Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Jonathan

Jonathan is a Hebrew name, borne from the Old Testament as one of King Saul’s sons. Jonathan is also a devoted friend and supporter of the young David (despite the fact that his father, Saul, is extremely jealous of David). He is thus seen as a symbol of loyalty and friendship. Upon Jonathan’s death in the Bible, David laments: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; very pleasant you have been to me; your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.” (2 Samuel 1:26). Jonathan comes from Yehonathan which is Hebrew meaning “Yahweh has given”. It essentially contains the same Hebrew element as the names Nathan and Matthew, “mattan” meaning “gift”. Brother Jonathan was also the pre-Uncle Sam symbol of the United States of America, derived from Jonathan Trumbull (1710-1785), a friend and confidante of George Washington. Washington called Trumbull “Brother Jonathan” in reference to the Biblical passage mentioned above. As such, Brother Jonathan is not only emblematic of an American, but he is also symbolic of a true and loyal friend. Like many other Hebrew Old Testament names, Jonathan was taken up by the Puritans and other Christian dissenters after the Protestant Reformation. One of the most notable namesakes comes from the 17th / 18th century Anglo-Irish writer, Jonathan Swift (1667-1745).

All About the Baby Name – Jonathan

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME JONATHAN

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME JONATHAN

The name Jonathan has been on the U.S. popularity charts for over a century (which is as far back as we have available data); although, certainly Jonathan was originally brought to America by way of the Puritan colonizers long before that. Fast forward to the beginning of the 20th century, the name pretty much jumped around the chart at low levels of popularity. It wasn’t until the 1950s before the name really picked up any steam. It entered the 1960s as a Top 100 most popular name for boys, and by the end of that decade, he hit the Top 50. By far, the most successful decade for Jonathan was the 1980s when he averaged #17 in terms of usage nationwide. Today, the name is slipping a little, but it’s still hanging onto a Top 50 position. Names that start with “J” are among the most popular for boys, and some parents prefer the rolling three syllable sound (like Joshua, Jefferson or Julian). Jonathan has more dimension than the simple age-old favorite “John”. And yet the pet form, Jon, also provides another option.

Quick Facts

ON JONATHAN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

42

PRONUNCIATION:

JAHN-ə-thən

SIMPLE MEANING:

God has given; friendship, loyalty

Characteristics

OF JONATHAN

Inspirational

Highly Intuitive

Spiritual Teacher

Extremely Bright

Uplifting

Truth-seeker

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Jonathan

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME JONATHAN

Jonathan Harker is one of the central characters of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel, “Dracula.” A young and naïve solicitor, Jonathan is sent to Transylvania to assess the estate of Count Dracula, a foreigner who wishes to move to England. Unfortunately, he quickly finds himself a prisoner in the castle. This doesn’t thwart his determination to uncover the real nature of his captor, the vampire Count Dracula. In the end, Jonathan Harker emerges as a brave and fearless fighter.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull is the title character of Richard Bach’s novella published in 1970. The story (really, a fable) centers around Jonathan, a seagull who does not conform to the ways of his flock. Seagulls are more concerned with eating than with flight – for Jonathan, learning to fly becomes his obsession and his passion. As a result, he is expelled from his flock and lives the life of an outcast happily focused on his flying. Eventually he meets other gulls like him, seeking a “higher plane of existence.” He befriends the wisest of all the gulls, Chiang, who teaches him to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived." The story is about striving for self-perfection and is loaded with Eastern philosophies. "The only true law is that which leads to freedom," Jonathan said. "There is no other."

Popular Songs

ON JONATHAN

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Jonathan


Famous People

NAMED JONATHAN

Jonathan Taylor Thomas (actor)
Jonathan Banks (actor)
Jonathan Demme (director)
Jonathan Franzen (writer)
Jonathan Swift (writer)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (actor)
Jonathan Banks (actor)
Jonathan Demme (director)
Jonathan Franzen (writer)
Jonathan Swift (writer)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (actor)
Jonathan Banks (actor)
Jonathan Demme (director)
Jonathan Franzen (writer)
Jonathan Swift (writer)

Children of Famous People

NAMED JONATHAN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Jonathan

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME JONATHAN

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland to Anglo-Irish parents in 1667. His works are both playfully absurd and extremely witty, but pointed in their targets as contemporary critical social commentary. A grandmaster of satire, Swift’s works (“Gulliver’s Travels” and “A Modest Proposal” most memorably) have been making readers guffaw at the hilariously absurd prose delivered with dead-pan humor. For instance, “A Modest Proposal” is an essay suggesting (quite seriously and grotesquely) that poor Irish people, as a means to avoid their poverty, simply sell their children as food to the wealthy. This was Swift’s way of illuminating society’s inhumane treatment and disregard of the poor. “Gulliver’s Travels” is considered one of the greatest satires on human nature. A brilliant man, Jonathan Swift’s contribution to English literature is immense.

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland to Anglo-Irish parents in 1667. His works are both playfully absurd and extremely witty, but pointed in their targets as contemporary critical social commentary. A grandmaster of satire, Swift’s works (“Gulliver’s Travels” and “A Modest Proposal” most memorably) have been making readers guffaw at the hilariously absurd prose delivered with dead-pan humor. For instance, “A Modest Proposal” is an essay suggesting (quite seriously and grotesquely) that poor Irish people, as a means to avoid their poverty, simply sell their children as food to the wealthy. This was Swift’s way of illuminating society’s inhumane treatment and disregard of the poor. “Gulliver’s Travels” is considered one of the greatest satires on human nature. A brilliant man, Jonathan Swift’s contribution to English literature is immense.

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland to Anglo-Irish parents in 1667. His works are both playfully absurd and extremely witty, but pointed in their targets as contemporary critical social commentary. A grandmaster of satire, Swift’s works (“Gulliver’s Travels” and “A Modest Proposal” most memorably) have been making readers guffaw at the hilariously absurd prose delivered with dead-pan humor. For instance, “A Modest Proposal” is an essay suggesting (quite seriously and grotesquely) that poor Irish people, as a means to avoid their poverty, simply sell their children as food to the wealthy. This was Swift’s way of illuminating society’s inhumane treatment and disregard of the poor. “Gulliver’s Travels” is considered one of the greatest satires on human nature. A brilliant man, Jonathan Swift’s contribution to English literature is immense.