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30 ‘J’ Names And What They Mean

When it comes to names that start with the letter J, these usually start with a hard J, which gives a strong beginning to the name in question. Words like “jut,” “jump,” and “jubilee” start with this 10th (and quite loveable) letter of the alphabet, too, and so for whatever reason, all things beginning with “J” might even be seen to be sort of bold, happy, and full of action. This might sound silly, but it’s written right into the word “joy,” for example.

In case you can’t tell, I’m a bit of an English major word-nerd type. When I sit down to think about letters and names, I really get into it.

And it just so happens that the letter “J” is full of potential when it comes to thinking of a name for a child.

I have two myself — children, that is — both still very young. And when I’m not writing about pregnancy, babies, and parenting, I’m doing things like teaching my own little one her letters. In fact, that’s what I was doing just now as I slurped down some soup for dinner across from my little marker-wielding smartie-pants.

In any case, I’ll tell ya this much: If you pick a "J" name, it might be jovial, joyful, and a just choice — and I personally enjoy the trick of helping kids learn to write it by describing it like a candy cane. Get ready, folks, for not only 30 “J” names but also what they mean.

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30 Jackie

via Eden Bao Photography

To me, it means the preppy youngster of the crew from That ’70s Show. To my parents, it meant none other than that stylish icon of a woman who was married to a Kennedy, Jackie O.

It’s a cute name, but with all of these and other cultural associations, it’s also surely a strong one. The lovely girl “J” name Jackie means “supplanter” says BabyNames.com.

And the origins of the name are English. It is of course a “diminutive” form of that longer (and also lovely) name Jacqueline.

29 Jane

baby-stacking-dolls

It’s not plane-Jane at all. It’s super-duper cute, actually, if you ask this mama. Jane is an English name, says BehindTheName.com, and there certainly is plenty of history behind it.

The name for a girl comes from Jehanne in Medieval English, which is an Old French version of Iohannes, says BehindTheName.com. (There’s apparently a connection to the name John here, too.)

Instead of Joan being the feminine form of John, Jane came into common use during the 17th century.

28 Jelle

newborn-boy

Getting creative, here, people! Loving the name Jelle, and also that it sounds a bit exotic to these American ears.

It is, in fact, a Masculine name, and if it sounds just so European, that’s because it is. The Frisian / Dutch name would be pronounced YEL-lə, notes BehindTheName.com.

And as far as the meaning, it started out as a Frisian “short form” of Germanic names that started with “the element gild ‘sacrifice, value,'” says the same site as above.

And it can also be a “diminutive” in Dutch for the name Willem.

27 Jacob

baby-siblings

Many names, I’ve noticed today, mean “supplanter” for some reason. Dictionary.com says that’s someone who takes the place of another. (And yes, I did have to look that up.)

Jacob is, of course, one of these names, and it is Hebrew in origin. The fun thing is, as BabyNames.com notes, there are a whole bunch of cutie-pie nicknames that go with this one, as well. Consider, for example, Jake, Coby, or even Yaki.

From the Bible to other religious connections to characters on Lost, there are plenty of connections to be found, too.

26 Jana

Via: Milkmaid Goods

I knew a LOT of girls named “Jenna” or “Jennifer” and the like growing up, and continued to meet many more as I continued to navigate this weird, wild world.

So maybe that’s why I quite like the sort of similar but then not really Jana. It means “God is gracious.” The origins of this one are Slavic, notes BabyNames.com. A variation would be Jhona, which is nice, too.

Like it but don’t love it? How about the names people who kind of heart this one also tend to favor? Jessa, Hannah, Amelia, Grace, Anna, Ella, or Sophia, for example.

25 Jasmine

Baby-instagram

Here’s a fun one, for Disney’s Aladdin lovers and beyond…

Although the bearer of this name that may come to mind for parents and parents-to-be in the crowd had a pet tiger and wore epic flowy turquoise pants and matching crop top, try to think of this one just on its own for a second: Jasmine

It’s lovely! And it is of course from the name of that flowering plant, a tropical one, colorfully blooming and sometimes used in fragrances/perfumes as well as tea.

