Devon

Devon is the name of a county in England which derives its name from a Celtic tribe who inhabited the area known as the Dumnonii which is made up from Proto-Celtic *dubno- meaning “deep” or “world” and *nanto meaning “stream” or “valley” so the name would mean “deep valley” or “deep stream”. It may also be a variant spelling of Devin, a surname which either originated as a nickname for someone who acted divinely from Old French devin meaning “divine” from Latin divinus (soothsayer, fortuneteller); or Devin could be an anglicized form of Gaelic surname Ó Damháin meaning “descendant of Damhán”, the latter meaning “fawn” from Gaelic damh (stag, ox), or an anglicized form of Ó Dubháin “descendant of Dubhán”, the latter the diminutive form of dubh “black, dark”.

Origin: Proto-Celtic, Latin, Gaelic

Variants:

  • Devin (English, Irish)
  • Deven (English)
  • Devan (English)
  • Devyn (English)
  • Devona (English) female

 

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Danina

Danina is a female given name of uncertain meaning and etymology. At first glance it seems like a feminine form of Daniel meaning “God is my judge” and in some cases it may be based on that; but it also seems to have older roots than that, as the name of one of a pair of pre-Christian Georgian deities in the former Georgian kingdom of Kartli (also known as Iberia to classic scholars), known as Danina and Ainina (or Danana and Aynina). There isn’t much known about them- they may be two different versions of the same name which may be linked to the Persian goddess of fertility and water Anahita (whose name means “pure, immaculate, undefiled”) or even Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess of fertility, sex, war, and love; her name is of unknown meaning. Danina is also a Polish word meaning “tribute, ransom” from Old Polish dań derived from Proto-Indo-European *deh₃- (to give).

Origin: Hebrew, Avestan, Proto-Indo-European

 

 

Davina

Davina is the feminine form of David, which comes from a Hebrew male name meaning “beloved”.

Origin: Hebrew

Variants:

  • Davinia (English)
  • Davena (English)
  • Davida (English)

 

Male forms:

  • David (English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian)
  • Dávid (Hungarian, Slovak)
  • Dovid (Yiddish)
  • Daud (Arabic, Indonesian)
  • Dawud (Arabic)
  • Dawood (Arabic)
  • Dawid (Polish, Biblical Hebrew)
  • Daveth (Cornish)
  • Taavet (Estonian)
  • Taavetti (Finnish)
  • Davit (Georgian)
  • Daviti (Georgian)
  • Dáibhí (Irish)
  • Dàibhidh (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Daividh (Scottish Gaelic)
  • Davi (Portuguese Brazilian)
  • Davide (Italian)
  • Dovydas (Lithuanian)
  • Davud (Persian)
  • Dafydd (Welsh)
  • Dewi (Welsh)
  • Dewydd (Old Welsh)
  • Davíd (Icelandic)

 

Desdemona

Desdemona comes from Greek dysdaimon meaning “ill-fated, unfortunate” from Greek dus (bad, hard, unfortunate) and daimon (god, divine power, deity, spirit; power, fate, destiny). It was the name of a tragic character of Shakespeare’s play Othello (1603).

Origin: Greek

Variants:

  • Disdemona

 

Dorcas

Dorcas comes from Ancient Greek dorkás meaning “gazelle”, a Greek translation of Tabitha, an Aramanic female name also meaning “gazelle”. Gazelles are commonly associated in Arabic literature with female beauty because of their grace and delicacy

Origin: Ancient Greek

 

 

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