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PronouncedPron.DIR-drə English
DIR-dree English
DYER-dryə Irish

Meaning & History

From the older Gaelic form Derdriu, meaning unknown, possibly derived from Old Irish der meaning "daughter". This was the name of a tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart after Conchobhar, the king of Ulster, forced her to be his bride and killed her lover Naoise.

It has only been commonly used as a given name since the 20th century, influenced by two plays featuring the character: William Butler Yeats' 'Deirdre' (1907) and J. M. Synge's 'Deirdre of the Sorrows' (1910).
VariantsDeidra, Deidre, Deitra English Derdriu Irish Mythology


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Entry updated December 8, 2017