It is derived from yasamin (in Persian), says BabyNameWizard.com.

24 Jade

Via: Pinterest

OK, so when I’m sitting down to write a names article, I seriously cannot help but pick ones that I think sound favorable and trendy myself. And something told me to include not only the rare Jadine but also the shorter Jade for you today because I think it’s going to be doing big things in the coming years. That’s just my opinion.

Minerals and rocks (and the natural world in general) are cool naming inspirations these days, right? And yep, Jade is a green gemstone.

That’s included at BabyNames.com, as well as that the origins of the name are English. You might also choose Jayde or even Jadessa.

23 Jadine

baby-hands

I have never met a Jadine, but isn’t it a pretty little name for a little lady soon or someday to enter your life?

It means Jade-like (big duh on this one!)

This two-syllable winner of a little girl “J” name is American in origin, says BabyNames.com. Honestly, I do not come across such names very often, so that alone makes it all the more interesting to me personally.

It is the diminutive version of the name Jade. And (you’re welcome, original name seekers) it is not even on the charts at this time in the U.S.

22 Jett

Via: People

I feel like we probably have a winner in this quite hip-sounding name that is sometimes used for boys: Jett.

Jett is from the word jet (in English), and that, of course, has a few different meanings, such as the thing that flies through the air or an intensely black shade/color.

Those words come from different places and mean very different things, says BehindTheName.com, but they do add some interesting backstory, in any case, to this attention-grabbing one-syllable name for a little one.

21 Jace

newborn-bear

And now, a nice little name for a nice little boy: Jace.

It’s used in English, notes BehindTheName.com, and it is actually (and I’d been wondering about this myself, lately, actually) the short form of the name Jason.

Variations of this name include Jase, Jay, Jayce, and Jae, so you’re sort of getting a whole handful of names for one with this one. (You’re welcome.)

To get more of the meaning, we’ll explain Jason, which comes from Greek words meaning “to heal.” A leader in Greek mythology was called Jason.

20 Jada

baby-bow

How cute is it? Jada… And it’s an interesting one, too.

It’s used in English, and as far as its meaning and history, BehindTheName.com says that it might be simply an elaborate version of the name Jade. Adorable.

In the 1960s, says BehindTheName.com, it started being used generally, and then came the 1990s, when actress Jada Pinkett Smith was big on the scene.

Jade is, of course, that precious stone (which the same site as above notes is often used for carvings). Cool!

Fun fact? It was originally a name that could be applied to either gender.

19 Jaden

Via: Copper Pearl

I’m loving it, and I’m also loving that it is an invented name.

It uses that hit “-aden” seen in monikers such as Braden, Hayden, or Aiden. Those names were big in the ’90s, and so the story goes.

What’s also fun, notes BehindTheName.com, is that it can be used as either a masculine or a feminine name. (Did you see what I said earlier about Jade and related names being huge? I’m tellin’ ya… I have a feeling about this one.)

Some say it’s a variation of Jadon with an “O,” too.

18 Jameson

james-wolk-baby

Let’s play a game. What do you think this name means? I’ll give you a hint: look at the last syllable, and then look at the first two.

If you suddenly realized that the word “son” was baked right into the Jameson-name goodness, then you probably figured this riddle out.

Jameson does indeed mean “son of James,” as is included at BehindTheName.com. This is a nice name, to be sure, for a little boy, and its actually from an English surname (or last name).

17 Joycelyn

via Instagram / little_miss_egypt

Here’s one that sounds interesting and has some interesting history behind it, too. Jocelyn is actually a feminine and masculine name in English and a masculine name only in French.

It comes from the German male name that is spelled either as Gaudelenus, Gautselin, or Gauzlin, or some other variations, actually, too. The Germanic element Gaut was the name of a tribe of Goths, and that was combined with a Latin suffice, and there you have it. Wowza.

So, then, Normans took the name over to England as Goscelin or Joscelin, and it was in common use until like the 1300s, says BehindTheName.com.

Then it was revived in the 1900s, usually for girls, and maybe as a way to adapt the last name Jocelyn.

