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).
Jean (French male or English female)
DeShawn/DeShaun (primarily African American)
Ivan (in English, EYE-vən; in Spanish, Iván, pronounced ee-VAHN, also male)
Jan/Jaan (pronounced yahn—Slavic)
Janis/Jaane/Jani (and many other similar in various European Languages)
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?
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