Van name meaning

Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010

Meaning and Origin

What does the name Van mean? Keep reading to find the user submitted meanings, dictionary definitions, and more.

Origin and Meaning of Van

User Submitted Origins


User Submitted Meanings

  1. According to a user from Ohio, U.S., the name Van is of English origin and means "Heaven royalty prescious".
  2. A user from Australia says the name Van means "Heaven. Royalty. Precious".
  3. A user from Minnesota, U.S. says the name Van means "Heaven, sky".
  4. 2 people from Texas, U.S. agree the name Van is of Vietnamese origin and means "Cloud".
  5. A submission from Canada says the name Van means "God is gracious".
  6. According to a user from Australia, the name Van is of English origin and means "Lord".
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International Interest
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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Van
The front of an army; the first line or leading column; also, the front line or foremost division of a fleet, either in sailing or in battle.

Etymology: Abbrev. fr. vanguard

noun Van
A shovel used in cleansing ore.

Etymology: Cornish

verb Van
To wash or cleanse, as a small portion of ore, on a shovel.
noun Van
  1. A light wagon, either covered or open, used by tradesmen and others for the transportation of goods.(Eng)
  2. A large covered wagon for moving furniture, etc., also for conveying wild beasts, etc., for exhibition.
  3. A closed railway car for baggage. See the Note under Car, 2.(Eng)

Etymology: Abbreviated from caravan

noun Van
  1. A fan or other contrivance, as a sieve, for winnowing grain.
  2. Etymology: OF. vanne, F. vanneau beam feather (cf. It. vanno a wing) fr. L. vannus. See Etymology above

    A wing with which the air is beaten.(Archaic)"/Angels] on their plumy vansreceived him." [Milton.]"He wheeled in air, and stretched his vans in vain; His vans no longer could his flight sustain." [Dryden.]

Etymology: L. vannus a van, or fan for winnowing grain: cf. F. van. Cf. Fan Van a wing Winnow

verb Van
To fan, or to cleanse by fanning; to winnow.

Etymology: Cf. F. vanner to winnow, to fan. See Van a winnowing machine

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A truck with an enclosed cargo space
  2. A camper equipped with living quarters
  3. (Great Britain) a closed railroad car that carries baggage or freight
  4. The leading units moving at the head of an army
  5. Any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)


  1. A diminutive of the male given names Vance or Ivan.


  1. A diminutive of the female given name Vanessa.
Akhtamar Island on Lake Van, with the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a 10th century Armenian church and monastic complex
  1. A large saline tectonic lake of the Armenian Highland in eastern Turkey lakes, famous for its Chalcalburnus tarichi (syn. Alburnus tarichi) fish and the 10th century Armenian cathedral on Akhtamar Island.
  2. A city on the shore of that lake.

Borrowed from Armenian Վան (Van), in many cases via Turkish Van.

  1. A large saline tectonic lake of the Armenian Highland in eastern Turkey lakes, famous for its Chalcalburnus tarichi (syn. Alburnus tarichi) fish and the 10th century Armenian cathedral on Akhtamar Island.
  2. A city on the shore of that lake.

  1. Abbreviation of Vancouver.

  1. A Van cat.
  2. A Turkish Van cat.

    Van was also found in the following language(s): Turkish

    Notable Persons Named Van

    Notable Persons Named Van

    Sir Van Morrison

    Sir Van Morrison is a rock music, rhythm, blues, folk music, soul music, celtic music, jazz, country music, and gospel music musician and singer-songwriter. He plays Vocals, guitar, keyboards, drums, Harmonica, Saxophone, Tambourine, and Ukulele. He holds the title Brown Eyed Girl", Astral Weeks, Wavelength", and Astral Weeks Live at the Hollywood Bowl. He was most active from 1958 to present. Van was given the name George Ivan Morrison on August 31st, 1945 in Bloomfield, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Van is also known as Van the Man and The Belfast Cowboy.

    Van Jones

    Van Jones is an activism, author, advocacy journalism, lawyer, activist, commentator, and attorney. Van was given the name Anthony Kapel Jones on September 20th, 1968 in Jackson, Tennessee, United States.

    Van Johnson

    Van Johnson was an actor, dancer, and singer. He was most prominent from 1935 to 1992. Van was given the name Charles Van Dell Johnson on August 25th, 1916 in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S. He died on December 12th, 2008.

    Van Heflin

    Van Heflin was an actor. His most notable accomplishments were from 1928 to 1928. Van was given the name Emmett Evan Heflin, Jr. on December 13th, 1908 in Walters, Oklahoma, U.S. He passed away on July 23rd, 1971.

