Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Jack

The name Jack started out as a pet form for the name John (which in Middle English was spelled Jehan and was morphed into the nickname Jankin which would later become Jack). John is derived from the Hebrew name “Johahah” meaning ‘God is gracious.’ In Scotland, they used the pet form “Jock.” Jack also has a history of being used as a nickname for James, as well; although not as common. Jack has become a well-established first name in its own right, having been bestowed for at least a couple of centuries. The name is wildly popular in the U.K. Based on 2009 data; Jack was the #1 name for boys in Scotland and Ireland, and ranked #2 in England, Wales and Australia. That’s some serious popularity. In the meantime, over in North America, Jack is a Top 20 name in Canada and a Top 50 name in the United States.

All About the Baby Name – Jack

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME JACK

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME JACK

Jack has been used as a given name in the United States at least since the government began tracking naming patterns in 1890. At the turn of the 20th century, the name was a Top 50 choice. In the 1920’s, Jack enjoyed being a Top 20 preference. By the mid-1960’s, Jack’s popularity diminished a little as it dropped off the Top 100 list. Not to worry. It jumps back onto the list in 1996 and so far in this century, Jack is squarely on the Top 50 list of most-favored boy’s names. Given the name’s long history on the American popularity charts, we’d call it a modern classic. It has a snappy one-syllable sound that’s strong and manly. It’s cute for a little boy, but ages nicely into adulthood. It’s the quintessential male name; no sissies allowed, please. It should also be noted that Jack finally stepped aside for the now-more-popular Jackson on the U.S. popularity charts, which just surpassed Jack in usage in 2006.

Quick Facts

ON JACK

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

40

PRONUNCIATION:

JAK

SIMPLE MEANING:

God is gracious

Characteristics

OF JACK

Mystical

Wise

Eccentric

Intuitive

Imaginative

Philosophical

Solitary

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Jack

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JACK

Jack Duluoz is Jack Kerouac’s fictional alter-ego, appearing in Vanity of Duluoz, Kerouac’s last published novel, among others. He is an older, more cynical version of the earlier Sal Paradise character of On The Road, his groundbreaking “beatnik” novel. Though he may no longer have the wide-eyed lust for life as his younger self, he is nonetheless still feverishly alive and burning with the desire to “…never yawn”.

Jack Pumpkinhead is a delightful character in the L. Frank Baum beloved Oz series of books (continued after Baum’s death by other writers). He is a colorfully dressed, tall and lanky figure made from tree limbs, with a huge pumpkin for a head. Jack has to grow replacement heads in his garden because, of course, the pumpkins keep aging and rotting. Jack has marvelous adventures with the other characters who people Oz, and in spite of his limited intelligence, somehow always manages to save the day.

Jack Ryan is Tom Clancy’s derring-do protagonist in his hugely popular novels, first featured in The Hunt For Red October, which was also a very successful movie. He is a kind of super-man, being a Marine, a pilot, a stockbroker, a CPA, a professor of history and a CIA agent at one time or another, all the while managing to marry and father four children and fight international terrorist, spies, drug cartels, etc. A kind of Everyman for the Boychild, Jack Ryan embodies the ultimate in cool behavior under extreme pressures.

Jack Tanner is the hero of George Bernard Shaw’s 1903 play Man and Superman, a revolutionary who stands in contrast to all that conventional British society of the time revered, including the institution of marriage. The play explores both the philosophical aspects of such institutions as well as their comedic side effects, and loquacious Jack, the self-confirmed bachelor, finally falls victim to the forceful Ann’s wedding schemes.

