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15 Boy Names That Begin with the Letter "D"

For several years the letter “D” has ranked high in terms of being a popular letter to begin a boys first name. There are in fact, so many boys names beginning with “D” that we can’t list them all here, but we took a look at hundreds and have put together a mix of traditional and not so traditional options.

One of the most widely recognized boys names in the world is, David. It is a common name of Biblical Hebrew origin. King David is a major focus in both Christian and Jewish religious tradition. In Britain, the name has been used since the Middle Ages and was especially popular in both Wales and Scotland hundreds of years ago.

Ancient Hebrews didn’t include vowels in their written words. With the name “David”, the Hebrew consonants are transliterated as “DWD” or “DYWD”. These letters are thought to be the root of the name “David” but also of the words, “beloved”, “uncle”, “friend” and “leader”.

There are many well-known people with the name David, including philosopher David Hume, musician David Bowie, and soccer player David Beckham. The name has also been used countless times in theatre, movies and literature. For example, David Copperfield is the name of the hero in Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical novel.

Daniel is another popular boys name that comes from the Hebrew name, “Daniyyel”, which means “God is my judge”. Many people with the name Daniel are often called Dan or Dannie for short. In the Italian culture people named Donato are either called Don or Dan for short.

Here’s a look at some other boy’s names that begin with the letter “D”:

15 Dale

Despite what some people think, Americans do not own the name, Dale. In fact, it has a history that belongs to many different cultures. In England the name Dale dates back centuries as a surname within the country’s Anglo-Saxon culture. The word refers to when a family lived in an area called the “daleor” or “valley”. Eventually, the name, Dale became popular as a first name in England and in Ireland before popping up in other parts of the globe. While some Irish assume the English meaning of the name, others in this area of the world consider the Anglicized form of the Gaelic “Dall”, a name meaning “blind”, to be the true definition of today’s Dale. In Norway, it is thought to be the name from a farm that is situated in the “dalr” or “valley”. Dale is a rather common name in Western Norway. It is also common in Swedan and in Germany, where it is spelled “Dahl”.

14 Dallas

Dallas is a major city in the state of Texas and is the largest urban center of the fourth most populated metro area in the United States. Dallas is also a boy’s name that is growing in popularity. Dallas Green pictured above, and Dallas Smith are well-known singers, Dallas Clark was an NFL football player who has a son with a “D” name (Dane), and Dallas Keuchel is an American League baseball player who in 2015 became the first pitcher in MLB history to finish the season with an undefeated record at home with at least 14 wins. So what exactly does the name mean? Well, in America the name Dallas means, “wise”. However, if you are Scottish or Celtic then it means, “waterfall”. While the height of popularity for the name Dallas seemed to be around the year 2000, today it is still a relatively well-liked and well-used name for a boy. In recent years the name Dallas has also been used as a Girl’s first name.

13 Derek

Many people are unaware that this well-known name is actually the short form of an old English name, Dederik. It is also the shortened version of Theodoric, which is a name used by people who speak Low German, a language used in northern Germany that is closer to Dutch than actual standard German. Theodoric means, “people-ruler”. There are variations to the spelling of Derek. There is Derrek, Derick, Derrick, and Deric. Although rare, there are some people whose names are spelled Deryck or Derrok. The name Dirk is thought to come from the name Derek. Dirk Nowitski is a German born basketball player that plays in the NBA. The spelling, Derek is very popular. In fact, there are numerous famous people who use this spelling, including Dancer, Derek Hough, Guitarist Derek Jones, Football player Derek Carr (who happens to have a son named Dallas), and Derek Stepan who is a hockey player in the National Hockey League.

12 Darcy

While this is a boy’s name, the truth is that many parents also use it for their daughter’s first name. The name Darcy comes from an English Surname, which comes from the French “d’Arcy” denoting someone who came from Arcy in France. It was the last name of a character is the well-known Jane Austen novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice” (1813). Over time, Darcy became a middle name and then a first name. For the most part, if you are a boy, you will likely receive the spelling, Darcy, but sometimes a girl will spell it Darcie instead. Here are a few famous Darcy’s that might sound familiar to you: Hockey player, Darcy Tucker, Actress Darcy Donavan, Author and psychotherapist, Darcy Sterling, and motorcycle racer Darcy Ward, featured in full gear above.