16 Jared

baby-browns

A nice two-syllable name for a boy is Jared. It’s used in the English language, and it has some biblical connections, so if I had to guess, I’d say you’ve probably heard this particular name at some point before this.

It comes from the Hebrew name that you’d say as Yared or Yered, which means “descent,” according to BehindTheName.com.

The descendent in question here is said to be one of Adam from the Old Testament, by the way, and the name has been used ever since the Protestant Reformation.

It became sort of a hit in the 1960s.

15 Jefferson

baby-mom

Did you see that thing before under the heading “Jameson”? If so, then I bet you might be able to guess the meaning behind the boy name Jefferson without me even typing anything else here…

Yep, this English name means “son of Jeffrey,” according to BehindTheName.com, and also that it comes from an English surname (or last name).

People like to use it to give props to Thomas Jefferson, who was the third prez of the United States and worked on a little doc known as the Declaration of Independence.

14 Jemma

baby-sister-siblings

Again, I’ve met gals named Jenna time and time again, so maybe that’s why I find myself totally vibin’ names that are sort of similar to that old hit in a way and yet sound different and therefore more interesting.

Jemma is a name for a girl, and it’s used in English — across the pond (British), as noted at BehindTheName.com, which also includes that you might do Gemma with a “G” instead. The name is used in Italian, Catalan, British English (as mentioned), and Dutch.

It is actually a nickname from Medieval Italian, and it means, of course, “gem, precious stone.”

Fun fact? It was also Dante’s wife’s name.

13 Jenny

via Kim Hopf Photography

With a sweet sound a lot to love about it, the name Jenny is a nice little choice when it comes to “J” names for a little girl.

It is used in many languages, including English, Swedish, Finnish, German, Dutch, and Spanish, notes BehindTheName.com.

Although one might assume it’s the shortened form of Jennifer (and they would be right, as it has been ever since the mid 20th century), it was at first a nickname for Jane, actually.

Jennifer comes from a Welsh name related to Guinevere, and it was only at the start of the 20th century that this long form of the name (Jennifer, that is) became common in places other than Cornwall.

12 Jeremy

bear-babies-hoodies

Here we have a bit of history. The name Jeremy is the Medieval English form of the name Jeremiah, and it was used in some versions of the New Testament, says BehindTheName.com.

And so for the meaning, we need to look to Jeremiah, too, which comes from the Hebrew name that would be written out Yirmiyahu in this alphabet.

It means “Yahweh will exalt,” referring to the Hebrew God.

This name that Jeremy came from is the name of a prophet in the Old Testament, who is said to have authored the Book of Jeremiah and the book of Lamentations — and to have seen the destruction of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC.

11 June

baby-girl

All of the biblical history of some of these names can be pretty complicated and intense, if you ask me, so let’s take it to something a little simpler: the nice name for a girl June.

Yep, it’s like the name of the month, as in the sixth page in your wall calendar.

That came from the name of Juno, the Roman goddess. The name June has been used as such for a little while, now, ever since the 19th century, adds BehindTheName.com.

10 Jess

Via: Milkmaid Goods

This might be used as the shortened form of the names Jesse or Jessica, and it was actually used for the first time, says BehindTheName.com, by the Bard himself (Shakespeare, of course) in the play The Merchant of Venice, back in 1596.

Cool (says this English major)!

It was the daughter of the character called Shylock, and one might venture that the Bard based this moniker on a biblical name, Iscah, which the same site as above says would have been written out as “Jescha” at the time of the writing.

It only started being used commonly as a first name in the mid 20th century, actually.

9 Junia

baby-sleeping-girl

Junia is a name for a girl, with ancient Roman and biblical connections to be found if you look around just a bit. Junia is the female version of the name Junius, says BehindTheName.com.

Junius was the name of an early Christian who was in the New Testament, and the same site as above notes that it isn’t necessarily clear or agreed upon whether that character is supposed to be a male or a female, actually. Food for thought?

8 Jimena

baby-portrait

How about a Spanish name now, used for a female? The name Jimena is a variation of the name Ximena.

This was the name of El Cid’s wife (and he was a military leader in Spain during medieval times, I am informed after a quick googling of such).

