Duncan (given name)

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Gender Male
Meaning chief

Duncan is a given name. It is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Donnchadh. The final letter n in the Anglicised Duncan seems to be a result of confusion in the Latin form of the name—Duncanus—with the Gaelic word ceann, meaning "head".[1] One opinion is that the Gaelic Donnchadh is composed of the elements donn, meaning "dark or dark-haired man" or "chieftain"; and cath, meaning "battle", together meaning "dark-haired or dark warrior".[2] Another opinion is that the Gaelic Donnchadh is composed of the elements donn, meaning "brown"; and chadh, meaning "chief" or "noble".[1]


Old Irish Modern Irish Hiberno-English Scottish Gaelic Scottish English
Donnchadh Donncha Donagh Donnchadh Duncan

Given name[edit]

In royalty:

In sports:

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In movies:

In literature:

In music:

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In business:

In fiction:

  • Duncan, a character from the Total Drama animated series
  • Duncan Douglass, character from Freakazoid
  • Duncan Idaho, fictional character in the Dune universe created by Frank Herbert
  • Duncan (locomotive), character in the Thomas & Friends children's TV series
  • Duncan MacLeod, immortal hero in Highlander: The Series
  • King Duncan, a character in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth
  • Ser Duncan the Tall, a fictional character from Tales of Dunk and Egg, a series of novellas written by George R. R. Martin, set in the world of his Song of Ice and Fire cycle

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia (2006). Hardcastle, Kate, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Names (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 81, 402. ISBN 978-0-19-861060-1. 
  2. ^ "Duncan Name Meaning and History". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  For the etymology of the surname Duncan this web page cites: Dictionary of American Family Names.