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Pronunciation /ˈdɛn.ɪs/
Gender Male
Language(s) English, Danish, Swedish
Name day Sweden: August 7
Meaning Dionysus
Region of origin Greece
Other names
Alternative spelling Denis, Dennys
Variant form(s) Denise (Female)
Nickname(s) Denny
Related names Denis

Dennis or Denis is a first or last name from the Greco-Roman name Dionysius, via one of the Christian saints named Dionysius.

The name came from Dionysus, the Greek god of ecstatic states, particularly those produced by wine, which is sometimes said to be derived from the Greek Dios (Διός, "of Zeus") and Nysos or Nysa (Νῦσα), where the young god was raised. Dionysus (or Dionysos; also known as Bacchus in Roman mythology and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficent influences. He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace — as well as the patron deity of both agriculture and the theater.

Dionysus is a god of mystery religious rites, such as those practiced in honor of Demeter and Persephone at Eleusis near Athens. In the Thracian mysteries, he wears the "bassaris" or fox-skin, symbolizing new life. (See also Maenads.)

A mediaeval Latinised form of the Anglo-Norman surname Le Denys was Dacus, which correctly meant Dacian, but when the Vikings were about was often used to mean "Danish" or "The Dane". The name became modernised as Denys, then later as Dennis.

Alternative forms and spellings of the name include Denis, Denys, Denish, Deon, Deonne, Deonte, and Dion, Dionice. Diminutive forms include Den, Dennoh, Deno, Denny, Deny and Deen.

The name Sydenie (alternate spellings: Sydney or Sidney) may derive from a village in Normandy called Saint-Denis.[citation needed]

A medieval diminutive was Dye, from which the names Dyson and Tyson are derived.[citation needed]

Dennis is a very popular English, Irish and Danish name, common throughout the English-speaking world.

Denis is a very popular French name, common throughout the Francophone world, but is also a common English, Irish, German, Italian, Dutch, Croatian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, Brazilian, Bosnian, and Albanian name.

Dionizy is the Polish version of the name.

Deniz is the Turkish version of the name. The Turkish language word for "sea" is "deniz", e.g. Kara Deniz means the Black Sea.

The Irish name Donnchadh may be anglicised as Denis, but has a different origin. Dionigi or Dionisio are Italian versions of the name, although Denis is quite common in Italy.

Feminine versions of the name include: Denise, Denisa, Deni, Denice, Deniece, Dione, and Dionne.


People with the given name Dennis[edit]


People with the surname Dennis[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  •  Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921). "Denis". Collier's New Encyclopedia. New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company.