Jack Name Meaning

Baby boy crawling in grass

Kay Fochtmann / EyeEm / Getty Images

Looking for a strong, traditional name for your baby boy? Jack might be the perfect pick for you.

The name Jack is a derivative of John, which originated in medieval England. The name went from John to Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin to, you guessed it, Jack. There is also a theory that Jack is Celtic in origin, meaning "healthy, strong, and full of vital energy."

Interestingly, the name was so common in the Middle Ages that Jack became a generic term for a man. Think about the phrase "jack of all trades"—a person who can do many different types of work.

Plus, the J name is frequently used in fairy tales and nursery rhymes, such as "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Jack and Jill," "Little Jack Horner," and "Jack Sprat."

  • Origin: English
  • Gender: Jack is traditionally the masculine form of the name and means "God is Gracious." However, both Jack and Jac are considered gender-neutral. Feminine variations, such as Jacklyn and Jacqueline are common.
  • Pronunciation: Jak

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name Jack?

Jack is the 21st most popular boys name in the U.S., according to 2020 Social Security Administration data. The traditional moniker has remained in the top 50 since 2000. In 2020, Jack was the number one name in both Scotland and Ireland. Its worldwide appeal does not stop there. Australia, England, and New Zealand host the name Jack on their top 10 boys names lists.

Name Variations

  • Jackson (English)
  • Jacques (French)
  • Jock (Scottish)
  • John (Hebrew)

Similar Names

  • Alexander
  • Benjamin
  • Carter
  • Finn
  • Henry
  • Jude
  • Liam
  • William
  • Owen
  • Samuel

Other boy names starting with J:

  • Jackson
  • Jacques
  • Jacob
  • Jake
  • James
  • Jayden
  • Jeremiah
  • Jesus
  • John
  • Jonathan
  • Jordan
  • Jude
  • Judah
  • Justin

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for Jack include:

  • Jackie
  • Jackers
  • John

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Alexander
  • Benjamin
  • Carter
  • Jessica
  • Liam
  • Max
  • Charlotte
  • Ella
  • Jane
  • Olivia
  • Rose

Famous People Named Jack

Notable people named Jack include actors, artists, and athletes. The name and its variations have also popped up on the big and small screens—plus, there is no shortage of beloved characters from timeless nursery rhymes.

Jack Nicholson is an American Actor with hundreds of film credits including, "The Little Shop of Horrors'" (1960), "Carnal Knowledge" (1971), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "The Shining" (1980), and "Terms of Endearment" (1983). He also portrayed The Joker in 1989's "Batman" and Boston mob boss, Frank Costello in "The Departed" (2006).

Jack London was an American novelist, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer of commercial fiction and American magazines—and one of the first American authors to become an international celebrity and earn a large fortune from writing.

Who could forget "Jack and Jill," who went up the hill/To fetch a pail of water/Jack fell down and broke his crown/And Jill came tumbling after.

Famous Jacks:

  • Jack Roosevelt Robinson, American baseball player
  • Jack Black, American actor, comedian, and musician
  • Jack Kerouac, American novelist and Poet
  • Jack White, American singer, songwriter, and producer
  • Jack Joseph Osbourne, English media personality and the son of heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne

Famous Jackies:

  • Jackie Gleason, was an American actor, comedian, writer, composer, and conductor
  • Jackie Chan, martial artist, actor, film director, producer, stuntman, and singer

Famous Jacksons:

  • Jackson Pollock, American painter and prominent artist in the abstract expressionist movement. 
  • Jackson Browne, American singer-songwriter and musician

Fictional Jacks:

  • Jack Dawson, portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, is the handsome deuteragonist in James Cameron's, "Titanic."
  • Dr. Jack Shephard, portrayed by Matthew Fox, is the protagonist of the ABC television series "Lost."
  • Captain Jack Sparrow, is the main protagonist of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series.
  • John Daniel Edward "Jack" Torrance, the main character of Stephen King's horror novel and film, "The Shining."
  • Jack Spriggins, from "Jack and the Beanstalk," an English fairy tale.

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular Baby Names.

By Christine Coppa
Christine is a lifestyle journalist with 17 years of professional experience and the author of the parenting book, Rattled!