[ 2 syll. jo-nah, jon-ah ] The baby boy name Jonah is pronounced in English as JHOW-Nah †. Jonah is used chiefly in the English, French, Scandinavian, and Spanish languages, and its origin is Hebrew. A biblical name, it is derived from the element 'yonah' meaning dove. Yonah (Hebrew) is an original form of Jonah. The name was borne in the Bible by a prophet who was thrown overboard by his shipmates for disobeying God and thereby causing a storm; he was later swallowed by a whale and delivered to land. The biblical story was very popular in medieval times, and the name was consequently adopted by the English Puritans in the 17th century. Sailors traditionally use the name to personify someone who brings bad luck; the association somewhat diminished the popularity of the name in the past. The name Yonina (English and Hebrew) is the female form of Jonah.
Jonah has 14 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Joah, Joenah, Jona (used in Hebrew as well), Jonas (used in French, German, Greek, Scandinavian, and Spanish as well), and Jonasco.
Jonah is popular as a baby name for boys. The name's popularity has been growing since the 1960s. Its usage peaked modestly in 2012 with 0.145% of baby boys being given the name Jonah. It ranked at #131 then. In 2018, its usage was 0.140% and its ranking #145, and it was the most popular among all boy names in its group. In 2018, 4 times more boys were named Jonah than the subsequent ranked name, Jonas.
Baby names that sound like Jonah include Joenah, Giona, Jaemes, Jamesie, Jamesy, Jamez, Jameze, Jamies, Jamis, Jamsie, Janeshe, Janez, Janic, Janick, Janis, Jannic, Jannick, Jannik, Jannis, and Jannus.
† Pronunciation for Jonah: JH as in "joy (JH.OY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)"