Gender: Masculine
Origin: Slavic
Meaning: “God given”

The name is composed of the Old Slavonic elements, bog meaning god and dan meaning “given.”

Since this is one of the very few names to include the element of dan, it is sometimes suggested to be a Scythian remnant, of whom the name Bagadata (same meaning) was frequent.

In the Southern Slavic countries, the name was often used as a vernacular translation of the Greek, Theodosios (given by God)”

The name is very common in just about all the Slavic countries.

Among Eastern European Jews, the name was often used as an equivalent for Nathaniel or Jonathan.

Other forms of the name include:

Bogdan (Bulgarian/Croatian/Polish/Romanian/Ukrainian)
Bohdan Богдан (Czech/Slovene/Serbian/Ukrainian)
Bogdán (Hungarian/Slovak)
Bodan (Polish: archaic)
Bogodan/Bogudan (Polish: archaic)

A Croatian/Serbian diminutive is: Boško.

Czech diminutives are: Bohdánek, Bóža, Dan, Boja, Bodik, Boďa and Bohdy.

Slovene diminutives include: Bogo, Dan, Danče, Danček, Dančo, Dane and Dani.

Bogdana is the feminine form used in all of the above listed countries.

Bohdana is the Ukrainian feminine form.

Bogdan was borne by several Moldovian rulers.

The designated name-days are: January 6 (Bulgaria); March 19 (Poland); July 17 (Poland); August 10 (Poland) and October 9 (Poland).




Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh has given.”

The name is derived from the Hebrew יְהוֹנָתָן (Yehonatan) meaning, “Yahweh has given.” The name is considered a longer version of Nathan, and shares the same roots as Matthew. Contrary to some sources, John did not start off as short form of Jonathan.

In the Old Testament, it is the name of the eldest son of Saul and a friend of David. Their friendship is often used as an example of the most perfect form of brotherly love among Christian and Jewish ethicists.

In the English speaking world, Jonathan did not catch on until after the Protestant Reformation.

Currently, Jonathan is the 26th most popular male name in the United States, (2008). His rankings in other countries are as follows:

  • # 75 (Australia, 2008)
  • # 58 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
  • # 69 (Chile, 2006)
  • # 101 (the Netherlands, 2009)
  • # 41 (Norway, 2009)
  • # 33 (Sweden, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Jonatan (Catalan/Croatian/German/Polish/Scandinavian/Slovene)
  • Jonatán (Czech/Slovak/Spanish)
  • Jonathan (Dutch/English/French/German/Scandinavian)
  • Joonatan (Finnish)
  • Ionathan/Jehonathan Ιωναθαν (Greek: Biblical)
  • Yonatan/Yehonatan יוֹנָתָן יְהוֹנָתָן (Hebrew)
  • Jónatan (Icelandic)
  • Ionatán (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Gionatan (Italian)
  • Jónatas (Portuguese)

Common English short forms include: Jon, Jonny, Jonty and sometimes even Nathan.

A common Hebrew short form is Yoni.

The designated name-day is March 1 (France).


  1. Judges 18:30
  4. Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges, Oxford Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, p.147.
  5. The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition – Page 342 by Dan Isaac Slobin