Jack - Meaning of Jack
[ 1 syll. jac(k), ja-ck ] The baby boy name Jack is also used as a girl name, but it is much more common for boys. Its pronunciation is JHAHK †. Jack is largely used in the English and Dutch languages, and its origin is English and Hebrew. The name developed as a diminutive of the medieval name John, which had a diminutive Johnkin (Middle English) that became Jankin (Middle English) from the West Country accent. This developed into Jackin (Middle English) before being shortened to Jack.
In medieval times, the name was widely used, and it became a slang word meaning 'man'. It is well-known as the archetypal folk hero in many nursery rhymes and fairy tales such as 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 'Jack Sprat', and 'Little Jack Horner'. It has also been used to refer to real or mythical characters of otherwise unknown names, such as the 19th-century persons, the murderer Jack the Ripper and the high-jumping demon Spring Heeled Jack who became the protagonist of many Victorian penny dreadfuls and plays. The name has also been taken as an informal diminutive of James, due to its similarity in sound to Jacques, the French form of James; otherwise, the relation is not etymologically justified.
In addition, Jack is a short form of the name Jackson (English).
Jack is also a Dutch and English diminutive form of the name Jacob (Dutch, English, German, and Scandinavian).
Jack is also an English diminutive form of the name John (English and Hebrew).
The name Jack is used to a great extent; it has 28 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Jaac, Jaak, Jacke, Jackee, Jackey, Jackman, Jacko, Jackub, Jacq, Jacqin, Jak, Jake, Jakk, Jaq, Jax, Jocko, and Siaki. The diminutive forms Jacki, Jackie, Jacky, and Jockey are other English variants.
See also the related form, Jay (English and Indian).
Jack is very popular as a baby name for boys. At the height of its usage in 1927, 1.101% of baby boys were given the name Jack. It ranked at #16 then. The baby name has since experienced a substantial loss in popularity, and in recent years it is of occasional use. In 2012, its usage was only 0.392% and its ranking #46. Within the group of boy names directly linked to Jack, Jacob was the most commonly used. In 2012, the name was twice as popular as Jack. Jack has mostly been a baby boy name in the past century. In 1933, the name Jack was given to 189 times as many baby boys than girls.
† Pronunciation for Jack: JH as in "joy (JH.OY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; K as in "key (K.IY)"
Details of famous persons named Jack:
Actor Jack Black, born 28 August 1969, Hermosa Beach, California.
Actor Jack Klugman, born 27 April 1922, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Actor Jack Lemmon, born John Uhler Lemmon III, 8 February 1925 - 27 June 2001, Newton, Massachusetts.
Actor Jack Lord, born John Joseph Patrick Ryan, 30 December 1920 - 21 January 1998, New York, New York.
Actor Jack Nicholson, born 22 April 1937, Neptune, New Jersey.
Actor Jack Palance, born Walter Jack Palahnuik, 18 February 1919 - 10 November 2006, Lattimer, Pennsylvania.
Actor Jack Wild, born 30 September 1952 - 1 March 2006, Manchester, England.
Actor Jack Hawkins, born John Edward Hawkins, 14 September 1910 - 18 July 1973, Wood Green, Middlesex, England.
Author Jack Kerouac, born Jean Louis Kerouac, 12 March 1922 - 21 October 1969, Lowell, Massachusetts.
Author Jack London, born 12 January 1876 - 22 November 1916, San Francisco, California.