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How Many Johns Aren't Named John?
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A publication of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Foreign Versions, Variations, and Diminutives of English Names, lists about one hundred twenty-five variants of John used in eighteen languages.  Among the possibly unexpected ones are Zane, Jank or Janicko or Janeczek or Jankielek, Ioannis, Giannes, Juhani, Hannu, Ansis, Ivashka and Ivasenko, Vanechka and Vanyushko, Jovan, Yochanan, and Juanitocho.

Better known are Evan, Jan, Johann(es), Jean, Hans, Janos, Giovanni, Jonas, Juan, Vanya, and Ivan.  Note that the Russian Ivan Ivanov has a name with exactly the same meaning as John Johnson.

There are close to ninety or one hundred variations of Joseph, and about as many of Alexander, Andrew, Anton, August, Basil, Francis or Frank, George, Gregory, Jacob, Michael, Paul, Peter, Stephen, Walter, or William.

Among women's given names, Mary or its equivalent Maria is apparently the champion, with over two hundred versions and diminutives, but Ann and Anna and their alternatives come close.  Other multiform feminine names include Anastasia, Barbara, Catherine or Katherine, Dorothy, Eleanor and Ellen and Helen, Elizabeth, Irene, Jane or Joan or Jeanne (among the feminine equivalents of John), Josephine, Lillian, Margaret, Rosa or Rose, Sophia, Stephanie, and Theresa, all of which appear in well over sixty versions.

Hook, J. N. The Book of Names, A Celebration of Mainly American Names: People, Places, and Things. Franklin Watts, 1983.



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