Joan

History of the Joan Name

Joan has historically been a name used for English girls of European royalty. It is believed to have first been used by Englishmen during medieval times. One of the first appearances of the name Joan was seen when Jhone, Henry II’s dauhter, brought a form of the name to England in the 12th century.

Meaning of Joan

Joan is a female derivative of the male name, John, and a second form of the English name, Jane. Primarily used in English applications, the name means ‘God is gracious’. Other forms of the name with the same meaning are Johanna, Joanna, and Joann. The meaning of Joan, in it’s original Hebrew form, is ‘Yahweh is merciful’.

Popularity of Joan

The name, Joan, has not been popular for many, many years among the general population. At the height of its usage in 1932, Joan was ranked 5th, but has since dropped substantially in popularity and is now only sporadically used. However, the name has been seen throughout history within the circles of European royalty and the like. It has not made the top 100 names list in England in recent years (2013 latest figures) and, therefore, is not considered to be a popular name.

Famous People Named Joan

Several historically famous people, as well as familiar people from more modern times, bear the name of Joan. This list includes:

  • Joan of Arc – French heroine and saint
  • Pope Joan – 9th century legend
  • Joan Rivers – American comedian, actress, and talk show host
  • Joan Collins – English-born actress
  • Joan Sutherland – Australian opera singer

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