Derived from the given name John, Jack is a common masculine name in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and other English-speaking countries. By studying its origins, I’ve learned the meaning of the name Jack.
Meaning of the name Jack: A diminutive or pet name of the given name John, the meaning of the name Jack means “God is gracious” or “God is good.” During the Middle Ages, the name John was converted into Jack.
Origins of the Name Jack
Etymological evidence suggests Jack originated in Medieval Europe – sometime between the 5th and 15th century – as a diminutive variant of the given name John. Of course, John was a common masculine name given to newborn boys in Europe. Over time, however, John was converted into several other names, one of which being Jack.
As the name Jack became more common, it began to appear in various works of literature. “Jack and the Beanstalk,” for example, is a fairy tale about a young boy named Jack who receives magic beans that, when planted, climb into the sky where a giant lives. While the exact origins of “Jack and the Beanstalk” are unknown, some experts believe the story is thousands of years old.
Jack is also the main character in the Nobel Prize-winning novel “Lord of the Flies.” Along with Ralph and Piggy, Jack is considered one of the novel’s three main protagonists. “Lord of the Flies” was published in 1954 by English author William Golding. After being published, the novel made Jack a more popular given name in both Europe as well as the United States.
The popularity of the Name Jack
If you live in an English-speaking country, you’re probably aware of the popularity surrounding the given name Jack. In 1880, it was the 77th most popular boys’ name in the United States. In 1920, it was the 20th most popular boys’ name in the country. The name Jack peaked in 1929 and 1930 when it ranked as the 14th most popular boys’ name in the United States.
While no longer ranked 14th, Jack is still a very popular name in the United States. In 2000, birth records show that over 8,100 newborn boys were given this name, making it the 43rd most popular boys’ name in the country. In 2011, Jack was the 45th most popular boys’ name in the United States.
Popular variants of the name Jack include Jackie, Jacky, Jackson, Jax, and Jake.
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