How popular is the baby name Jan in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Jan.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Jan


Posts that Mention the Name Jan

The Creepy-Crawly Signature of Jan van Kessel

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1657
“Joan Van Kessel” (1657)

Let’s end the year with something different!

At least twice, 17th-century Flemish artist Jan Van Kessel painted his name out of caterpillars and snakes. (And he made sure to include plenty of spiders, for good measure.)

In the earlier painting, created in 1657, he spelled his first name “Joan.”

In the later painting, created in 1666, he spelled his first named “Jan.” (Just to make things complicated, the signature was featured as a painting-within-a-painting dated “1664.”)

Painted signature of artist Joan Van Kessel, 1666
“Jan Van Kessel” (1666)

Have you ever drawn/painted your name out creepy-crawly creatures? Or any creatures at all? If so, and it’s online somewhere, comment with a link!

Sources: Jan van Kessel the Elder – Wikipedia, Jan van Kessel’s Signature of Caterpillars and Snakes (1657)

Where did the baby name Nyree come from?

actress Nyree Dawn Porter as character Irene Heron in the TV miniseries "The Forsyte Saga" (1967).
Nyree Dawn Porter in “The Forsyte Saga

The baby names Jolyon and Nyree both debuted in the U.S. baby name data 1970:

Usage of JolyonUsage of Nyree
19735 baby boys157 baby girls
19725 baby boys26 baby girls
1971.7 baby girls
19709 baby boys [debut]10 baby girls [debut]
1969..
1968..

They both came from the same source: The Forsyte Saga, a 26-part, Emmy-nominated BBC miniseries that followed several generations of the nouveau riche Forsyte family of London from the 1870s to the 1930s.

It first aired on U.S. public television from October of 1969 to March of 1970. (It originally aired in UK during first half of 1967.)

The Forsyte Saga was based on a book series of the same name written during the early 1900s by Nobel Prize-winning English author John Galsworthy.


At the start of the TV miniseries, the Forsyte family was nominally headed by Jolyon Forsyte (played by Joseph O’Conor), who had a son also named Jolyon (played by Kenneth More). The father was called “Old Jolyon” and the son was called “Young Jolyon.” Their shared first name was pronounced joe-leon.

Later on in the series, Young Jolyon had a son named Jolyon, nicknamed “Jolly.” Later still, with a different woman, he had another son named Jolyon, this one nicknamed “Jon.”

The name Jolyon is usually said to be a medieval form of Julian, but it could also come from a byname that meant “jolly Jan.”


Another character in the series was Irene Heron (played by Nyree Dawn Porter). She was introduced in the second episode, and she married into the Forsyte family during the time that elapsed between the third and fourth episodes.

That initial marriage didn’t last, though, and Irene ultimately ended up with Young Jolyon, becoming the mother of Jon.

New Zealand-born British actress Nyree Dawn Porter was named Ngaire at birth. For her stage name, she used the Anglicized spelling of her Maori first name.

The name Ngaire (pronounced NY-ree) is based on the Maori word ngaere, which may refer to a swamp or wetland.

(The usage of Nyree swelled in the mid-1970s. This could be due to the British show The Protectors (1972-1974), which co-starred Porter and also aired on U.S. television. The name of Nyree’s character, Contessa, more than doubled in usage from 1972 to 1973.)

Sources: The Forsyte Saga – IMDb, Nyree Dawn Porter – Wikipedia, Namehunt: Jolyon | Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, ngaere – Maori Dictionary

Popular Baby Names in Slovenia, 2019

According to Slovenia’s Statistical Office, the most popular baby names in the country in 2019 were Zala and Luka.

Here are Slovenia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Zala, 272 baby girls
  2. Ema, 224
  3. Mia, 213
  4. Julija, 176
  5. Sara, 164
  6. Ela, 163
  7. Lara, 161
  8. Eva, 160 (tie)
  9. Hana, 160 (tie)
  10. Zoja, 149

Boy Names

  1. Luka, 282 baby boys
  2. Filip, 241
  3. Jakob, 233
  4. Nik, 232
  5. Mark, 231
  6. Tim, 177
  7. Jan, 171
  8. Jaka, 164
  9. Oskar, 162
  10. Žan, 156

In the girls’ top 10, Ela, Hana, and Zoja replaced Nika, Maša, and Lana.

(The top girl name, Zala, is a short form of Rozalija, the Slovene form of Rosalia. The other Z-name on the girls’ list, Zoja, is the Slovene form of Zoe.)

In the boys’ top 10, Oskar replaced Lovro.

In 2018, the top names were Ema and Luka.

