fem. proper name, Middle English Joan, Jone, variants of Jean, Jane, from Medieval Latin Joanna, fem. of Late Latin Joannes (see John). Often 17c.-18c. used as a generic name for a female rustic, or with Darby as the characteristic names of an old, happily married couple (1735). Among U.S. births, a top 10 name for girls born between 1930 and 1937.
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