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Jonas is a common male name in many Western world countries. It is primarily used as a first name, but also occurs as a surname. It is particularly frequent in Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Flanders and Scandinavia. It is also the most common name in Lithuania, however, in Lithuania, the name Jonas is derived from the Hebrew Yohanan as opposed to Jonah. Its widespread use and popularity has roots in its Jewish and Christian origins. As a surname, it is often Jewish, whilst as a first name it is mostly used in countries where Christianity is the main religion, especially in Scandinavian countries and Germany. In Turkish, Arabic, Persian and the Muslim world the equivalent name is Yunus (یونس) or Younes. In North America the name found popularity among Métis and Aboriginals in the Northwest.

Pronunciation/ˈnəs/
German: [ˈjoːnas]
Swedish: [juːnas]
Portuguese: [ˈʒo'nɐs]
Lithuanian: [ˈjonɐs]
GenderMale
Word/nameHebrew
MeaningDove; peaceful being, accomplishing, and a gift from God
Related namesJonah, Jones, John, Joonas, Yonah, Yunus, Jonnas, Janusz

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Greek etymologyEdit

Jonas possibly originates from the Greek word Ίωνας (Ionas), a member of the Greek tribe (Ιωνες) Iones or Ionians, who colonized western Asia.[citation needed] It is the Greek transliteration of "Jonah" (as in the Old Testament Book of Jonah).

MeaningEdit

The Hebrew version of the name means Dove; That is because the word 'Jonas' comes from the Greek word οιωνός (pronounced: e-oh-nos), meaning sign or portent, because in ancient Greece it was believed that birds were sent by gods as a sign to people. From this it is assumed that the name Jonas means a peaceful being. As a variation of Jonah, it can be considered to mean 'accomplishing', and a 'gift from God'.

Notable people with the given name JonasEdit

Notable people with the surname JonasEdit

Fictional charactersEdit

Male variantsEdit

Contemporary use of the name JonasEdit