Sources: Top Baby Names – Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office, Zala – Behind the Name

Popular Baby Names in Slovenia, 2018

According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, the most popular baby names in the country in 2018 were Ema and Luka.

Here are Slovenia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2018:

Girl Names

  1. Ema, 268 baby girls
  2. Zala, 241
  3. Eva, 220
  4. Mia, 216
  5. Sara, 182
  6. Lara, 170
  7. Nika, 168
  8. Maša, 154
  9. Julija, 151 (tie)
  10. Lana, 151 (tie)

Boy Names

  1. Luka, 288 baby boys
  2. Jakob, 242
  3. Filip, 227 (tie)
  4. Nik, 227 (tie)
  5. Mark, 211
  6. Žan, 182
  7. Jan, 168 (tie)
  8. Tim, 168 (tie)
  9. Jaka, 166
  10. Lovro, 156

Lovro is short for Lovrenc, which is the Slovene equivalent of the English name Laurence.

The last set of rankings I posted for Slovenia were the 2015 rankings, which were also topped by Ema and Luka.

Sources: Names – Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office, Lovro – Behind the Name

Name Quotes #79: Consuela, Gisele, Jeff

From the 2004 Friends episode in which Phoebe changes her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock:

Mike: So what’s new?

Phoebe: Well, I’m no longer Phoebe Buffay.

Mike: That’s great, you changed your name?

Phoebe: Yes I did! Meet Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock.

Lyrics from the song “Dear Winter” (2019) by indie band AJR:

Dear Winter,
I hope you like your name.
I hope they don’t make fun of you
When you grow up and go to school, ok?
‘Cause Winter is a badass name.

(The baby name Winter is already on the rise, but do you think this song could give it an extra boost?)

From an article that asks how it feels when one’s name becomes a meme:

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly popular to end online jokes with a name. The set-up usually goes like this: a person jokes about an annoying behaviour as though they were directly talking to the person annoying them, then they end the joke-angry outburst with a name. That name then slowly becomes cultural shorthand for a type of behaviour. Other names become internet jokes because they were part of movies that were clipped into gifs – such as “Sure, Jan” to denote disbelief, “My name is Jeff” for anyone whose name is, yes, Jeff, or “Bye, Felicia” for anyone irritating.

(Other names used in memes: Karen, Sharon, Janet, Chad, Becky…)

From an article about advocate Shanti Bhushnan, who was named after advocate Shanti Bhushnan (b. 1925):

I was born on March 16, 1977. By then, Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan was a very big name in India because he had appeared for Raj Narain against then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and won the case.

So my uncle KN Puttegowda, who was an advocate and later served as President of the Bangalore Advocates Association, suggested that I should be named after the legendary lawyer.

[…]

I had not met him until now. I consider it my good luck to be named after such a big man. Many people ask me about this name because it is an unusual name in the South.

From a video about the unhurried baby naming practices of the Borana people of Ethiopia and Kenya:

When a child is a toddler, if you have the means, you call on people to gather and name the child. If you don’t have enough, you can ask your relatives to help you prepare the ceremony. That’s how we name a child. Until you name them, you just call them by random names of your choice.

From an article about Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen:

…Gisele has become a brand in itself. That monicker is fortunate – it’s easy to equate “Gisele” with “gazelle”, which is exactly what comes to mind when you see her strutting down the catwalk…

How rapper Post Malone (born Austin Richard Post) came up with his stage name:

I was like 14, and I had started getting into producing and rapping and singing over my own stuff. And I needed a name, you know, for my s—- mixtape,” he told Jimmy Fallon. “So I ran [my real name] through a random rap name generator… now I’m stuck with it.”

How rapper Childish Gambino (born Donald Glover) came up with his stage name:

“We were all hanging out, chilling and drinking and then we were like, ‘Oh, Wu-Tang name generator, let’s put our name in,'” he revealed on The Tonight Show back in 2011. “And we’re putting them all in, and they’re all funny and stuff, and then mine came up and I was like, ‘you guys, it’s not funny anymore. This is something big.’ I just really liked it.”

How spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle (born Ulrich Tölle) came up with his new name:

Some time after this “inner transformation”, Tolle changed his first name from Ulrich to Eckhart following a dream in which he saw books lying around. On the cover of one was the name Eckhart and he knew he had written it. By coincidence, he bumped into an acquaintance, a psychic, a few days later who, for no apparent reason, called him Eckhart! Having become a completely different person he was ready to relinquish the name Ulrich and the unhappy energy the name held for him.

(Other sources say Tolle chose “Eckhart” in deference to 13th-century German theologian/mystic Meister Eckhart.)