History of John

John derives from Hebrew Yohanan, meaning “Jehovah has been gracious.” In the Old Testament it is spelled Johanan, in the New Testament John. The Greek is Joannes, Low Latin is Joannes, and Medieval Latin is Johannes. The Normans brought “John” to Britain in the 11th century. Early English forms, influenced by the French of the Normans, included Johan, Jehan, Jean, Jon, and Jan. Flemish immigrants introduced Hann and Jen and the diminutive forms using the suffixes -kin and -cock. The surname period saw the development of Johnson, Jones, Jenkins, Hanson, Jackson, and Hancock.

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