Dana (given name)

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Dana is a unisex given name. It was among the 100 most popular names given to girls born in the United States between 1960 and 1990. It has since fallen in popularity and was ranked the 446th most popular name given to girls born in the United States in 2007.[1] As a male forename it is well known in the United States, being in the 314th rank out of 1,219 in the 1990 U.S. Census.

The name has multiple derivations. Dana or Danah, in Arabic, means "the most perfectly sized, valuable and beautiful pearl".[citation needed] This name is used mainly by Arabs of the Persian Gulf (Eastern Arabia), due to their traditional pearl diving professions wherein they gave different type of pearls names. Dana is an alternate spelling of the name for Danu, a Celtic fertility goddess. In Persian, the word Dānā literally means "Wise", and some speculate that the name is first used as a first name in Shahnameh. It may also refer to the mountain Dana or Dena.[citation needed] The name is used in Persian for both female and male sexes. It may also come from "Dane" (from Denmark), the meaning of the common surname. It is also occasionally regarded as a feminine version of Daniel or a short version of feminine names such as Bogdana or Yordana. In Hebrew, the name Dana means "arbiter" or "God is my judge". In Sanskrit and Pali, the word means "generosity". In Romanian and Czech, it is a feminine name, derived from the name Daniela; the masculine form being Dan/Daniel. Dana is also the name of the ancient goddess of water in slavic cultures, and many rivers in eastern Europe have the letters D and N due to this.[citation needed]

People named Dana[edit]




  • Dana, fictional intern on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale
  • Dana, on the television show Angel
  • Dana, the title character's lover in the Italian photo comic Killing (later revived as Sadistik: The Diabolikal Super-Kriminal)
  • Dana Appleton, the lawyer opposite Jim Carrey in the 1997 film Liar Liar
  • Dana Barrett, featured in the Ghostbusters movies
  • Dana Carrington, minor character in the American TV series Dynasty
  • Dana Cruz, character on Zoey 101
  • Dana Dearden, obsessed Superman fan who called herself Superwoman
  • Dana Fairbanks, main character from Showtime's lesbian drama series The L Word
  • Dana Foster, fictional character on Step By Step
  • Dana Freeling, a female character in the film Poltergeist (1982)
  • Dana Iclucia female protagonist from the video game Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
  • Dana Knightstone, fictional novelist, main character of the Dana Knightstone series of games
  • Dana Lambert, regular character on the TV show Mission: Impossible
  • Dana Marschz, main character in Hamlet 2
  • Dana Mercer, younger sister of main character Alex Mercer in the video game Prototype
  • Dana Mitchell, on the show Lightspeed Rescue Power Rangers
  • Dana Scully, main character on the television show The X-Files
  • Dana Sterling, from the Robotech anime television series
  • Dana Stevens, a fictional trans woman featured in Chris Bohjalian's novel Trans-Sister Radio
  • Dana Tan, Batman's girlfriend on the TV series Batman Beyond
  • Dana Taylor, the former name of Zach Young on the television show Desperate Housewives
  • Dana Whitaker, a character in the television series Sports Night
  • Dana Wolf, on the German soap opera Verbotene Liebe


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dana: Popularity for Dana in the United States". Retrieved 2015-10-02.