DELIA (1) f English, Italian, Spanish, Romanian, Greek Mythology
Means "of Delos" in Greek. This was an epithet of the Greek goddess Artemis
, given because she and her twin brother Apollo
were born on the island of Delos. The name appeared in several poems of the 16th and 17th centuries, and it has occasionally been used as a given name since that time.
DELICIA f English (Rare)
Either from Latin deliciae
"delight, pleasure" or a variant of the English word delicious
. It has only been used since the 20th century (rarely).
DELILAH f Biblical, Biblical Hebrew, English
Means "delicate, weak, languishing" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament she is the lover of Samson
, whom she betrays to the Philistines by cutting his hair, which is the source of his power. Despite her character flaws, the name began to be used by the Puritans in the 17th century. It has been used occasionally in the English-speaking world since that time.
DELL m & f English
From an English surname which originally denoted a person who lived in a dell or valley.
DELPHIA f English
Possibly from the name of the Greek city of Delphi, the site of an oracle of Apollo
, which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
"womb". It was used in the play 'The Prophetess' (1647), in which it belongs to the title prophetess.
DELPHINA f Late Roman
Feminine form of the Latin name Delphinus
, which meant "of Delphi". Delphi was a city in ancient Greece, the name of which is possibly related to Greek δελφυς (delphys)
"womb". The Blessed Delphina was a 14th-century Provençal nun.
DELTA f English
From the name of the fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, Δ
. It is also the name for an island formed at the mouth of a river.
DELYTH f Welsh
From an elaboration of the Welsh element del
DEMELZA f English (British)
From a Cornish place name meaning "fort of Maeldaf". It has been used as a given name since the middle of the 20th century. It was popularized in the 1970s by a character from the British television series 'Poldark', which was set in Cornwall.
DENA f English
Possibly a short form of names ending with dena
. It has also been used as a variant of DEANNA
DERYA f & m Turkish
Means "sea, ocean" in Turkish, ultimately from Persian.
DERYN f Welsh
Possibly from Welsh aderyn
DESIREE f English
English form of DÉSIRÉE
. It was popularized in the English-speaking world by the movie 'Désirée' (1954).
DESPOINA f Greek Mythology, Greek
Means "mistress, lady" in Greek. In Greek mythology this was the name of a daughter of Demeter and Poseidon.
DESTINY f English
Means simply "destiny, fate" from the English word, ultimately from Latin destinare
"to determine", a derivative of stare
"to stand". It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world only since the last half of the 20th century.
DEVON m & f English
Variant of DEVIN
. It may also be partly inspired by the name of the county of Devon in England, which got its name from the Dumnonii, a Celtic tribe.
DIAMOND f English (Modern)
From the English word diamond
for the clear colourless precious stone, the birthstone of April. It is derived from Late Latin diamas
, from Latin adamas
, which is of Greek origin meaning "invincible, untamed".
DIANA f English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Catalan, German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Polish, Roman Mythology
Probably derived from an old Indo-European root meaning "heavenly, divine", related to dyeus
). Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting, forests, and childbirth, often identified with the Greek goddess Artemis
DİDEM f Turkish
Meaning unknown, possibly from Persian دیده (dideh)
DIDO f Roman Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly "virgin" in Phoenician. Dido, also called Elissa
, was the queen of Carthage in Virgil
's 'Aeneid'. She burned herself to death when Aeneas left her.
DIETLINDE f German
From the Germanic name Theudelinda
, derived from the elements theud
"people" and linde
"soft, tender". Theudelinda was a 6th-century queen of the Lombards.
DIKE f Greek Mythology
Means "justice" in Greek. In Greek mythology Dike was the goddess of justice, one of the ‘Ωραι
DIKLAH m & f Hebrew, Biblical, Biblical Hebrew
Possibly means "palm grove" in Hebrew or Aramaic. In the Old Testament this is the name of a son of Joktan. In modern times it is also used as a feminine name.
DIONE (1) f Greek Mythology
From Greek Διος (Dios)
meaning "of ZEUS
". By extension, it means "goddess". This was the name of an obscure Greek goddess who, according to some legends, was the mother of Aphrodite
DIXIE f English
From the term that refers to the southern United States, used by Daniel D. Emmett in his song Dixie
in 1859. The term may be derived from French dix
"ten", which was printed on ten-dollar bills issued from a New Orleans bank.
DOIREANN f Irish, Irish Mythology
Means "sullen, tempestuous" in Irish. This was the name of several characters in Irish legend, including a daughter of Bodb Derg who poisoned Fionn
DOLLY f English
Diminutive of DOROTHY
were used from the 16th century, and the common English word doll
(for the plaything) is derived from them. In modern times this name is also sometimes used as a diminutive of DOLORES
DOLORES f Spanish, English
Means "sorrows", taken from the Spanish title of the Virgin Mary María de los Dolores
, meaning "Mary of Sorrows". It has been used in the English-speaking world since the 19th century, becoming especially popular in America during the 1920s and 30s.
DOMITILLA f Italian, Ancient Roman
Feminine diminutive of the Roman family name DOMITIUS
. This was the name of the wife of the Roman emperor Vespasian and the mother of emperors Titus and Domitian.
DONNA f English
From Italian donna
meaning "lady". It is also used as a feminine form of DONALD
DOR m & f Hebrew
Means "generation" in Hebrew.
