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Updated April 25, 2024

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Boy name origins & meanings

What does Jack mean and stand for?


  • English: God is gracious
  • Old English: Jackin (a diminutive form of John)
  • Middle English: Jankin or Jackin
  • Hebrew: The supplanter; God's grace

Gender: Male

Syllables: 1

Pronunciation: The name Jack is pronounced jak

The name Jack, originally a diminutive form of John, comes from the Old English name "Jackin", which itself evolved into "Jankin" and later "Jack". It has been used in England since the Middle Ages and before landing on Jack, the name went from John to Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin.. The meaning "God is gracious" connects Jack to its Biblical roots, reflecting the name's long history and cultural resonance. While traditionally a male name, its simplicity and timeless nature have made Jack a popular protagonist name in stories and media.

How Popular Is The Name Jack

Family name origins & meanings

Scottish and English: from a Middle English personal name, Jakke, from Old French Jacques, the usual French form of Latin Jacobus, which is the source of both Jacob and James. As a family name in Britain, this is almost exclusively Scottish.

English and Welsh: from the same personal name as above, Jakke, taken as a pet form of John.

German (also Jäck): from a short form of the personal name Jacob.

American: The Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.

Famous people with this first name

Jack in Pop Culture

Do you know these fictional characters that share this first name?

  • Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean - The witty and unpredictable pirate captain known for his eccentric personality and love of freedom.
  • Jack Dawson from Titanic - A free-spirited artist who wins a ticket aboard the RMS Titanic and falls in love with Rose DeWitt Bukater.
  • Jack Torrance from The Shining - A troubled writer who descends into madness while serving as the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel.
  • Jack Ryan from Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan - A former Marine turned CIA analyst who finds himself thrust into the field to stop global threats.
  • Jack Bauer from 24 - A dedicated and skilled CTU (Counter Terrorist Unit) agent who works tirelessly to protect his country from terrorism.

Popularity of the Name Jack

According to Social Security Administration data, Jack has enjoyed long-standing popularity in the United States. It has consistently ranked within the top 50 names for boys over the past decade, showcasing its enduring appeal.

Jack is a familiar name from early childhood with the likes of Jack and Jill, Jack Sprat, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Jack Horner to name a few. Jack has been a favored name across various cultures and historical periods, notable bearers including President John F. Kennedy, famously known as Jack, actor Jack Nicholson, and author Jack London.

In literature and media, Jack is a versatile name that has been given to characters ranging from heroes to antiheroes, reflecting a broad spectrum of personality traits and narratives. Jack has also become a popular name for main characters in TV shows 24, Lost, and 30 Rock.

Where Is the Name Jack Popular?

This name is most popular across certain states in the U.S., including those highlighted on the map below.

Nicknames for Jack

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Jacko
  • Jacky
  • Jax
  • Jay

Jack Pairs Well With These Middle Names

Looking for a middle name that fits perfectly? Consider these!

Appears On

Browse these related baby name lists that feature this name and many, many more!

People Who Like the Name Jack Also Like

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