WHAT IT MEANS: John means “God is gracious”; Michael, “Who is like God”
WHERE IT ORIGINATED: John is the English variant of the Latin Ioannes which ultimately derives from the Hebrew name Yochanan. Michael is from the Hebrew name Mikha’el. The use of both names has been prevalent across Europe since after the First Crusade.
KNOW THIS: John — once the most popular boys’ name in the US for 43 years — has never charted lower than #28 (in 2012). Likewise, Michael reigned as #1 for 42 years.
POP CULTURE CONNECTION: Though four American presidents have been named John, there has never been a Michael.