DORCAS f Biblical
Derived from Greek δορκας (dorkas)
meaning "gazelle". This is the Greek translation of the name Tabitha
in the New Testament (see Acts 9:36).
DOREEN f English
Combination of DORA
and the name suffix een
. The name was (first?) used by novelist Edna Lyall in her novel 'Doreen' (1894).
DORINDA f English
Combination of DORA
and the name suffix inda
. It was apparently coined by the English writers John Dryden and William D'Avenant for their play 'The Enchanted Island' (1667). In the play, a loose adaptation of Shakespeare's 'The Tempest', Dorinda is the sister of Miranda.
DORIS f English, German, Croatian, Ancient Greek, Greek Mythology
From the ancient Greek name Δωρις (Doris)
which meant "Dorian woman". The Dorians were a Greek tribe who occupied the Peloponnese starting in the 12th century BC. In Greek mythology Doris was a sea nymph, one of the many children of Oceanus and Tethys. It began to be used as an English name in the 19th century. A famous bearer is the American actress Doris Day (1924-).
DOROTHEA f German, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, English, Late Greek
Feminine form of the Late Greek name Δωροθεος (Dorotheos)
, which meant "gift of God" from Greek δωρον (doron)
"gift" and θεος (theos)
"god". The name Theodore
is composed of the same elements in reverse order. Dorothea was the name of two early saints, notably the 4th-century martyr Dorothea of Caesarea. It was also borne by the 14th-century Saint Dorothea of Montau, who was the patron saint of Prussia.
DOROTHY f English
Usual English form of DOROTHEA
. It has been in use since the 16th century. The author L. Frank Baum used it for the central character in his fantasy novel 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' (1900).
DOVE f English
From the English word for the variety of bird, seen as a symbol of peace.
DRAUPADI f Hinduism
Means "daughter of DRUPADA
" in Sanskrit. In the Hindu epic the 'Mahabharata' this is the name of the daughter of king Drupada. She married all of the Pandavas, the five sons of Pandu.
DULCIBELLA f English (Archaic)
From Latin dulcis
"sweet" and bella
"beautiful". The usual medieval spelling of this name was Dowsabel
, and the Latinized form Dulcibella
was revived in the 18th century.
DULCIE f English
From Latin dulcis
meaning "sweet". It was used in the Middle Ages in the spellings Dowse
, and was recoined in the 19th century.
DULCINEA f Literature
Derived from Spanish dulce
meaning "sweet". This name was (first?) used by Miguel de Cervantes in his novel 'Don Quixote' (1605), where it belongs to the love interest of the main character, though she never actually appears in the story.
DUSTY m & f English
From a nickname originally given to people perceived as being dusty. It is also used a diminutive of DUSTIN
. A famous bearer was British singer Dusty Springfield (1939-1999), who acquired her nickname as a child.
DWI m & f Indonesian
Means "two, second" in Indonesian, ultimately from Sanskrit द्वि (dvi)
DYMPHNA f Irish
Anglicized form of DAMHNAIT
. This was the name of a 7th-century Irish saint who was martyred by her father. She is the patron saint of the mentally ill.
EARTHA f English
Combination of the English word earth
with the feminine name suffix a
. It has been used in honour of African-American philanthropist Eartha M. M. White (1876-1974). Another famous bearer was American singer and actress Eartha Kitt (1927-2008).
EASTER f English
From the English name of the Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus
. It was ultimately named for the Germanic spring goddess Eostre. It was traditionally given to children born on Easter, though it is rare in modern times.
EBBA (2) f English
From the Old English name Æbbe
, meaning unknown, perhaps a contracted form of a longer name. Saint Ebba was a 7th-century daughter of king Æthelfrith of Bernicia and the founder of monasteries in Scotland. Another saint Ebba was a 9th-century abbess and martyr who mutilated her own face so that she would not be raped by the invading Danes.
EBONY f English
From the English word ebony
for the black wood which comes from the ebony tree. It is ultimately from the Egyptian word hbnj
. In America this name is most often used by black parents.
EBRU f Turkish
Means "paper marbling" in Turkish. Paper marbling is the art of creating colourful patterns on paper.
ECHO f Greek Mythology
Means "echo" from the word for the repeating reflected sound, which derives from Greek ηχη (eche)
"sound". In Greek mythology Echo was a nymph given a speech impediment by Hera
, so that she could only repeat what others said. She fell in love with Narcissus
, but her love was not returned, and she pined away until nothing remained of her except her voice.
ECRİN f Turkish
Meaning unknown, possibly from an Arabic word meaning "reward".
EDDA (2) f Icelandic, Ancient Scandinavian
Possibly from Old Norse meaning "great-grandmother". This was the name of two 13th-century Icelandic literary works: the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. This is also the name of a character in the Poetic Edda, though it is unclear if her name is connected to the name of the collection.
EDEN f & m Hebrew, English (Modern)
Means "place of pleasure" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament the Garden of Eden was the place where the first people, Adam
, lived before they were expelled.
EDITH f English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch
From the Old English name Eadgyð
, derived from the elements ead
"wealth, fortune" and gyð
"war". It was popular among Anglo-Saxon royalty, being borne for example by Saint Eadgyeth;, the daughter of King Edgar the Peaceful. The name remained common after the Norman conquest. It became rare after the 15th century, but was revived in the 19th century.