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Jackson Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Jackson including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Jackson Overview

  • Meaning: Son of Jack/John.
  • Gender: Male.
  • Origin: British, Scottish.
  • Pronunciation: JAK-sen.
  • Popularity: The name is very popular in the United States, figuring regularly in the Top 100 lists and Top 20 lists.
  • Nicknames: Jack, Jay, Jacky.
  • Variations: Jax, Jaxon, Jaxson.
  • Namesakes: Michael Jackson, Andrew Jackson.

What Does Jackson Mean?

Jackson is a patronymic name that means “son of Jack” (or “son of John”).

This baby name has a long history dating back to historical England, where it began as a last name. But in recent years, Jackson has become a popular first name. Now, it seems like Jackson is popular!

Besides being a common people name, Jackson seems to be a favorite place name, too. Several states have a town named Jackson. Does the capital of Mississippi ring a bell?

What Is the Origin of the Name Jackson?

The origin of the name Jackson is English and Scottish (1). However, it’s difficult to discern exactly where it came from, as there are plenty of likely sources.

The English could have drawn inspiration from the name “Jackin,” which is a medieval diminutive for John. Another likely option is that Jackson came from the Old French given name “Jacques,” which is a French variation of the English name Jacob.

How Popular Is the Name Jackson?

As a last name, Jackson has always been popular (2). And the same can be said for Jackson as a first name, which has consistently topped Top 100 baby name lists in the past two decades.

At present, Jackson is popular–very popular. Though its popularity peaked in March 2019, the name shows no signs of slowing down. Consider this fact: Jackson now ranks higher than its classic counterparts John and Jack. Perhaps this change has something to do with the notion that Jackson is considered a modern twist on these classic names.

Jackson’s meteoric rise to popularity is not limited to the United States, either. It’s in vogue in places like Australia and the United Kingdom, too, though perhaps more as a last name. You can find tons of Jacksons in northern England, for example.

We can also observe some regional popularity in the United States. If you’re in Washington D.C., chances are you’ll run across a Jackson or two. The name is also common in certain southeastern states, like Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana.

How Do I Pronounce Jackson?

If you’re considering Jackson as a name for your son, the good news is that it’s easy to spell and pronounce: JAK-sen. You’re not likely to run into any mispronunciations.

However, given the prevalence of Jackson variations (see below), you may be spelling your son’s name more often than you would think.

Is Jackson a Boy or Girl Name?

Jackson is a boy’s name. However, some of its nicknames, like Jacky or Jackie, may be girl names.

Variations of Jackson

Even if you’ve fallen in love with this beautiful name, you may be concerned about there being too many Jacksons on the playground. While there may be another Jackson or two in your son’s class, you can choose a variation of the name to help him stand out.

Consider one of the following fun twists on this classic boy’s name.

  • Jax (English)
  • Jaxon (English)
  • Jaxson (English)
  • Jaxsen (English, Hebrew)

Nicknames for Jackson

What makes Jackson such a fun name for your son is the opportunity for cute nicknames. Some of these nicknames are super sweet for a boy, and all of them grow well into adulthood. These include:

  • Jack
  • J or Jay
  • Jax
  • Jackey, Jacky, or Jackie
  • Son

Similar Names to Jackson

If you find yourself drawn to the name Jackson, you may also like the following names:

Middle Names for Jackson

Jackson is a strong name on its own, but it also goes well with many middle names. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

Sibling Names for Jackson

Looking for the perfect sibling name to pair with Jackson? You have plenty of options to go with this cool name.

Famous People Named Jackson

There is no shortage of famous people named Jackson, both as a last name and as a given name. Some famous Jackson last names include:

  • Andrew Jackson: United States president.
  • Janet Jackson: American singer.
  • Jimmie Lee Jackson: Civil rights activist.
  • Michael Jackson: American musician.
  • Peter Jackson: Film director from New Zealand.

And when it comes to those with Jackson as a first name, we can also find several examples.

  • Jackson Browne: American singer, songwriter, and political activist.
  • Jackson Duggar: Reality TV star.
  • Jackson Kelly: American actor.
  • Jackson Odell: American actor.
  • Jackson Pollock: American painter.
  • Jackson Rathbone: American actor.

Jackson in Popular Culture

Given the prevalence of the name Jackson in recent years, it’s no surprise that we can find plenty of references in pop culture. Some of the most noteworthy include:

  • Jackson Avery: Character on the television series “Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Jackson Curtis: Character in the movie “2012.
  • Jackson Stewart: Character on the television series “The Originals.”
  • Jackson Whittemore: Character on “Teen Wolf.”

Jackson FAQs

Now, let’s address some commonly asked questions about the name Jackson.

Is Jackson a Religious Name?

In some cultures, Jackson is considered a biblical boy’s name. Remember that Jack is a variation of the name John, and so the name means “son of John.” As such, it could share the common meaning of John, “God has been gracious.”

Is Jackson a Unisex Name?

Despite Jackson’s rise to the top of the boy name lists in recent years, some daring parents name their little girls Jackson, too. You may even be surprised to learn that the name was more common for girls about a decade ago. However, it is considered a male name nowadays.

How Old Is the Name Jackson?

The name Jackson has stood the test of time. As a last name, we can find evidence of its usage in England as far back as the 1200s. Although the spellings were different at this time (Jakson, Jackson, Jackson), it’s clear that this name is culturally significant.

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