34 Baby Names That Start With the Letter "J"

Learn the meaning and origins of popular baby names that start with "J."

Baby with letter J

Verywell / Photo Illustration by Michela Buttignol / Getty Images

If everyone in your family already has a name that starts with the same letter, it only makes sense for that pattern to continue with a new baby. Names that begin with the letter "J" are plentiful and include pop culture picks, seasonal baby names, and so many more.

When looking at "J" names, you'll find a lot of really popular names from the last 100 years, like James, Jacob, and Johnathan, but there are also a number of more unique choices if you want to step outside the box when naming your new addition. And while a lot of "J" names have religious origins, there are options outside of this specification as well. Explore these options when deciding what to name your new baby.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Nickname
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jason, Jase
  • Famous Namesakes: Country singer Jace Everett and professional golfer Jace Bugg
  • Peak Popularity: Jace is a recently popular name that has spiked in recent years. It's been in the top 100 names since 2012.


  • OriginEnglish
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jacques
  • Famous Namesakes: Several popular fictional characters are named Jack, like Jack Dawson in Titanic and Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as real people. Author Jack Kerouac, actor Jack Nicholson, and musician Jack Avery are just a few with this popular name.
  • Peak Popularity: Jack has been a popular name for over 100 years, though the 1930s saw its peak.


  • OriginHebrew
  • Meaning: Supplanter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jakob, Jake
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Jacob Tremblay and Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Peak Popularity: From 1999 to 2012, Jacob was the most popular name for boys in the United States.


  • OriginFrench
  • Meaning: Supplanter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jackie, Jaclyn
  • Famous Namesakes: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is perhaps the most famous Jackie.
  • Peak Popularity: Jacqueline was a popular name from the 1930s to the 1990s but has become less popular since then.


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Supplanter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jack
  • Famous Namesakes: Explorer Jacques Cousteau and chef Jacques Torres
  • Peak Popularity: The year Jacques was the most popular was 1969.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Green gemstone
  • Famous Namesakes: Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall
  • Peak Popularity: The name Jade peaked at No. 86 in 2002.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Fire
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jadyn, Jaiden
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Jaden Smith, the son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Peak Popularity: Jaden was in the top 100 names from 2002 to 2008.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Supplanter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jamie, Jameson
  • Famous Namesakes: There are a ton of well-known people with the name James, including singer James Brown and actors Jimmy Stewart, James Dean, and James McAvoy.
  • Peak Popularity: James has always been a popular name, but it was No. 1 from 1940 to 1952.


  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer and actress Jana Kramer
  • Peak Popularity: The name Jana was popular in the 1950s through 1970s but has fallen off since then.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Famous Namesakes: There are a number of powerful women named Jane, including author Jane Austen, actress Jane Fonda, and anthropologist Jane Goodall.
  • Peak Popularity: Jane was popular in the early 1900s before losing its shine. However, with the resurgence of retro names, it has grown in popularity again.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jeanelle, Janel
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Janelle Monae
  • Peak Popularity: Janelle saw its peak on the baby names list in 1979.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Genessa
  • Peak Popularity: Janessa was popular in the early 2000s, with 2004 being its peak.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Born in January
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress January Jones
  • Peak Popularity: January was a popular name in the 1970s.


  • OriginPersian
  • Meaning: Jasmine flower
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jasmin, Jas
  • Famous Namesakes: Model Jasmine Tookes and actress Jasmine Guy
  • Peak Popularity: Jasmine was a popular name for millennial babies, seeing its peak in the 1980s and 1990s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Peace of a stranger
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jeffery, Jeff, Geoffrey, Geoff
  • Famous Namesakes: Actors Jeff Bridges and Jeff Goldblum, singer Jeff Buckley
  • Peak Popularity: Though Jeffrey is still a popular name, it was most popular in the 1950s and 1960s.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Fair phantom
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jenifer, Jenn, Jen
  • Famous Namesakes: There are plenty of famous Jennifers, like Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston, and Jennifer Garner.
  • Peak Popularity: Jennifer was the No. 1 name for baby girls from 1970 to 1984.


  • OriginGreek
  • Meaning: Moon city
  • Famous Namesakes: WWE star Chris Jericho
  • Peak Popularity: Jericho just entered the baby name charts a few years ago but is holding steady in popularity.


  • OriginLatin
  • Meaning: Sacred name
  • Famous Namesakes: Football player Jerome Bettis
  • Peak Popularity: Jerome is an old-fashioned name that was most popular in the 1930s.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God beholds
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jess, Jessie
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Jessica Simpson and actresses Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, and Jessica Chastain
  • Peak Popularity: Jessica was in the top 10 baby names in the United States from 1976 to 2000.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God's gift
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jessica, Jess, Jesse
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Jessie J
  • Peak Popularity: Jessie was a very popular name in the early 1900s but still remains a go-to name for baby girls.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Youthful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jill, Gillian
  • Famous Namesakes: First lady Dr. Jill Biden is one of the most famous Jills.
  • Peak Popularity: Jillian was a popular name in the 1980s with 1982 being its peak.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God has given
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jonathan, John, Johnny, Jonny
  • Famous Namesakes: Many famous people are named John, including Beatles singer John Lennon, former U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and actor John Cena.
  • Peak Popularity: Johnathan's most popular year was 1990, but the alternate spelling of Jonathan has long been more popular.


  • Origin: American
  • Meaning: Beautiful bird
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jo
  • Famous Namesakes: One of Dolly Parton's most famous songs is called "Jolene."
  • Peak Popularity: Jolene saw its popularity peak in 1974.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Dove
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Jonah Hill
  • Peak Popularity: Jonah has grown in popularity over the last several years, rising on the baby name chart each year.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: To flow down
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Jordyn, Jordin
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian Jordan Peele, singer Jordin Sparks, and New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight
  • Peak Popularity: Jordan as a name for baby boys and baby girls peaked in 1997 for both.


  • OriginSpanish
  • Meaning: God will increase
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Jose Feliciano
  • Peak Popularity: Jose has been a popular name since the 1960s but its most popular year was 2004.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God will increase
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joe, Joey
  • Famous Namesakes: President Joe Biden and actors Joe Pesci and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • Peak Popularity: Joseph was long one of the most popular names in the early 1900s and remains popular today.


  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: God will increase
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joey, Jo
  • Famous Namesakes: Model Josephine Skriver and actress Josephine Langford
  • Peak Popularity: Josephine was popular in the early 1900s but with the retro-name trend currently thriving, it's becoming popular again.


  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my salvation
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Josh
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Josh Groban and actors Josh Hartnett and Joshua Jackson
  • Peak Popularity: Joshua was one of the most popular names for baby boys in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s but it never quite hit No. 1.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: From Judea
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Jude Law
  • Peak Popularity: Jude's growing in popularity and saw its biggest year in 2019.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Youthful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Julien, Julia
  • Peak Popularity: The name Julian continues to become more popular. It saw its peak in 2019.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Youthful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Juliette
  • Famous Namesakes: Actresses Juliette Binoche and Juliette Lewis
  • Peak Popularity: Juliet has gone in and out of popularity with its biggest year being 2017.


  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Born in June
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer June Carter Cash
  • Peak Popularity: June was popular in the 1920s but is seeing a new surge in popularity again.


  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Just and fair
  • Famous Namesakes: Singers Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber, as well as actors Justin Long and Justin Bartha
  • Peak Popularity: Justin was a popular name in the 1970s and 1980s with its biggest year being 1988.
1 Source
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  1. Social security administration. Popularity of name.

By Hedy Phillips
Hedy Phillips is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience covering topics ranging from parenting tips to lifestyle hacks.