Ernest is the protagonist of Oscar Wilde’s comedy of manners, “The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People”, which was first performed in London in 1895, and probably remains his most popular play. John (Jack) Worthing maintains an alter-ego in London in the persona of Ernest, his make-believe younger brother, whose foibles he is constantly called upon to remedy. In the country he is known as a sober and conservative gentleman, whereas in the disguise of Ernest in London he is able to follow a rather libertine lifestyle. As Ernest, he proposes to Gwendolen, who accepts him, mainly based upon the fact that his name is Ernest; she has stated that she must marry a man named Ernest. Of course. Lady Bracknell, Gwendolen’s harridan of a mother, does not approve of the match, however, as Mr. Worthington, whatever his true name, was a foundling. Many plot twists and identity switches later, it is discovered that Worthington is in fact a relative of Lady Bracknell, having been lost in a train station as an infant by his nursemaid. This suddenly makes him suitable as a suitor for Gwendolen. That young lady, however, does not want to marry him now because his name is not Ernest, but Jack. Of course. But not to worry – army records of Jack’s father are examined and prove him to have been one Ernest Moncrieff, for whom, as first born, Jack would have been named. So he is Ernest, after all, and that is important, because otherwise, Gwendolen wouldn’t have married him. So now you know the importance of being earnest.

Popular Songs

ON JACK

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
by Joan Baez

Me & Hank & Jumpin' Jack Flash
a song by Stuart Marty

Black Jack Fletcher and Mississippi Sam
a song by Montgomery Gentry

Big Jack
a song by AC/DC

Black Jack Blues
a song by Fleetwood Mac

Boss Jack
a song by Johnny Cash

Captain Jack
a song by Billy Joel

Fat Jack
a song by Steppenwolf

From a Jack to a King
a song by Elvis Presley

Get Up Jack
a song by Joan Osborne

Happy Jack
a song by The Who

Hit the Road Jack
a song by Ray Charles

Jack and Diane
a song by John Mellencamp

Jack Straw
a song by The Grateful Dead

Jumping Jack Flash
a song by the Rolling Stones

The Jack
a song by AC/DC

Famous People

NAMED JACK

Jack Benny (entertainer)
Jack Black (actor)
Jack Cassidy (actor)
Jack Carpenter (actor)
Jack Lemmon (actor)
Jack Lord (actor)
Jack Nicholson (actor)
Jack Palance (actor)
Jack Scalia (actor)
Jack Wagner (actor)
Jack Warner (film executive)
J. P. "Jack" Morgan, Jr. (businessman)
Jack Welch (businessman)
Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel (whiskey maker)
Jack London (author)
Jack Kerouac (author)
Jack Bruce (guitarist)
Jack Casady (guitarist)
Jack Johnson (musician)
Jack Russell (musician)
Jack White (musician)
John F. “Jack” Kennedy (U.S. President)
Jack Nicklaus (golfer)
Jack Johnson (boxer)
Jack Dempsey (boxer)
Jack Kevorkian (pathologist)
Jack Benny (entertainer)
Jack Black (actor)
Jack Cassidy (actor)
Jack Carpenter (actor)
Jack Lemmon (actor)
Jack Lord (actor)
Jack Nicholson (actor)
Jack Palance (actor)
Jack Scalia (actor)
Jack Wagner (actor)
Jack Warner (film executive)
J. P. "Jack" Morgan, Jr. (businessman)
Jack Welch (businessman)
Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel (whiskey maker)
Jack London (author)
Jack Kerouac (author)
Jack Bruce (guitarist)
Jack Casady (guitarist)
Jack Johnson (musician)
Jack Russell (musician)
Jack White (musician)
John F. “Jack” Kennedy (U.S. President)
Jack Nicklaus (golfer)
Jack Johnson (boxer)
Jack Dempsey (boxer)
Jack Kevorkian (pathologist)
Jack Benny (entertainer)
Jack Black (actor)
Jack Cassidy (actor)
Jack Carpenter (actor)
Jack Lemmon (actor)
Jack Lord (actor)
Jack Nicholson (actor)
Jack Palance (actor)
Jack Scalia (actor)
Jack Wagner (actor)
Jack Warner (film executive)
J. P. "Jack" Morgan, Jr. (businessman)
Jack Welch (businessman)
Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel (whiskey maker)
Jack London (author)
Jack Kerouac (author)
Jack Bruce (guitarist)
Jack Casady (guitarist)
Jack Johnson (musician)
Jack Russell (musician)
Jack White (musician)
John F. “Jack” Kennedy (U.S. President)
Jack Nicklaus (golfer)
Jack Johnson (boxer)
Jack Dempsey (boxer)
Jack Kevorkian (pathologist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JACK

Kristin Cavallari;

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JACK

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Jack