11 Darwin

When most people hear the name Darwin they think of Charles Darwin, the man who first proposed the theory of natural selection and revolutionized biology. While it is true that the name likely came from the surname of the naturalist, it has developed into a first name and means “dear friend”. Last year there were close to 1,000 people registered in the United States with the name Darwin. Some people are inclined to shorten Darwin and use “Deor”, which in fact has a different meaning. “Deor” means, brave, wild and fierce, much like an animal. Either way, being a boy that is a “dear friend” or that is “brave” are not such bad characteristics. Historians and naming experts seem to suggest that there is a deep love for this name from some people and a deep hate by others. Those who adore the name think it represents strength, while those who are not keen on it, say that it is “too strong” or that it is “too much to live up to” given the Charles Darwin connection.

10 Dash

Now here is a more modern name that is gaining a lot of attention among Millenials. Dash is not as contemporary as some people may think though. It is actually short for “Dashiell”, which is a French name. Rock legend, Alice Cooper named his son Dashiell back in 1985. Over the last decade the shorter version of Dash has become the spelling of choice. Some say “Dasheill” is the French word for “Book”. This is rather interesting since actress Cate Blanchett named her first child, Dash after the children’s book series, “Captain Underpants”. Author Helen Fielding, who is well- known for creating the character, Bridget Jones, chose the name Dash for her child. Parents who like the name Dash also give short names like, Finn, Dax, Ace, Jeff, Knox and Cash two thumbs up. Dash Mihok is an American actor known for his role in the Showtime Drama, “ Ray Donovan”, and Dash Dobrofsky is a young up and coming actor who has starred in a number of television shows, including the popular series, “Modern Family”. Dash Dobrofsky has a brother whose first name is, Spyder.

9 Dax

As mentioned, many people who like the name Dash also like Dax. Many people believe the name Dax is actually the shortened version of three names. In the book “Adventurers”, the main character was named, Diogens Alexander Xenos. Shortly after the book became a movie, the name Dax became popular. As the story goes, the parents of the fictional character Diogens Alexander Xenos decided to shorten their sons name by calling him Dax. What does the name mean? Well, Diogens was a Greek philosopher known for seeking trust and Alexander came from Alexander the Great – who was known for conquering the world. As for Xenos, it’s just a made up last name. Together the name Dax means “the truth that will conquer the world.” Outside of the “Adventurers”, the most well-known people with this name are actor, writer, director, comedian Dax Sheppard, who is married to actress, Kristin Bell and Dax, the fictional character from Star Trek’s Deep Space Nine.

8 Dwight

The name Dwight is considered a northern European name, although we see it being used a lot in North America. In Germany and Dutch cultures the name means “blond” and in American it translates to “white”. Historians say that the name Dwight comes from the  surname Diot. It's believed that Diot comes from the Latin Dionysius or Dionysia, which refers to the God of wine. The name Dwight has been popular for a very long time. The 34th president of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was born in 1890, but the name is still a favourite among many parents today. Dwight King is an NHL hockey player, Dwight Freeney and Dwight Lowery are well-known football players, Dwight Howard is a professional basketball player, Dwight Yoakum is a famous country singer, and Dwight Shultz is an actor, known for his role as Lieutenant Barclay in Star Trek.

7 Dean

There are two popular theories about the origin of the name Dean. Some believe that it began as a surname and was taken from the Old English word “denu” meaning “valley”. It was generally used to describe someone who lived in or near valley. The other theory is that it came from the middle English name “deen” and the Old French “deien”, which was an occupational name representing someone who presided over a church, university or other group. When the name Dean is mentioned, most people think of one of two individuals – Dean Martin or James Dean. Actor, singer Dean Martin starred in a number of films and was part of the “rat pack”; a supergroup of actors centered on leader, Humphrey Bolgart. James Dean was a movie actor and heartthrob who died in a 1955 car accident at the young age of 24. The name Dean has been used by parents a lot since the 1950’s. Dean Cain, Dean McDermott, Dean Norris, Dean Winters, and Dean O’Gorman are all actors. A number of professional singers also have this first name.

6 Demetri

This boy’s name is of Latin origin. In Latin the meaning of the name is “Of Demeter”. In Greek mythology, Demeter is the Greek Goddess of corn and the harvest. Some people translate the meaning to: “Gift from Demeter”. A variation of Demetri is Demitrius. While this may sound like an old- fashion name or a name designated for specific cultures, the reality is that the name Demtri is becoming more acceptable by people all over the world. Often it is spelled Dimitri. There are people in their teens, twenties and thirties in the United States and Canada who have this name and act as inspiration for new parents to adopt the name for their babies. Dimitri Leonidis is an actor, Dimitri Patterson is a famous football star, Dimitri Vegas is a popular DJ and actors Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher used this name for their second born.

