Jane: Meaning, Popularity, Origin of Baby Name Jane

Jane

Pronunciation: JAYN (key)

Origin of the name Jane:

English cognate of the French Jehanne and Jeanne, which are feminine forms of Jean, a cognate of John (God is gracious). Jane, a perennially popular name, was the name of the central character in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre (1847).

From A World of Baby Names by Teresa Norman.

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US Popularity of Jane Over Time

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Comments and insights on the name Jane: | Edit

Jane originally came about as an 16th century aristocratic alternative to the more commonplace Joan.

Everyone sees Jane as too common, so they avoid it, so now Jane is so uncommon but recognisable. It's starting to strike me as a quirky antique.

Janeway is an alternative (as in Capt. Janeway from "Star Trek: Voyager).

Personal experiences with the name Jane: | Edit

My name is Jane and I found it plain and unimaginative when I was younger, but now I feel it to be more classic, elegant and traditional than some of the names I once lobbied my parents to change it to. I have met a precious few people who love my name, and want to call their daughter Jane (usually inspired by Jane Eyre) but I advise against it. The thing I like is that no one mis-spells it or mispronounces it. And no one seems to really hate it. I meet many people who have Jane as their middle name. I never got teased about my name, and all in all I'm ok with it I guess.

I am named Jane and have often asked my parents why they would chose a name synonymous with being ordinary, or completely anonymous. The long list of things I have been called...Plain Jane, Insane Jane, Jane of the Jungle, Jane Doe, and once I was grown up, men used my name as a way to hit on my while I was a bartender, as in "Hey Jane, where's Dick?" or "Hey, me Tarzan, you Jane."

Jane is a solid, old name. Its meaning is wonderful. Some people associate it with strong figures like Lady Jane or Jane Fonda, but it's mostly older people who do. Despite this, I wish it wasn't my name. I wish I was called something more interesting. I couldn't even get an interesting nickname out of it, except for Janey, which sounds childish. I think Jane is one of the best middle names you can have, and it works in second place. It compliments a more interesting first name.

I love this name. Jane.

It is my niece's and great-grandmother's middle name and we love it as a middle name.

Additional Poster: I love that my name is Jane. It's uncommon, but not weird. It's classic, yet rare . As the previous poster stated the typical nicknames ensued when I was younger and I also get the "Me Tarzan" bit way too often. However, unlike the previous poster I am SO glad that my name is Jane. I rarely meet another 'Jane' which means I don't have to include a last initial or nickname to be identified (unlike some of my Jessica and Ashley classmates) . Plus, it's a strong feminine name that doesn't really lend itself to a nickname since it's one syllable and cannot be shortened into a masculine form ( e.g. Josephine to Jo). I agree that it's a great middle name.... and frankly, I hope it doesn't become more popular .

I'm a 28 year old Jane. Aside from the oh-so-irritating "Me Tarzan" line at the bars, I have found most people like my name. It;s easy to spell and remember, it crosses every language. I have (seemingly) overcome the Tarzan jokes by starting with it, as in, "My name is Jane. Like Tarzan." People immediately know what I'm saying (no confusion with Jamie or Joan) and they will never forget it. I will admit, when I was little I absolutely hated being named Jane. Come on. It RHYMES WITH insane. And plain. and a pain and oh so many other fun things.
I started liking it in high school when there were NO other Janes around and suddenly it was unique and special. In a school with over 2000 students that is something awesome. Kind of to the point where I don't actually like other Janes. When I meet another Jane, I usually have to let it slide because she's 4 months old or 90 years old.
I love my name more and more as I get older. I was named after my grandmother and I love that I have that connection with her. My full name is Jane Dorothy which is also a rare-yet-old name and I absolutely love it.
I would absolutely recommend naming a daughter Jane, but choosing your nickname early so others don't do it for you. My mom's favorite was Janey Waney. Obviously not MY favorite. I always liked Janey, with a y because the ie looks too girly and childish for me. Jane is a name too old to be dealing with little hearts or stars over an "i" so no. just throw a y on there, but not in the middle. On the end like a normal person.
Spelling Jane with a Y in the middle is a travesty. (Unless you are a man named Jayne and live in a spaceship) I know a baby named Jayna and I will tell everyone we collectively know that it was the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Jane is a great name, it's classic, old and unmoveable. A woman named Jane is strong, old fashioned, and clever.
That's just been my experience.

Nicknames for Jane: | Edit

Janie, Jae, Janey, J

Meanings and history of the name Jane: | Edit

Jane means "God's grace" or "God is gracious" in Hebrew.

Famous real-life people named Jane: | Edit

Jane Addams, American social activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Jane Austen, British novelist
Jane Asher, actress
Jane Alexander, actress
Jane Birken, singer/actress
Jane Carson, singer
Jane Fonda, American actress and anti-war activist
Jane Goodall, British primatologist
Lady Jane Grey, Queen for nine days during the Tudor period in England.
Jane Krakowski, actress of 30 ROCK fame
Jane Turner, Australian comedian

Jane Powell, actress
Jane Russell, actress
Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII and Queen of England (1536-7)
Jane Seymour, actress (born Joyce Frankenberg)
Jane Wyman, actress
Jane Wiedlin, singer
Jane Yolen, children's author and poet
St. Jane Frances de Chantal aka Jeanne-Francoise Baronne de Chantal(1572–1641), founded The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary

Jane in song, story & screen: | Edit

Jane Volturi, member of the Volturi in the book series The Twilight Saga
Hazy Jane - Nick Drake
Jane Bennet, the eldest in 's and Prejudice
Jane Burnham, daughter in American Beauty, protrayed by Thora Birch
Jane Eyre, in Brontë's book by the same name
Miss Jane Marple, an elderly spinster detective in a series of novels by Agatha Christie
Jane Porter, the eventual wife of Tarzan in Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzan novels and the many film adaptations
Lady Jane and Mary Jane are slang terms for marijuana.
Jane Doe and Jane Q. Public both refer to typical representatives of the general public, or a specific anonymous person.
Jane Stuart, main character in Lucy Maud Montgomery's 1936 novel, "Jane of Lantern Hill."
"Baby Jane" is a song by Rod Stewart.
"Jane Says" is a song released in 1987 by the band Jane's Addiction.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, early 1960s thriller starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
Breaking Benjamin's song "Diary of Jane"
"Sweet Jane" is a song by Velvet Underground
"Song that Jane Likes" by Dave Matthews
"Jane" song by the Barenaked Ladies

No Way
Definitely
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77
No Way
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Smart?

64
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Sexy?

71
No Way
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Friendly?

64
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Creative?

69
No Way
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Strong?

58
No Way
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Young?

69
No Way
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Sophisticated?