David (name)

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Pronunciation /ˈdvɪd/
Gender Male
Word/name Hebrew
Meaning "beloved"

David is a common male English, French and Spanish given name of Hebrew origin. It is also a surname.

The name David is a derivation of an ancient Mesopotamian given name and appears in the Bible as the Biblical Hebrew name דָּוִד (Dāwīḏ; pronunciation: [dɔːˈviːð], Modern Hebrew: [daˈvid]), meaning "darling" or "beloved". Dudi is a common nickname for David in Hebrew, while Dave and Davy are common English nicknames.[1] The Arabic and Assyrian versions of David are Daud (pronounced "Da-ood") and Dāwūd داود (pronounced [dæːˈwuːd, dæˈwuːd]).

Name days are celebrated on 8 February (for David IV of Georgia), 1 March (for St. David of Wales) and 29 December (for King David), as well as 25 June (St. David of Sweden), 26 June, 9 July (Russia) 26 August, 11 December, and 30 December (Hungary, Latvia, Norway).


David is often shortened to "Davey/Davie/Davy". In Wales, such variants as "Dafydd" and "Dewi" and such diminutives as "Dai" or "Daf" are fairly common (although "Dai" was formerly used as a name in its own right prior to the late fifteenth century, possibly derived from a word meaning "shining" in Celtic). The name was very popular in Wales, leading to the situation whereby outside Wales, particularly in England, "Taffy" or "Taff" (crude imitations of the Welsh pronunciation of "Dafydd") became used as a nickname, pejorative or not, for Welshmen whatever their actual name. The oldest, most popular and most commonly used diminutive form in the English speaking countries of "David" is "Dave", which first appeared in written form in the 16th century (but is probably much older). In Ashkenazi Jewish culture, including outside Israel, it is common to apply the nicknames "Dovi" and "Dov" (from 'Dovid,' the form of the name in the Ashkenazi dialect of Hebrew). The nickname "Dave" has been used as a name in its own right in the 19th and 20th centuries, at least in the U.S. At the height of its popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s, the name Dave was bestowed upon more than 3,000 infants each year.[2] "Davo" is also used as a nickname, and is quite common in Australia and Armenia, while the nickname "Dato" (for "Davit") is popular in Georgia. A less common variant is "Daveth", the origin of which is uncertain (but could be an anglicised form of the Welsh "Dafydd").

Feminine forms of the name include "Davida" (no longer in common usage), "Davetta" (equally rare) and "Davina". The girl's name "Davinia" may also derive from David, though some have argued it is actually the female version of the Gaelic name "Devin". It could, in fact, be an English version of both names - in the same way the native Irish name "Tomhas" is typically translated to "Thomas," which is otherwise the English form of Aramaic "T'Oma." The fact there is no connexion whatsoever between "Tomhas" and "T'Oma" does not bear upon the translation of either name to another language; and the same may be true of "Davinia" (which could also be the name "Lavinia" re-spelled with a 'D').


  • United Kingdom: David was the most popular masculine given name in Northern Ireland for newborns in 1975 and dropped to a fluctuating rank around 20th in the first few years of the 21st century.[3]
  • United States: David is the second most popular masculine name in the United States. 10,905,563 (1 out of 28) Americans are named David. Approximately 92,597 Davids are born each year.[4]

In other languages[edit]

People with the given name David[edit]


  • David, biblical King of Israel (c. 1011–971 BC)
  • Edward VIII, whose name in personal use was David








Other figures[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

People with the surname David[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition". google.com. 
  2. ^ "Popular Baby Names". ssa.gov. 
  3. ^ "Jack and Emma were the most popular first names in Northern Ireland in 2003" (PDF) (Press release). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. 2 January 2004. Retrieved 14 February 2008. (see tables "Comparison with 1975" and "Top 20 Names 2000–2003") 
  4. ^ pokemyname.com