the kings Jehoram of Israel and Jehoram of Judah.
JORDAN m & f English, French, Macedonian, Serbian
From the name of the river that flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden)
, and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad)
or "flow down"
. In the New Testament John
the Baptist baptizes Jesus
Christ in its waters, and it was adopted as a personal name in Europe after crusaders brought water back from the river to baptize their children. There may have been some influence from the Germanic name JORDANES
, notably borne by a 6th-century Gothic historian.... [more]
JORDANES m Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, probably related to the Norse element jord
. This name was borne by a 6th-century Roman author of Gothic background, who wrote a history of the Goths. It is possible that the spelling of his name was influenced by that of the Jordan
JOSÉ m & f Spanish, Portuguese, French
Spanish and Portuguese form of JOSEPH
, as well as a French variant. In Spanish-speaking regions it is occasionally used as a feminine middle name (or the second part of a double name), often paired with María
. This was the most popular name for boys in Spain for the first half of the 20th century.
JOSEPH m English, French, German, Biblical
, the Latin form of Greek Ἰωσήφ (Ioseph)
, which was from the Hebrew name יוֹסֵף (Yosef)
meaning "he will add"
, from the root יָסַף (yasaf)
. In the Old Testament Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob
and the first with his wife Rachel
. Because he was the favourite of his father, his older brothers sent him to Egypt and told their father that he had died. In Egypt, Joseph became an advisor to the pharaoh, and was eventually reconciled with his brothers when they came to Egypt during a famine. This name also occurs in the New Testament, belonging to Saint Joseph the husband of Mary
, and to Joseph of Arimathea.... [more]
JOSÉPHINE f French
French feminine form of JOSEPH
. A notable bearer of this name was the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814).
JOSEPHUS m Dutch, History
Latin form of JOSEPH
. This form is used by Dutch Catholics. In English, it is used primarily to refer to the 1st-century Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus.
JOSES m Biblical
From Ἰωσῆς (Ioses)
, a Greek variant of JOSEPH
used in the New Testament to distinguish Joseph the brother of James from the many other characters of that name.
JOSHUA m English, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu'a)
meaning "YAHWEH is salvation"
, from the roots יְהוֹ (yeho)
referring to the Hebrew God and יָשַׁע (yasha')
meaning "to save". As told in the Old Testament, Joshua was a companion of Moses
. He went up Mount Sinai with Moses when he received the Ten Commandments from God, and later he was one of the twelve spies sent into Canaan. After Moses died Joshua succeeded him as leader of the Israelites and he led the conquest of Canaan. His original name was Hoshea
JOSIAH m Biblical, English
From the Hebrew name יֹאשִׁיָהוּ (Yoshiyahu)
meaning "YAHWEH supports"
. In the Old Testament this is the name of a king of Judah famous for his religious reforms. He was killed fighting the Egyptians at Megiddo in the 7th century BC. In England this name came into use after the Protestant Reformation.
JOTHAM m Biblical
Means "YAHWEH is perfect"
in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this is the name of both a son of Gideon
and a king of Judah.
JOUKAHAINEN m Finnish Mythology
Meaning unknown. In the Finnish epic the Kalevala
this is the name of a youth who challenges Väinämöinen
to a chanting (or spellcasting) duel. Joukahainen loses, and must promise his sister Aino
JOVITA f Spanish, Portuguese
Spanish and Portuguese feminine form of the Roman name Iovita
(masculine), which was derived from the name of the god JOVE
. This was the name of an early saint and martyr, the brother of Faustinus.
JOY f English
Simply from the English word joy
, ultimately derived from Norman French joie
, Latin gaudia
. It has been regularly used as a given name since the late 19th century.
JOYCE f & m English
From the medieval masculine name Josse
, which was derived from the earlier Iudocus
, which was a Latinized form of the Breton name Judoc
. The name belonged to a 7th-century Breton saint, and Breton settlers introduced it to England after the Norman Conquest. It became rare after the 14th century, but was later revived as a feminine name, perhaps because of similarity to the Middle English word joise
"to rejoice". This given name also formed the basis for a surname, as in the case of the Irish novelist James Joyce (1882-1941).
JOZAFAT m Polish (Rare)
Polish form of JOSAPHAT
. This was the name of a 17th-century Polish saint and martyr who attempted to reconcile the Catholic and Eastern Churches.
JU f & m Chinese
From Chinese 菊 (jú)
meaning "chrysanthemum" (which is usually only feminine) or 巨 (jù)
meaning "big, enormous" (usually only masculine), besides other characters that are pronounced similarly.
JUAN (1) m Spanish, Manx
Spanish and Manx form of Iohannes
). Like other forms of John
in Europe, this name has been extremely popular in Spain since the late Middle Ages. It is borne by Don Juan, a character from Spanish legend who, after killing his lover's father, is dragged to hell by the father's ghost.
JUAN (2) f Chinese
From Chinese 娟 (juān)
meaning "beautiful, graceful" or other characters that are pronounced similarly.
JUANA f Spanish
Spanish form of Iohanna
), making it the feminine form of JUAN (1)
. This name was borne by Juana the Mad, a 16th-century queen of Castile.
JUBAL m Biblical
in Hebrew. This name is mentioned in Genesis in the Old Testament as belonging to the first person to be a musician.
JUDA m Arabic
Means "goodness, excellence"
, derived from Arabic جاد (jada)
meaning "to be excellent".
JUDAH m Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדָה (Yehudah)
, probably derived from יָדָה (yadah)
meaning "praise". In the Old Testament Judah is the fourth of the twelve sons of Jacob
, and the ancestor of the tribe of Judah. An explanation for his name is given in Genesis 29:35
. His tribe eventually formed the Kingdom of Judah in the south of Israel. King David
were among the descendants of him and his wife Tamar
. This name was also borne by Judah Maccabee, the Jewish priest who revolted against Seleucid rule in the 2nd century BC, as told in the Books of Maccabees.... [more]
JUDAS m Biblical
From Ἰούδας (Ioudas)
, the Greek form of JUDAH
. This is the name of several characters in the New Testament including the infamous Judas Iscariot, the apostle who betrayed Jesus
to the Jewish authorities in exchange for money.
JUDDA f Ancient Germanic
Probably derived from the name of the Germanic tribe the Jutes, who originated in Denmark and later invaded and settled in England. The name of the tribe, recorded in Latin as Iutae
and Old English as Eotas
, is of uncertain origin.
JUDE (1) m English, Biblical
Variant of JUDAS
. It is used in many English versions of the New Testament to denote the second apostle named Judas, in order to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. He was supposedly the author of the Epistle of Jude. In the English-speaking world, Jude
has occasionally been used as a given name since the time of the Protestant Reformation.
JUDICAËL m French, Breton
French form of the Old Breton name Iudicael
, derived from the elements iudd
"lord, prince" and hael
"generous". This was the name of a 7th-century Breton king, also regarded as a saint.
JUDITH f English, Jewish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, French, Biblical
From the Hebrew name יְהוּדִית (Yehudit)
meaning "Jewish woman"
, feminine of יְהוּדִי (yehudi)
, ultimately referring to a person from the tribe of Judah
. In the Old Testament Judith is one of the Hittite wives of Esau
. This is also the name of the main character of the apocryphal Book of Judith. She killed Holofernes, an invading Assyrian commander, by beheading him in his sleep.... [more]
JUDY f English
Diminutive of JUDITH
. A well-known bearer of this name was the American singer and actress Judy Garland (1922-1969).