5 Desmond

The name Desmond has an air of sophistication to it. Maybe this is because it is the first name of 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bishop Desmond Tutu. It is also the name of respected British zoologist and anthropologist, Desmond Morris, the author of “The Naked Ape”. Data shows that the name Desmond is really catching on in the United States. The name Desmond was also made famous by the Beatles. They referred to the name in their song, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. Some speculate is was a tribue to reggae singer, Desmond Dekker. Those with the name often shorten it. Some like to be called, des, desi, or dez. American songwriter John Charles Barret liked the name Desmond so much that he changed his name to “Desmond Child”. It is believed that the name, Desmond was originally a surname in Ireland. Many people in Munster, which is located in the south of Ireland have this as a last name.

4 Dennis

While Dennis may seem like such a North American name, the truth is it has a French history.  Experts believe that the name comes from Denys, the medieval French form of Dionysius. The name Dionysius is Latin. According to the New Testament, Dionysius was a judge converted to Christianity by Saint Paul. This was also the name of several early saints. Saint Denis was a 3rd-century missionary and the first bishop of Paris. He is considered the patron saint of France today.

The name Denis was common in France during the middle ages. Eventually, the name was imported by the Normans to England and now it is often spelled Dennis by those who speak English. Dennis Rodman is a former NBA star turned activist, Dennis Miller is a well-known comedian, Dennis Farina, Dennis Franz, Dennis Hopper and Dennis Quaid are accomplished actors. To those who love comics or cartoon characters, we can’t forget Dennis the Menace. He is the character created by author Hank Ketcham back in 1951. Dennis the Menace is a combination of good intentions and bad luck. Five-year-old Dennis never fails to get himself into a jam but provides for great entertainment.

3 Dermot

This name is actually the anglicized version of the Irish name, Diarmuid. One of the great romantic legends of Ireland is about Diarmuid and Grainne; a similar story to that of King Arthur and the romance between his wife Guinevere and right hand man Sir Lancelot. As legend has it, Grainne was one of the most beautiful women in Ireland and she was the daughter of the King. She was promised to the aging chief, Fionn MacCool who wanted a young maid, but on the night of a party to celebrate the engagement, Grainne met Diarmuid, one of Fionn’s warriors and she fell madly in love with him. Grainne put a spell of Diarmuid so that he would fall in love with her as well. Dermot Murnaghan is a well-known news anchor in Britain, Dermot Mulroney is a famous actor who starred in “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, and “About Schmidt”, and Dermot Healey was an award winning author, poet and playwright from Ireland.

2 Denzel

Some baby naming websites indicate that the name Denzel means “wild” but many historians believe that this name is based on a place in the U.K called Denzell. Denzell is located in North Cornwall. Others have suggested that Denzel means "fort" or "fertile land." This name was popularized in America by actor, Denzel Washington who was named after his father. While Denzel is the more common spelling, there are those who prefer to spell the name, Denzil. Like many first names, the name Denzel is believed to have come from the surname, Denzell.  Statistics show that Denzel was used as a boys name rather frequently in 2015. There are many variations to the name, including Danzel, Denzelle, Denzil, Denzial, Denzill, Denzyl, Denzylle, and Denzyll. People who carry this name are often called Den or Denz as a nick name.

1 Dion

There are different cultures that lay claim to the name, Dion. Both the American and African cultures say they came up with the name and that it means, “God”, but the Greek’s insist that it is a name from their background that represents the “God of wine”. Meanwhile, the French indicate it is something they came up with to abbreviate the name Dionysius.

There are a number of famous athletes that have the first name Dion. For example, Dion Lewis, Dion Sims, Dion Jordan, and Dion Williams are all football players. Additionally, Dion Phaneuf is a professional hockey player and Dion Dublin is a soccer player. Dion Yorkie is a Youtube star who develops parody videos and creates challenges for his followers. He has over 100,000 subscribers to his channel. Dion Visser is also an online star. He has gained fame through the app musical.ly and on Instagram. It has been said that Visser has about 500,000 fans through the musical.ly app. Dion is an ancient last name in the area of France known as Auvergne. Today is it a well-known surname in Quebec Canada.

The letter “D” seems to be appealing to a lot of parents and there is no shortage of boy’s names that begin with the letter, “D”. Dante, Damion, Dayton, Demarcus, Diego, Deiter, Dixon, Dominic, Donald, Denny, Dirk, Diego, Dylan, and Donovan are other boy’s names that can be considered. In all, we discovered about 500 boys names that begin with the letter “D” and are commonly used today.

Sources: MeaningOfNames.com, AllParenting.com, BabyNameWizard.com, DiscoveringIreland.com

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