In any case, Ximena is the feminine version of the name Ximeno.

That was a name from Medieval Spanish or Basque that has uncertain meaning, says BehindTheName.com. They say it might be a version of the name Simon, or hey, maybe it could come from the Basque language for the word “son.”

7 Jimmy

mom-baby-boy

It’s a name for a boy used in English, and it’s cute and easy to love. It’s the diminutive form of the name James. James comes from the name Iacomus in Late Latin, which came from Iakobos, which was the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya’aqov (related to Jacob). Got all that?

That’s what it says at BehindTheName.com, which goes onto say that the above name came from two apostles who were in the New Testament: Saint James the Greater and James the Lesser. They say there’s another James who comes up in the Bible, too, James the Just, who is the brother of Jesus.

It’s an old name, of course, hangin’ tough ever since the 13th century in England and of course being given to Scottish kings, one of which inherited the English throne and became the first to rule all of Britain.

Skip over a bunch of time, and you have James Bond, another popular (fictional) bearer of the name you may have heard of.

6 Joanna

via Instagram / little_miss_egypt

This pretty name, Joanna, has English, Polish, and biblical associations.

It is said to be the English and Polish form of the Latin Iohanna. That came from the Greek Ionna, which was the female version of the name Ionnas (which is related to John).

Whoo. That was intense.

Back in England during the middle ages, Joanna was used as a “Latinized” form of the name Joan, which is the regular fem version of the name John. It started to be used a bunch as a first given name during the 19th century, says BehindTheName.com.

5 John

mom-baby-resting

I’m just not sure that any list of “J” names would really be complete without this old classic.

John is (here we go again) the English version of Iohannes, which is Latin for the Greek name Ionnes, which comes from the Hebrew name Yochanan, which means “Yahweh is gracious.”

I know that is sort of a lot to take in.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew version of the name would be spelled like Johanan or Jehohanan, but it’s the New Testament’s revered saints that made the name John popular.

There’s John the Baptist, thought to be sort of like the forerunner of Jesus, says BehindTheName.com, and then also the apostle John.

4 Jordan

boy-toddler-newborn-bed

Use it for a boy. Give the name to a girl. Both have been done before, notes BehindTheName.com. The name Jordan is used in English, French, and Macedonian, and it comes, yes, indeed, from that river that flows between the two countries Jordan and Israel.

In Hebrew, that name would be Yarden, and that comes from the word yarad (“descend” or “flow down”). Makes sense!

Back to the Bible yet again, the river is where John the Baptist, in the New Testament, baptizes Jesus, and Europeans started giving people this name after crusaders started bringing in water to use for baptisms.

The Germanic name Jordanes, the name of a Gothic historian in the 6th century, may have also been a factor in the history of the name.

3 Juniper

baby-outside-mom-photoshoot

Let’s get a little arboreal now, as I always love to do.

The name Juniper is for a female, and it is from the English word for that type of tree, which comes from juniperus in Latin.

BehindTheName.com says as much in a simple explanation of the quite interesting “J” name for a little girl.

What you might enjoy about this one is that it is a modern name. It sounds creative and has connections to nature, to boot.

2 Jure

Via: Google Sites

Because I’ve included names such as John and Jane and the like, I thought I should venture a bit toward some other more varied sources, as well.

That’s why we now find ourselves here, at the name Jure.

Jure is a Slovene or Croatian name for a male, basically another form of the name George.

That old name is used in English and Romanian, and comes from the Greek name Georgios, coming from georgos, which means “farmer, earthworker,” says BehindTheName.com.

1 Justice

Via: Etsy

This seems like a nice way to end our joyful and jubilant jotting down of “J” names for the day (sorry, I just don’t think I can help it…).

Justice as a word? There’s certainly a lot to cherish about it.

And then the word is also a name, one that has been used for both males and females in the English language, actually.

The name Justice is “an occupational surname” that meant "judge, officer of justice" (in the Old French language), says BehindTheName.com.

Or you can give the name with the intended meaning of connecting it to the word “justice.”

References: BehindTheName.com, BabyNames.com, BabyNameWizard.com

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