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In the Polish classic novel, "Krzyżacy" by Henryk Sienkiewicz, as well as the movie based off the novel, the main character's beloved is named Danusia Jurandówna.
My own name is Danuta, my family is Polish- and even though I was born in America, my parents didn't 'americanize' my name. Here in Poland, everyone refers to me as "Danusia," the diminutive form. I don't really like that nickname, but when I told a friend I like "Danka" better, she made round eyes and decided that "Danka" sounds too "harsh and hard."
But a lot of my language arts teachers commented on my name, since, while you can still meet adults with the name (one of my language arts teachers, for example) it's not that popular for my generation. But it's a really pretty name, and I think it sounds lovely and just a tad old-fashioned, so there.
Can also be a feminine form of Daniel.
The stem Dan- may be Slavic or Baltic, but the ending -uta in Danuta is most probably of Lithuanian origin. The Polish language does not definitely use "-uta" as a diminutive ending, and scarcely ever uses it at all. The Lithuanian, however has the name Biruté (Biruta in Slavic, and this makes it probable that the same ending may be the origin of -uta in Danuta. The Lithuanians use "Danuté" as a variant of Danuta.
It's my grandma's name, and it's pronounced dah-noo-tah. Common shortenings are Danusia (da-noo-shuh) and Danka (dahn-kuh).
Also, I've also encountered women who changed it to Diane when they came to an English speaking country.
Everyone that I know that has this name (including my mother) has used Donna as their American name when they came here from Poland.
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