Joan (given name)

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Joan (/n/) is a feminine form of the personal name John given to females in the Anglosphere. It is the native masculine form of John (for males) in the Catalan-Valencian and Occitan languages, (pronounced [(d)ʒuˈan]). In both cases, the name is derived from the Greek via the Latin Ioannes and Ioanna (or Johannes and Johanna), and is thus cognate with John and related to its many forms, including its derived feminine forms.

Joan of Arc miniature graded.jpg
Joan of Arc was largely responsible for the popularity of the name Joan for girls in the English-speaking world in recent years.
PronunciationEnglish: /n/ Catalan, Valencian, Occitan: IPA: [(d)ʒuˈan]
Female (for Anglosphere name);
  • Male (in Catalan-Valencian languages and Occitan language; the local form of John)
MeaningThe Lord is gracious
Other names
Related names

The name was disseminated widely into many languages and cultures from the Greek name Ἰωάννης (romanised, Iōannēs), along with its feminine form Ἰωάννα (romanised, Iōanna).[1]: 144 [2] Its ultimate origin, as with John, is from the Hebrew Yohanan (יוֹחָנָן‎),[a] "Graced by Yah", or Yehohanan (יְהוֹחָנָן‎), "Yahweh is Gracious".[3]

The Anglosphere female name Joan entered the English language through the Old French forms, Johanne and Jehanne, female variants of the male name Johannes.[1]: 356 

Still in use in Catalan, Valencian and Occitan as a masculine name, its feminine counterpart in these languages is Joana.In Spanish it is "Juana" [xuˈana] Joan and Joam were historically also the main forms in medieval Portuguese (or Galician-Portuguese). The Lusophone world later diverged in adopting João (pronounced [ʒuˈɐ̃w]) as its native form of John, while Joana, as in Catalan and Occitan, remains the female form for Portuguese speakers.[4]

List of figures named JoanEdit

People and fictional characters named Joan include:


Medieval periodEdit

Modern eraEdit


Fictional charactersEdit

See alsoEdit

Explanatory notesEdit

  1. ^ Also, a related longer form, Yəhôḥānān (יהוחנן‎), meaning 'Yahweh has been gracious'


  1. ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A dictionary of first names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1
  2. ^ Yonge, Charlotte Mary (1884). History of Christian Names. London: Macmillan. pp. 189–191.
  3. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 432.
  4. ^ Brown, A.; Grim, G.; Le Get, R.; Shiel, N.; Slíz, M.; Uckelman, J.; Uckelman, S.L. (2021). "John". In Uckelman, S.L. (ed.). The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources.