Dinah

Dinah (pr. die-nah) is a Hebrew female name meaning “judged” or “vindicated” in Hebrew. It was the name of Jacob and Leah’s daughter in the Old Testament.

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Dina (Hebrew, English)

 

Dana

Dana is an English unisex name though it has multiple origins and meanings. As an English given name it’s derived from a surname, a variant of Dane, referring to someone who came from Denmark or had Danish descent. It could also be a variant of D’Aunay, a Huguenot French name derived from several place names in France called Aunay, of unknown meaning.

It’s also the feminine form of Daniel, a Hebrew male name meaning “God is my judge”, or a feminine form of Dan “judge”, as well as meaning a nickname for names such as Bogdana, a Slavic female name meaning “given by God”; Yordana, the Bulgarian feminine form of Jordan meaning “descend” or “flow down” though the name could also have been influenced by Jordanes, an Old German name that probably derives from Old Norse jord meaning “earth”; and Gordana, the feminine form of Gordan, a Slavic name meaning dignified”.  Dana is also a Persian unisex name meaning “wise”, “knowing”, “learned”. Spelled dána, it’s an Irish word meaning “bold” and “presumptuous”, as well as also being a modern form of Danu, the name of an Irish mother goddess and also a Hindu primordial goddess of the sea. Though the etymology behind the name is unclear I’ve seen it listed as meaning “swift flowing” though it also means “river” from the Avestan word dānu meaning “river”; the Danube river comes from this etymology.

Origin: English, Hebrew, Slavic, Persian, Irish,

Variants:

  • Dayna (English)

 

Dido

Dido (pr. die-do) is the name of the Carthaginian queen featured in Virgil’s Aeneid. She was the founder and very first queen of Carthage (located in modern day Tunisia), who killed herself by throwing herself onto a funeral pyre after the Roman hero Aeneas left her to find a new home for the Trojan people. Though Dido’s real name was Elissa, she was also known as Dido later on, a name which seems to have been given to her by the Libyans meaning “wanderer” since she and her people had been wandering, searching for a new home before arriving at North Africa where she founded Carthage. Other possibly meanings for the name I’ve seen are it could possibly be from Phoenician meaning “virgin”, or related to Akkadian didu used to refer to a woman’s robe (dida) meaning “loosened” or “torn”.

Origin: Libyan, Phoenician, Akkadian

Variants:

  • Didone (Italian)
  • Didon (French)

 

Della

Della originally started out as a nickname for names like Adela, from Germanic element adal meaning “noble”, and Adelaide, the French form of Germanic Adalheidis meaning “noble character” or “noble type” from Germanic elements adal (noble) and heid (kind, sort, type). Della is also an Italian word and surname meaning “of the”, originally used to refer to the place a person originally came from or the name of their father. It comes from Latin di + la.

Origin: Germanic, Latin

Variants:

  • Dela

 

Dalya, Dalia

Dalya is a variant transcription of Dalia, a Hebrew female name meaning “branch”, though Dalia is also an Arabic female name meaning “grape vine”.

Dalia is the name of the Lithuanian goddess of fate meaning “fate, luck” in Lithuanian from dalis (part, portion, share), as well as being a variant spelling and Spanish form of Dahliathe name of a flower named after Anders Dahl; Dahl is a surname that means “valley” from Old Norse dalr.

Origin: Hebrew, Arabic, Lithuanian, Old Norse

Variants:

  • Daliyah (Hebrew)

 

داليا (Arabic)

דַּלְיָה (Hebrew)

 

Demeter

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture who presides over all growing things, particularly crops, the mother of Persephone, and the sister of Zeus. Though the etymology behind the name is uncertain, the second element of the name is from Greek meter meaning “mother”. The first part of the name is a little tricky. It could be linked to da meaning “earth” which is the Doric form of Greek ge (earth) essentially meaning “mother earth”. Another possible theory is that it comes from the same Proto-Indo-European root word as Zeus’s name, *Dyeus, likely meaning “shine” or “sky, heaven, god”.

Demeter is also the Hungarian male form of Demetrius which is actually the masculine form of Greek Demeter.

Origin: Greek, Proto-Indo-European

Female variants:

  • Demetria (Ancient Greek, English)
  • Demetra (Greek, Italian, Romanian)
  • Dimitra (Modern Greek)

 

Male forms:

  • Demetrius (Ancient Greek)
  • Demetrios (Ancient Greek)
  • Dimitrios (Modern Greek)
  • Dimitris (Modern Greek)

 

Dora

Origin: Greek

Meaning: Dora is usually a short form of names like Theodora (meaning “God’s gift”), Isadora (meaning “gift of Isis”), Isadora (meaning “gift of Isis”), Pandora (meaning “all-giving” or “all-gifted”), Medora (possibly based on Greek Metrodora meaning “mother’s gift”), Nymphodora (meaning “gift of the nymph” or “gift of the bride), Menodora (meaning “gift of the moon”) or Dorothy (the English form of Greek Dorothea meaning “gift of God”) though it can also be used as a given name in its own right simply meaning “gift”.