Pet form of John, also used as an independent given name from the 16th century onwards. In the United States it is occasionally also used as a girl's name. Famous bearers include the American country singer Johnny Cash (1932–2003) and the film actor Johnny Depp (b. 1963).
English: from Middle English yates ‘gates’, plural of yate, Old English geat ‘gate’, hence a topographic name for someone who lived near the gates of a walled town, or a metonymic occupational name for a gatekeeper.