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This article is about the given name. For the businessman and politician known as "The Donald", see Donald Trump. For other uses, see Donald (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Ronald.
Pronunciation /ˈdɒnəld/
Gender Male
Language(s) English, Scottish Gaelic
Language(s) English, Gaelic
Word/name Domhnall, Dómhnall, Dòmhnall, Domhnull, Dòmhnull
Derivation Proto-Celtic *dumno-ualos
Meaning "world ruler", "world wielder"
Other names
Short form(s) Don
Pet form(s) Donnie, Donny, Dolly
Cognate(s) Domnall, Dónal, Donal, Donall, Dyfnwal, Dumnagual
Derivative(s) Donella

Donald is a masculine given name derived from the Gaelic name Domhnall.[1] This comes from the Proto-Celtic *Dumno-ualos ("world-ruler" or "world-wielder").[2][3][4] The final -d in Donald is partly derived from a misinterpretation of the Gaelic pronunciation by English speakers, and partly associated with the spelling of similar-sounding Germanic names, such as Ronald. A short form of Donald is Don. Pet forms of Donald include Donnie and Donny. The feminine given name Donella is derived from Donald.[1]

Donald has cognates in other Celtic languages: Modern Irish Dónal (anglicised as Donal and Donall);[5] Scottish Gaelic Dòmhnall,[6] Domhnull[7] and Dòmhnull;[8] Welsh Dyfnwal and Cumbric Dumnagual. Although the feminine given name Donna is sometimes used as a feminine form of Donald, the names are not etymologically related.[1]


Old Irish Modern Irish Hiberno-English Scottish Gaelic Scottish English Scots
Domhnall Dónal Donal Dòmhnall Donald Donnald

Kings and noblemen[edit]

Domnall or Domhnall is the name of many ancient and medieval Gaelic kings and noblemen:

Given name[edit]



  • Don Adams (1923–2005), American actor, comedian and director
  • Don Bluth (September 13, 1937), animator, film director, producer, writer, production designer, video game designer and independent studio owner
  • Don Bertoia, Canadian middle distance runner
  • Don Cheadle, American actor and producer
  • Don Cornelius (1936–2012), American television show host and producer
  • Don Dunstan, Premier of South Australia
  • Don Estelle (1933–2003), British actor and singer
  • Don Everly, American country-influenced rock and roll singer and guitarist
  • Don Frye (born 1965), American mixed martial artist and professional wrestler
  • Don Gibson (1928–2003), American songwriter and country musician
  • Don Goldstein, American basketball player
  • Don Hathaway (born 1928), American politician
  • Don Herczeg (born 1964), Canadian ice hockey defenceman
  • Don Ho (1930–2007), American pop musician, singer and entertainer
  • Don King (boxing promoter) (born 1931), American boxing promoter
  • Don King (coach) (born 1926), American football player and coach
  • Don King (defensive back) (born 1964), American football player
  • Don King (defensive lineman) (1929–2014), American football player
  • Don King (musician) (born 1954), American singer, songwriter, guitarist, and trumpeter
  • Don King (photographer) (born 1960), American photographer, cinematographer, and film director
  • Don Roy King, American television director
  • Don Kirshner (1934–2011), American music publisher, rock music producer, talent manager, and songwriter
  • Don Lemon, American television personality and current host of CNN Tonight
  • Don Mattingly, American pro baseball player for the New York Yankees and manager of the LA Dodgers; aka "Donnie Baseball" and "The Hitman"
  • Don Reid (born 1945), lead singer of American country group The Statler Brothers
  • Don Rickles, American stand-up comedian
  • Don Robesky (1906–2002), American football player
  • Don Slater, bassist in heavy metal band Battlecross
  • Don Trahan (born 1949), American golfer, father of D. J. Trahan
  • Don Warrington (born 1951), Trinidadian-born British actor







See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, pp. 78, 402, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 .
  2. ^ Koch, John T. (2006), "Dyfnwal ap Tewdor", in Koch, John T., Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 639–640, ISBN 1-85109-445-8 
  3. ^ Koch, John T. (2006), "Domnall Brecc", in Koch, John T., Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 604, ISBN 1-85109-445-8 
  4. ^ Norman, Teresa. Names Through the Ages. Berkley Books, 1999. pp.129, 136
  5. ^ Hanks, Patrick; Hardcastle, Kate; Hodges, Flavia (2006), A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford Paperback Reference (2nd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 346, ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1 .
  6. ^ Mark, Colin (2006), The Gaelic-English Dictionary, Routledge, p. 714, ISBN 0-203-22259-8 .
  7. ^ Maceachen, Ewan (1922), Maceachen's Gaelic-English Dictionary (4, revised and enlarged ed.), The Northern Counties Newspaper and Printing and Publishing Company, pp. 467–469 .
  8. ^ MacFarlane, Malcolm (1912), The School Gaelic Dictionary prepared for the use of learners of the Gaelic language, Eneas Mackay, p. 144