Derives from Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name “Ιωάννης”, Ioannis.
Originally the name was borne by Hellenized Jews that adapted in Greek the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning “graced by God”.
There are many forms of the name in different languages. John is one of the most common given names in the English speaking countries and in Europe.
John the Baptist and apostle John, were highly revered and are considered the two most important figures to whom the name owes its popularity.
Initially it was a common name among the Christians of the Eastern Byzantine Empire, especially the Greeks.
After the First Crusade it flourished in Western Europe as well. It became extremely popular during the Middle Ages, especially in England.
8 Byzantine emperors and more than 20 popes were named John, bearing various spellings of the name.
Rulers of many countries, such as France, England, Russia, Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Portugal, were also bearers of the name.
Variants, in English and other languages, are: Johnny, Jon, Johnie, Johnnie, Yan, Jan, Jean, Jack, Gianni, Ioannis, Yannis, Ivan, Ivo, Yann, Sean, Yannick, Johan, Joni, Giovanni, Jake, Janek, João, Xoán, Hannes, Hans, Juan, Jo, Vanya.
Famous bearers are John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, John Keats, Johnny Cash, Johnny Depp, John Milton, John Steinbeck, John Locke, Jon Bon Jovi, John Mayall, John Hurt, John Coltrane, John Travolta, John Adams, John Wayne, John Cassavetes, John Belushi, John Denver, John Williams, John Cusack, John Cleese, John Galliano, Johannes Gutenberg, Johannes Brahms, Johnny Galecki, John Taylor, John Mellencamp, John Corbett, John Malkovich, John McEnroe, John Leguizamo, John Goodman.
John is a popular name in Greece, Chile, Ireland, Scotland, Spain and the United States.
John Lennon was an English songwriter and singer and one of the co-founders of the band “Beatles”.