Jonathan Name Meaning

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What Does Jonathan Mean?

If you’re looking for a strong biblical name, then here is one.

Jonathan is a Hebrew name meaning “God has given.” It is a shortened version of the name Jehonathan or yehōnātān (Yahweh has given). Yahweh is the god of the Israelites, whose name was revealed to Moses in the form of four Hebrew consonants.

The name is derived from two Hebrew elements; yeho referring to the Hebrew God and natan meaning “to give.”

The name Jonathan also appears in the Old Testament, where Jonathan was the oldest son of King Saul, and portrayed as a man of great strength.

  • Origin: Jonathan is a Hebrew name meaning “God has given.”
  • Gender: Jonathan is commonly used as a boy’s name
  • Pronunciation: jo-na-than

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 Jonathan?

Jonathan is one of the most popular names with a strong biblical connection. It also features in other languages throughout the world.

The name Jonathan has been on the U.S. popularity charts since 1880 when it appeared in the Top 500 names. Around the 1940s, the popularity of the name started steadily increasing around the world, while it continued to feature in the Top 500 in the U.S.

By the 1950s the name started picking up steam and by the early 1960s, it was one of the Top 100 names for boys. The 1970s saw the name in the Top 50 names and the 1980s was when Jonathan was most popular. In fact, the name reached peak popularity in 1988, according to the Social Security Administration 2020 data.

Jonathan has been named every year in the Top 50 names in the U.S. from 1970 to 2015. Since then, its popularity has dropped a bit, and it ranked at No. 70 in 2020.

Name Variations

The following are variations of the name Jonathan:

  • Gionata (Italian) 
  • Honatana (Maori)
  • Ionakana (Hawaiian)
  • Ionathan (Biblical Latin) 
  • Janathan (Hebrew)
  • Jhonathan (Hebrew)
  • Johnathan (English)
  • Johnathon (English)
  • Jonacani (Fijian)
  • Jonasan (Japanese)
  • Jonatan (Spanish, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian)
  • Jônatas (Portuguese)
  • Jonatha (Hebrew)
  • Jonathas (French)
  • Jonathon (English)
  • Jonatyn (Hebrew))
  • Yehonatan (Biblical Hebrew) 
  • Yonatan (Biblical Hebrew)
  • Yonoson (Biblical Hebrew)

Similar Names

Names with similar meaning as Jonathan:

  • Mathew (Gift of God)
  • Nathaniel (God has given)
  • Theodore (God’s gift)

Other biblical boy names:

  • Caleb
  • Elijah
  • Ezekiel
  • Isaiah
  • John
  • Joshua
  • Josiah
  • Samuel
  • Thaddeus
  • Tobias
  • Zachary

Other boy names starting with J:

  • Jackson
  • Jacob
  • Jameson
  • Jasper
  • Javier
  • Jayden
  • Jayson
  • Jeremy
  • Jericho
  • Jerome
  • Jesse
  • Jett
  • Joaquin
  • Joel
  • Johan
  • Jonah
  • Jordan
  • Jude
  • Justin

Common Nicknames

Here are some common nicknames for the name Jonathan:

  • Johnny
  • Jon
  • Jonny
  • Jonty
  • Yoni

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for a sibling name for Jonathan? Here are some popular options:

  • Andrew
  • Benjamin
  • Christopher
  • Daniel
  • David
  • Elizabeth
  • Emily
  • Emma
  • Hannah
  • Isabella
  • Jessica
  • Joseph
  • Madison
  • Michael
  • Natalie
  • Nicholas
  • Samantha
  • Sarah 
  • Sophia
  • William

Famous People Named Jonathan

There are many notable people who embody the strength and perseverance associated with the name Jonathan such as the TV show “Queer Eye” grooming expert and activist Jonathan Van Ness, professional basketball player for the “Orlando Magic” Jonathan Judah Isaac, and Sir Jonathan Paul Ive who was the former chief design officer at Apple.

Famous Jonathans

  • Jonathan Banks, American actor known for his roles in “Airplane!," “Beverly Hills Cop,” "Breaking Bad," and "Better Call Saul."
  • Jonathan Franzen, American novelist and essayist known for the critically acclaimed novel “The Corrections.”
  • Jonathan H. Smith, better known by his stage name Lil Jon, is an American rapper, songwriter, DJ, and record producer who won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance.
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Irish actor, model, and musician known for his role in the TV miniseries “Elvis” and historical drama “The Tudors.”
  • Jonathan Swift, Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, and poet known for works such as “Gulliver's Travels” and “A Modest Proposal.”
  • Robert Jonathan Demme, acclaimed American film director, producer, and screenwriter known for winning the Academy Award for Best Director for “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Fictional Jonathans:

  • Jonathan Archer, Captain on the TV series “Star Trek: Enterprise”
  • Jonathan Bower, a character on the '80s sitcom "Who's the Boss?"
  • Jonathan Harker, a main protagonist in the horror novel “Dracula” 
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the title character in Richard Bach’s novella
  • Jonathan Quayle Higgins III, a character in the 1980–1988 comedy and crime television series, “Magnum, P.I.”

More Baby Names

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

Top 1,000 Baby Boy Names

100 Biblical Baby Names

50 Hebrew Baby Names

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2 Sources
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. Popularity of Name. Updated 2020.

  2. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database: Jonathan Demme. Published March 30, 1992.