Thoughts on Joan

Just looking for general feedback on this name. Does it bring to mind any specific connotations for you? Does it seem too dated or do you think it could be The Next Big Thing stylistically (retro names resurgence possibly)? Nickname idead besides Joanie? Basically whatever you think.
Thanks! :)


June 20, 2013 5:41 PM

Joan, for me, IS Christina Hendricks in Mad Men.  She's so visually iconic and such an interesting character, and Mad Men is so culturally influential, that I think a lot of people will have this reaction. I don't think it'll be the next big thing exactly, but I would expect it to tick up in use.

The character Joan Holloway Harris has completely inverted my idea of Joan - I used to think plain and bookish, but now it's more bombshell. 

Would I name my daughter after this character?  Maybe.  She's breath-takingly beautiful and very shrewd.  In the beginning seasons, she's bitchy and a bit racist (although no more so than many of her contemporaries), but in later seasons she's grown to be both more ambitious and more kind.  On the other hand, she loathes her mother and has an overall unhappy life.

Sorry to fan-girl out there!  If you watch the show, I'm sure you have your own opinions.

The only other connotation I have is Joan of Arc, which I think of as somewhat positive.

For a nickname, Joan could be Jo or Jojo.

June 21, 2013 12:46 AM

Thanks for the fan geek acually!  I've never seen Mad Men myself, as an ex-smoker I find it unwatchable due to the cravings it induces!  Too bad really, it sounds like something I'd enjoy, but I can't get past the first five minutes of the first episode. So anyway I appreciate the character analysis. 

Joan is a family name for my husband and I as well as admiring Joan of Arc.  I already have a Jojo and though I do like Joanie I thought maybe you guys had another idea I hadn't pictured. I guess I could call her the Maid of Orleans or Mommy's Dearest. 

June 20, 2013 6:31 PM

My first thought was how the show Joan of Arcadia made me more able to see the name on a younger person. However, my taste veers pretty far from that style of name, so I can't honestly say that I grew to like it as much as I simply stopped noticing it. While I have not yet seen Mad Men, the character on that show was my second association. There has been talk here and there on this board about the name Lois. If Lois can be considered/used, why not Joan?

June 20, 2013 7:54 PM

I haven't seen Mad Men, so I first thought of Joan of Arc, and then of the mother of a childhood friend. My mom also has some friends named Joan. I guess for me it's middle-aged-a la Kathy.

I don't think it has enough vintage charm to become the next big thing, and I don't think the sound is similar to names currently moving up quickly; however, I can see that changing with Mad Men fans. I know it's a hit; for some reason it just hasn't appealed to me.

I do think Joan has lots to recommend it-easy to say and spell; straightforward and sturdy.

I do think I'd feel compelled to use the nn Joanie. I'm one of those compulsive nicknamers-lol. I've been trying to overcome it since reading this site, but it may be something to consider if you're not a fan. I suppose various forms of Jo would be the other obvious possibilities.

June 20, 2013 7:57 PM

I like Joan and love the nickname Jo.  To me, it is a lot like Jane, another name I really like.

I think to some people, it's probably just a tiny bit dated.  A name they are starting to talk about, but nobody is actually using yet.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it take off in the next few years.

June 20, 2013 9:22 PM

Joan still feels old to me. I'd class it with Shirley and Beverly. I'm sure those names will come back

eventually but I'd be surprised to hear it on a baby. 

It feels worlds away from Jane which feels like the little black dress of names. 

June 21, 2013 11:24 AM

This is what I was thinking. I immediately went to Joan of Arc, then Joan Crawford.

June 20, 2013 9:30 PM

Joan is my mother-in-law's name, so I associate it unavoidably with her.  She's pretty great, though, so it's not a bad association.  She says the name was annoying growing up because it was very popular in her birth year, so she was always "Joan C", and she hates how the vowel gets drawn out when people call for her: JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAN.

I think Jo, Jojo, Joanie (or Joni) are cute nicknames.  I'm not sure it's a name that will revive any time soon, but it's a nice name and I could see it on a kid.

By mk
June 20, 2013 11:21 PM

My first thought was Joan Crawford, but I don't watch a lot of TV so don't know current shows. I don't think it needs a nickname, but I don't like nicknames in general, especially if the name is already short.

It's not really a favorite of mine, sorry. I prefer Jane. Or Joanna and Josephine for a Jo- name.

June 21, 2013 6:13 PM

While not one of my favorites I do like Joan. As for potential revival I think that with its last peak in the 1930s (not quite around under the "100-year rule" yet, but past its fashion low-point) it's one we may see inch back up in a decade or two. (My bets are since it's a single-syllable name that it may be the next Grace or Rose; in other words Joan may become a popular "filler" middle name.)

June 22, 2013 12:00 PM

I think you'd be twenty years ahead of the curve, but that it's a great name. It doesn't feel musty, has no nasty associations (at least not for me), and is easy to spell and pronounce. A winner!