Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Juan

Juan is the Spanish version of the English name John. John is the anglicized version of the Latin “Iohannes”, the Greek “Iōannēs” and the Hebrew “Yochanan” all of which translate to ‘Yahweh (God) is gracious’ or ‘God is generous’. John is a name that originated in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) as one of King David’s mighty men. However, John owes most of its popularity in usage to two prominent New Testament figures: John the Baptist and John the Apostle. Therefore, John has traditionally been a name of great importance since early Christianity. John the Baptist (like Jesus) was born under miraculous circumstances. The angel Gabriel appeared to his father (Zechariah) claiming that God will give his barren wife (Elizabeth) a son (John) to help prepare the way for the Messiah (Jesus). “And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and lived in the wilderness until he became manifest to Israel.” [Luke 1:80]. John the Baptist had the distinction of baptizing Jesus himself in the River Jordan. John the Apostle was a fisherman, the brother of James, and a follower of Christ. He is most known as one of the authors of the four gospels of the New Testament. John’s gospel focuses on Jesus as the “Eternal One of from heaven” and is considerably more theological and philosophical than the other three gospels. John is a name with many forms: Sean (Irish), Ian (Scottish), Giovanni (Italian), Jean (French), Juan (Spanish), Johann (German), Jan (Dutch), and Ivan (Russian). The name was reintroduced to Western Europeans after the First Crusade (11th century) by the Eastern Christians from the Byzantium Empire. From that point on, John became a very popular name throughout Europe in its various forms. Juan is mainly Spanish. It is currently the 28th most popular name in Spain (2009) and ranked quite high in Mexico where it’s generally paired with a second male name (e.g., Juan Pablo, Juan Carlos, Juan Diego, and Juan José). Juan is also popular throughout Latin America and the United States.

All About the Baby Name – Juan



The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged.  They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.



Juan has been on the American popularity charts since the U.S. government began tracking naming trends in 1880. We suspect it’s been around in America since colonial times, particularly given the Spanish influence in our southwestern states. Juan is currently the fourth most popular Spanish male name in America, after Angel, José and Xavier. Just like John has been a perennial favorite among English-speakers, so too has Juan been a top choice among those of Spanish descent. Juan has enjoyed moderately high success in the United States for well over 100 years. It finally became a Top 100 most commonly used boy’s name in 1970 where it has remained for over 60 years. The height of Juan’s popularity came at the turn of the 21st century (1999-2000) when it was a Top 50 choice. Today the name is slipping a little in usage but still very common. Not surprisingly, Juan is ranked the 16th most popular name in the state of Texas, and remains a Top 50 choice in the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California. What do these states have in common? They have the highest concentration of Latino Americans in the nation. We can’t help thinking of Don Juan when we hear the name: the quintessential pick-up artist. Is your little Juan a gracious gift from God or the handsome ladies’ man? Perhaps he’s both. Juan is a classic choice for any little boy.

Quick Facts













The Lord is gracious, God's gracious gift









Cultural References to the Baby Name – Juan

Literary Characters


Dom Juan is the title character in Molière’s play, Dom Juan or the Feast with the Statue, first performed in 1665. It is one of the many treatments of the character of old Spanish legend who is a serial womanizer. In Moliere’s play, Dom Juan is representative of the individual who rails against the moralistic restraints of society (read “the church”), and as such, it was pulled off the stage and only reproduced in a very white-washed version all the way up to 1947, when the original was revived. Throughout the play, Dom Juan runs from one dramatic scene to another, during which he pursues women, abandons them, and defends himself against their aggrieved relatives. His father must bail him out repeatedly – and does so. His valet, Sganarelle, reproaches him constantly over his sinful ways – and stays with him. So loyalty, along with love, are virtues that Dom Juan attracts to himself. He finally comes to his doom at the hands of the ghostly statue of the father of one of his dalliances. Juan is condemned to the fiery pits of hell, and so morals triumph, but not until a whole lot of wickedness has gone down!

Don Juan is George Gordon, Lord Byron’s poetic treatment of the legend, the first two cantos of which were published in 1819. Here Don Juan is seen more as sinned against than sinner, being at the mercy of women who seduce him; nonetheless, he, poor fellow, falls sway. After an affair in his sixteenth year with a young married woman, Don Juan sets off on a long, meandering voyage, encountering madness and mayhem, and of course, love, wherever he sets down. After being shipwrecked, he is rescued on a Greek island by the beautiful young Haidee. Their romance ends disastrously, and Juan is sold as a slave in Constantinople. Here, too, he is loved by the sultana, but her jealousy scares him off, and he runs away to join the Russian Army and ends up in the court of Catherine the Great. She, too – well – you get the picture. Catherine sends him on a diplomatic mission to England, where he wanders among British society, mocking their false morality and their bad taste. In England he meets Aurora Raby – a (gasp) Roman Catholic, who is pious and good, and in love with our hero as well. No doubt if Byron had not met such an early death, Don Juan would have continued his on picaresque journey – perhaps eventually to America, where, no doubt, he would be made President and have his choice of the loveliest ladies of the land.

Leila is a character in Lord Byron’s classic poem, Don Juan, begun in 1819. During his many adventurous voyages, Don Juan rescues this ten year old Muslim orphan girl from the Cossacks, and sees to her well-being as if she were his own. Although she is young and female at a time that does not make many allowances for either, Leila is formidable in her own sense of self. She resolutely refuses to convert to Christianity and maintains her dignified individuality against all odds.

Childrens Books


We cannot find any childrens books with the first name Juan

Popular Songs


Don Juan
a tone poem by Richard Strauss

Juan Valdez, Love
a song by Akinyele [explicit]

Juan in the Rearview Mirror
a song by Eddie From Ohio

Don Juan's Reckless Daughter
a song by Joni Mitchell

Famous People


Juan Ponce de León (Spanish explorer)
Juan Almeida Bosque (Cuban revolution)
Juan Bosch (president of Dominican Republic)
Juan Carlos Ferrero (tennis player)
Juan Carlos I of Spain (King of Spain)
Juan Domingo Perón (President of Argentina)
Juan Gabriel (Mexican singer and songwriter)
Juan Gris (Spanish painter)
Juan Leal (first mayor of San Antonio, Texas)
Juan Ramón Jiménez (Spanish poet and Nobel laureate)
Juan Sebastián Elcano (Spanish explorer)
Juan Silveira dos Santos (Brazilian footballer commonly known as simply Juan)
Juan Trippe (founder of Pan American World Airways)
Juan Valdez (colonial governor of Texas)
Juan de Yepes Álvarez (Spanish poet and Catholic Saint)
Juan Pablo Montoya (racecar driver)

Children of Famous People


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

Historic Figures


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