Dennis

Dennis is the English form of Dionysius, the name of the Greek god of the vine, wine, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy, who represented both the intoxicating madness of wine as well as its beneficient qualities. He was the son of Zeus and the Theban princess Semele, making him the only god with a mortal parent and the last god to enter the Greek pantheon.

Although the etymology of his name isn’t quite clear-cut, the first part of the name, Dio-, means “of Zeus” though it could also be related to Proto-Indo-European *dyews meaning “sky, heaven, god” and “shining”. The second part -nysus might be derived from Nysa, the name of a mountain in which Dionysios was raised by the nymphs who loved there; the name might be related to an archaic Greek word meaning “tree”.

Dennis is also a surname derived from the given name.

Origin: Ancient Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Variants:

  • Denis (French, Russian, English, German, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Romanian, Croatian)
  • Denys (Ukrainian, English)
  • Denny (English)
  • Dennie (English)
  • Dionýz (Slovak)
  • Dionisie (Romanian)
  • Dénes (Hungarian)
  • Tenney (medieval English diminutive of Denis)
  • Dinis (Portuguese)
  • Diniz (Portuguese)
  • Dionísio (Portuguese)
  • Dionisio (Spanish)
  • Deon (English)
  • Deion (English)
  • Dion (Ancient Greek, English short form of Dionysios)
  • Dionysos (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dionysius (Ancient Greek)

 

Female forms:

  • Denise (English, French, Dutch)
  • Denice (English)
  • Deniece (English)
  • Denisa (Czech, Slovak, Romanian)
  • Dionisia (Italian, Spanish)
  • Dionísia (Portuguese)
  • Dionysia (Late Roman)
  • Diot (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)
  • Dye (Medieval English diminutive of Dionysia)

 

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