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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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)

 

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)