Hans is a given name ('first name') that is very common in many European countries. It is a shortening of Johannes, making it the brother of the English John.

Americans usually think of Hans as a German name, but it is also common in Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic and Swedish.

Hans has dozens of variants, including the famous Hansel. As you follow the etymology of Johannes, you can equate Hans to anything from Juan or Jack to Ian and Shaun, along with more Europeans variants such as Hannes and Henning. Feminine forms include Hanne and Hannah, along with Joan, Jane, Jean, Janice, and Janet.

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