Dace is is the name of various small freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae, especially the common dace (Leuciscus leuciscus). The name comes from Middle English dace or darce via Old French dars, a nominative form of dart which is of Proto-Germanic origin *darothuz meaning “dart, spear”, derived from a PIE root word and used to refer to its swiftness in the water. It’s also possible it may be derived from Medieval Latin dardus meaning “spear, dart”.
Dace is also a Latvian female name, originating as a diminutive form of Dārta, the Latvian form of Dorothea, an Ancient Greek name meaning “gift of God”. Dace could also be used as a nickname for Candace, a hereditary title used by Ethiopian queens. It derives from Cushitic kdke meaning “queen” or “queen mother”.
Dace is also an English surname which seems to be an occupational name for someone who sold dace (the fish) for a living, which comes from Old French dars.
Origin: Proto-Indo-European, Cushitic
- Dayce (English)