    Van Dyke Parks

    Van Dyke Parks is a musician. He plays Moog modular synthesizer. He holds the title Harpers Bizarre – "High Coin" from Anything Goes, Palm Desert" from Song Cycle, and Clang Of The Yankee Reaper" from Clang Of The Yankee Reaper. His ongoing career started in 1953. Van was born Van Dyke Parks on January 3rd, 1943 in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

    Van Cliburn

    Van Cliburn was a classical music pianist. He plays Piano. He was most prominent from 1946 to 2013. Van was given the name Harvey Lavan Cliburn Jr. on July 12th, 1934. Van is also known as Van Cliburn. He passed away on February 27th, 2013.

    • Van Williams
    • Van Hansis
    • Van Hammer
    • Van Thomas Barfoot
    • Van Conner
    • Van Hunt
    • Van Chancellor
      College Coach
    • Van Fan
    • Van Tran
    • Van Patrick
    • Van Alexander
    • Van Hilleary
    • Van Mungo
      Baseball Player
    • Van Praet

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Van

    Notable Persons With the Last Name Van

    Bobby Van

    Bobby Van was an actor, singer, dancer, and game show host. His most notable accomplishments were from 1950 to 1980. Bobby was given the name Robert Jack Stein on December 6th, 1928 in The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S. He breathed his last breath on July 31st, 1980.

    Jessika Van

    Ngô Thanh Vân

    Ngô Thanh Vân is a pop music and dance music musician. Her most notable accomplishments were from 1999 to 1999. Ngô was given the name Ngo Thanh Van on February 26th, 1979. Ngô is also known as NTV Virus.

    Tomiko Van

    Tomiko Van is a j-pop, rock music, and jazz singer-songwriter. She was most active from 1999 to 2005. Tomiko was born on January 9th, 1979 in Yamato, Kumamoto, Japan. Tomiko is also known as Ban-chan.

    Billy Van

    Billy Van was an actor, sketch comedian, singer, and sketch comedy. He was most active from 1950 to 2000. Billy was given the name William Allan Van Evera in 1934 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He passed away on January 8th, 2003.

    Marina de Van

    Marina de Van is a film director, screenwriter, and actress. She has had major accomplishments since 1993. Marina was born on February 8th, 1971 in France.


    Common last names for Van

    • Smith
    • Johnson
    • Williams
    • Davis
    • Nguyen
    • Jones
    • Brown
    • Tran
    • Miller
    • Wilson
    • Thompson
    • Moore
    • Taylor
    • Jackson
    • Thomas
    • White
    • Hall
    • Morgan

    Common first names for Van

    • John
    • Mary
    • Charles
    • William
    • T
    • Harry
    • Elizabeth
    • Clarence

    Ethnicity Distribution

    Ethnicity Van U.S.
      White 22.18% 64.26%
      African American 6.30% 11.96%
      Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 67.23% 4.85%
      American Indian and Alaska Native 0.39% 0.69%
      Two or More Ethnicities 2.10% 1.76%
      Hispanic or Latino 1.81% 16.26%

    Of Last Name Van

    People with the last name Van are most frequently White or Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

    Entire United States

    Fun Facts about the name Van

  1. What name lists does Van rank for?
  2. How Popular is the name Van? Van is the 1,421st most popular name of all time. As a last name Van was the 3,320th most popular name in 2010.
  3. How many people with the first name Van have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2019, the Social Security Administration has recorded 29,613 babies born with the first name Van in the United States. That's more than enough people named Van to occupy the territory of Gibraltar (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 29,441 (as of July 1, 2010).
  4. What year were 5 or more babies first named Van? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1880 when it was given as a first name to 33 new born babies.
  5. When was Van first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Van is Saturday, December 24th, 1870.
  6. What year had the most people named Van born? The highest recorded use of the first name Van was in 1953 with a total of 572 babies.
  7. Random Van Factoid: According to the 1953 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Van is not a popular baby boy's name in Hawaii. Imagine that, only 6 babies in Hawaii have the same name in 1953.
  8. Weird things about the name Van: The name spelled backwards is Nav. A random rearrangement of the letters in the name (anagram) will give Van. How do you pronounce that?
  9. How many people have the last name Van? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 10,798 people with the last name Van.
  10. How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Van? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 4 of them will have Van as their last name.
  11. Related Names by Origin

    Rank Name Gender
    1k Vy Girl
    595 Khoi Boy
    276 Phu Boy
    288 Quynh Girl
    2k Tam Neutral
    1k Vinh Boy
    770 Vu Boy
    604 Thang Boy
    529 Dat Boy
    1k Thai Neutral

    Related Names by Gender

    Rank Name Origin
    1k Nyjah African
    571 Akai Japanese
    340 Siah Hebrew
    333 Aryam Arabic
    133 Tashan Arabic
    1k Dasani Indian (Sanskrit)
    <100 Xiao Chinese
    1k Izel Aztec (Nahuatl)
    5k Yuri Japanese
    1k Rasheen Arabic