John & Jane Doe

I’ve previously spoken in this blog about common names, and about how the prevalence of various names has changed over the course of decades. One of the names discussed in that previous post has not only prevalence going for it, but incredible proliferation as well. Over the years, I’ve been interested to find out that all of the following names are translations or descendants of the name John–Iohannes in Latin and Ioannis or Iannis in Greek (all of which also have other spelling variations).

John/Jon/Johnny
Jane/Janie
Jean (French male or English female)
Jeanne/Jeannie/Jeanine/Jeanette
Joan/Joanne/Joanna
Ian
Sean/Shawn
Shawna/Shauna
DeShawn/DeShaun (primarily African American)
Sinead
Siobhan
Johan
Ivan (in English, EYE-vən; in Spanish, Iván, pronounced ee-VAHN, also male)
Ivana
Yvonne
Vanna
Evan
Jan/Jaan (pronounced yahn—Slavic)
Jana (YAHN-a)
Janis/Jaane/Jani (and many other similar in various European Languages)
Janet/Jan
Janice
Juan
Juana
Giovanni/Giovanna
Hank
Hanna
Hans (but not Franz)

Google around, and you’ll find lists with literally hundreds of derivations of this simple name. I’ve chosen the above to demonstrate the incredible variety that the derivations have taken. Who would guess that Ivana Trump and Hank Hill have essentially the same first name?

About Verla

Wordfreak. Linguist. WA State licensed P.I. #3377. Principal, Viera Investigations. Spanish-English interpreter. Sole proprietor, Encanto Language Services. Erstwhile librarian. Texan by birth, cheesehead by upbringing, latina by soul, PacNWer by choice. Jewelry artist, Different Drummer Designs. Owner, world’s most gigantic dachshund. Driver, world’s almost smallest car. Chocoholic. Lover of things purple.
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One Response to John & Jane Doe

  1. Verla says:

    BTW, my middle name is Janice.