From the Latin word meaning ‘glory’, not used as a given name before the 20th century. It first occurs as the name of a character in George Bernard Shaw's play You Never Can Tell (1898), and was fairly popular in the 1940s and 1950s.
English and Scottish: patronymic from the personal name John. As an American family name, Johnson has absorbed patronymics and many other derivatives of this name in continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.)