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Updated June 12, 2024

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Girl name origins & meanings

What does Jane mean and stand for?


  • English: God is gracious
  • Hebrew: Gift from God

Gender: Female

Syllables: 1

Pronunciation: The name Jane is pronounced jayn

The name Jane is derived from the Old French name Jehanne, which itself traces back to the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning "God is gracious" or "gift from God." It is a feminine form of John and has been used since the medieval period. It has long been a popular name with ties to English monarchs, including the third wife of King Henry VII Jane Seymour and the "Nine Days' Queen" Lady Jane Grey. Over the centuries, Jane has maintained its popularity and has been a favorite choice across different cultures and contexts.

How Popular Is The Name Jane

Family name origins & meanings


English: variant spelling of Jayne.

Catalan (Jané): variant spelling of Catalan Gener "January", from Latin Januarius.


Famous people with this first name

Famous people who gave their babies this name

Jane in Pop Culture

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

  • Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre - The protagonist of Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre is an orphaned girl who grows up to become a governess and falls in love with Mr. Rochester.
  • Jane Porter from Tarzan - A spirited and brave Englishwoman who becomes the love interest of Tarzan in Edgar Rice Burroughs' adventure novels.
  • Jane Bennet from Pride and Prejudice - The eldest Bennet sister in Jane Austen's novel, she is known for her beauty, kindness, and gentle disposition.
  • Jane Banks from Mary Poppins - One of the two Banks children who are taken on magical adventures by their nanny, Mary Poppins, in P.L. Travers' books and subsequent film adaptations.
  • Jane Foster from Thor - A prominent astrophysicist and love interest of Thor in Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Natalie Portman.

Popularity of the Name Jane

According to Social Security Administration data, Jane has seen varying levels of popularity over the years. Historically, Jane was a top 100 name from the early 1900s until the mid-1970s, but its popularity has declined in recent decades. Despite this, it remains a classic and timeless choice, ranking within the top 500 names in recent years.

Jane has been carried by numerous notable individuals and characters throughout history. In the literary world, Jane Austen, the renowned author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, is one of the most famous bearers of the name. The name also features prominently in Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre. Actress Jane Fonda, known for her work in Klute and Coming Home, as well as her activism, has kept the name in the public eye. Additionally, Jane Goodall is a world-famous primatologist. In film and television, Jane has appeared as a character in series like The Jane Austen Book Club, Jane the Virgin, and Tarzan. Jane Hopper is also the adopted name of "Eleven" in the popular Netflix series Stranger Things. These historical, literary, and modern associations contribute to Jane's enduring appeal.

Where Is the Name Jane Popular?

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

Nicknames for Jane

These shortened names can make great nicknames for your baby.

  • Janie
  • Jan
  • Jay
  • J
  • Janey
  • Jenny
  • Jan-Jan
  • Janny

Jane 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 Jane Also Like

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