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Origin, Meaning And History Of Joanna

Joanna is mostly considered to have a Hebrew origin, coming from the Hebrew word ‘Yohannah’. The name means ‘God is Gracious’ or ‘Yahweh is merciful’ in Hebrew culture. Additionally, the name is derived from the English and Polish version of the Latin ‘lohanna’ which in turn is derived from the Hellenistic Greek ‘loanna.’ This version ‘loanna’ is considered a feminine form of the name John.

The name appears in the New Testament of the Bible, where it is believed that a woman named Joanna devoted herself to travel with Jesus for a long time and later became a saint. According to the Bible, Joanna was known as the ‘wife of Chuza’ and was a close associate of Mary Magdalene who traveled with Jesus. Chuza was the steward of Herod Antipas, the ruler of the Herodian dynasty during the 1st century. Joanna was widely admired and celebrated for her ability to cure evil and infirmities. She is called ‘Saint Joanna the Myrrhbearer’ and honored as one of the eight women who carried myrrh on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers. Myrrh was used as a perfume, medicine and incense. The name is said to have suddenly gained popularity in Spain and south of France in the 12th century.

There is also a theory that suggests Joanna to be a combination of Jo and Anna where the latter comes from the name Hannah. Hannah and its different versions such as Anna, Anne, and Ann all share similar meaning as Joanna.

The name has many variations, such as Johanna, Joann, Joan, Joanne, Janet, Janice, Jan, Jean and Jeanne. It was mostly adapted as Jane in the middle of the 16th century. For instance, Joanna is a common name in France.

Joanna has also had an influence on the entertainment industry. For example, the famous novel ‘Witches of East End’ by Melissa de la Cruz features Joanna Beauchamp, the main character. In the fantasy novel The Power of Five, Joanna Chambers is described as a scientific and cultural expert. Even video game creators have found the name appealing, with Joanna Dark being the protagonist of the video game series ‘The Perfect Dark’, and Joanna Mills being the lead character of the American thriller ‘The Return’.


heart image
God is gracious
Koinē Greek, Hebrew
1 word, 6 letters, 3 vowels, 3 consonants
Medium length and easy to pronounce

How To Pronounce Joanna?

Pronounced as joh-ahn-nah

The way you pronounce a name can make all the difference.

Listen to the sound of the name Joanna in English.

Famous People With The Name Joanna

  • Joanna NewsomAmerican singer, popular for her songs in the movie The Family Jams
  • Dame Jaonna Lamond LumleyBritish-American actress and TV producer, won British Academy Television Special Award
  • Joanna GainesAmerican designer, best known for her farmhouse interiors
  • Joanna MooreAmerican actress, popular for Countdown and Follow That Dream
  • Joanna HoggBritish film director, best known for her nomination in British Independent Film Award
  • Joanna Krupa Polish model, best known as the top judge of the reality show Polish Top Model

Joanna On The Popularity Chart

The name Joanna has fluctuated in popularity over the years. Take a look at the charts below to see its journey.

Popularity Over Time

The name peaked in popularity in 1984 with 3330 babies per million getting the name. After that, it has gradually declined in popularity.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

Similarly, it saw a peak in 1984 ranking 88 in the chart. It gradually declined touching a low of 343 in 2013.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Joanna

If you like the sound of Joanna and want to explore more name that have a similar sound, take a look at the following suggestions.

Popular Sibling Names For Joanna

If you are looking for some matching sibling names that resonate with Joanna, check our suggestions here.

Boy Sibling Names For Joanna

Find matching brother names for Joanna and create a wonderful team of siblings.

Jan heart imageJanek heart imageJani heart imageJanic heart imageJanie heart imageJanis heart imageJanko heart imageJannes heart imageJannic heart imageJannik heart image

Girl Sibling Names For Joanna

Looking for some suitable sister names for Joanna? Check out our collection of beautiful and unique names.

Jana heart imageJanada heart imageJanah heart imageJanalee heart imageJanaliz heart imageJanata heart imageJanay heart imageJaneah heart imageJanean heart imageJanee heart image

Other Popular Names Beginning With J

Looking for more baby names starting with the letter J to resonate with your family’s naming tradition or to rhyme with the sibling names? Find a range of alternative names starting with this letter.

Names With Similar Meaning As Joanna

If you are searching for names with a similar meaning as Joanna, listed below are some names that share the same meaning as Joanna.

Popular Songs On The Name Joanna

Infographic: Know The Name Joanna‘s Personality As Per Numerology


Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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How To Communicate The Name Joanna In Other Languages

In Nautical Flags


In Sign Language


In Braille Alphabet


In Morse Code


Name Numerology For Joanna

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the meaning of the name Joanna?

The name Joanna means ‘God is gracious.’

2. What is the origin of the name Joanna?

Joanna has Hebrew and Greek origins.

3. How to pronounce the name Joanna?

Joanna is pronounced as joh-ahn-nah.

4. What are some nicknames for Joanna?

5. Is Joanna a rare name?

Joanna is not considered a rare name. It has a timeless charm and has been used for many years. The name has maintained steady popularity and ranking in the US, and in 2022, it was given to 996 female babies (1).

6. Is Joanna a traditional name or a modern name?

Joanna is associated with a rich history and strong cultural significance. Joanna has biblical origins, as a feminine form of the name John, adding to its traditional appeal; hence, making it a popular choice among parents throughout the years. According to SSA, the name has been listed among the top 1000 US names for girls since 1920 (1).

7. Does Joanna have any religious or biblical associations?

In the New Testament, Joanna is recognized as a significant figure with religious and biblical associations. She is mentioned in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 8:3) among the women who were devoted followers and supporters of Jesus during his ministry.


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  1. Popularity of name Joanna.
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