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Dahlia Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

Learn about the name Dahlia including the meaning, gender, origin, popularity, and more.

Dahlia Overview

  • Meaning: Dahlia means “valley flower” or “flower of the valley” and is associated with beauty, commitment, and kindness.
  • Gender: Dahlia has primarily been used as a feminine given name.
  • Origin: The name Dahlia comes from the flower Dahlia, which was named after Swedish botanist Anders Dahl.
  • Pronunciation: “DAH-lee-uh” in American English, or “DAY-lee-uh” in British English.
  • Popularity: Dahlia is a popular name, becoming the 309th most popular name for girls in the United States in 2021. It is expected to gain popularity in the future.
  • Nicknames: Dali, Deli, Dhali, Dia, Doll, Dolli, Dolly, Leah, Lia.
  • Variations: Dahlie, Daleyza, Dalia, Dalia Dália, Daliá.
  • Namesakes: Dalia Mogahed, Dahlia Ravikovitch, Dahlia Salem.

What Does Dahlia Mean?

The name Dahlia comes from the beautiful flower with unique, multi-layered petals. As a name, it shares its meaning with the flower. Dahlia flowers typically represent beauty, commitment, and kindness. Dahlia as a name is associated with these same characteristics.

The flower name Dahlia comes from Swedish botanist Anders Dahl. “Dahl” translates from Swedish to “valley,” so a rough translation of Dahlia is “valley flower” or “flower of the valley.”

“Black Dahlia” became a popular nickname or theme for dramatic novels or thriller movies.

What Is the Origin of the Name Dahlia?

Dahlia is English and originally comes from the flower of the same name. Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist, was the source for the name of the flower Dahlia.

Sources debate whether the name Dahlia was given to the flower by either Swedish botanist (and teacher of Anders Dahl) Carl Linnaeus or the Spanish botanist Antonio José Cavanilles. Sources generally agree that the flower name comes from Anders Dahl (1).

The Dahlia flower is native to Mexico and Central America and became the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The flower has 42 distinct species, making the Dahlia a unique and robust garden flower (2).

In the United States, the names Dahlia and Dalia share an origin and are simply variations of the same name.

How Popular Is the Name Dahlia?

Dahlia is a recently popular name in the United States, as it did not see widespread use until the 21st century. The name first entered the top 1000 most popular names for girls in the United States in 2006 at the rank of #988.

The name has moved up in popularity, going from the top 1000 in the 2000s to the top 400 in the 2010s. Dahlia’s most popular year so far has been 2021, when it reached the rank of #309.

Sources expect Dahlia to rise in popularity in the future, as it has been on a steady incline since 2006 (3).

How Do I Pronounce Dahlia?

In the United States, Dahlia is pronounced: “DAH-lee-uh.” The US name rhymes with the words “Italia” or “Australia.”

In the United Kingdom, Dahlia is pronounced: “DAY-lee-uh.” The UK name rhymes with the words “regalia” or “Mammalia.”

Is Dahlia a Boy or Girl Name?

Dahlia has primarily been a feminine given name.

Variations of Dahlia

There have been a few variations of the name Dahlia over the years.

  • Dahlie (German)
  • Daleyza (Hispanic American)
  • Dalia (Arabic)
  • Dalia (English Alternate)
  • Dália (Portuguese)
  • Daliá (Spanish)

Nicknames for Dahlia

There are some lovely, catchy nicknames for Dahlia.

  • Dali
  • Deli
  • Dhali
  • Dia
  • Doll
  • Dolli
  • Dolly
  • Leah
  • Lia

Similar Names to Dahlia

Many of these similar names also have origins in flowers like Dahlia.

Middle Names for Dahlia

Since Dahlia is a melodic name, it fits well with many classic and unique middle names.

Sibling Names for Dahlia

Many of these sibling names for Dahlia are also nature names and gender-neutral, so they will fit well and can work for any person.

Famous People Named Dahlia

There are a few famous Dahlias and Dalias in the world of entertainment, media, and sports.

  • Dalia El Behery: holder of the title Miss Egypt 1990.
  • Dalia Mogahed: American researcher and scholar, advisor to former United States President Barack Obama.
  • Dahlia Duhaney: retired Jamaican sprinter.
  • Dahlia Lithwick: Candian senior editor of the magazine “Slate.”
  • Dahlia Ravikovitch: Israeli peace activist, poet, and translator.
  • Dahlia Salem: American actress well-known for her role in the TV series “General Hospital.”

Dahlia in Popular Culture

Dahlia has become a fairly common name in popular culture, especially after the rise in popularity of the name in media after the “Black Dahlia” reporting.

  • Dahlia Gillespie: character in the horror video game series “Silent Hill.”
  • Dahlia Hawthorne: a character in the visual novel video game series “Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney.”
  • Dahlia Lynley-Chivers: a character in “The Southern Vampire Mysteries”, the book series that inspired the HBO series “True Blood.”
  • Dahlia: a character in the TV series “The Originals.”

Dahlia FAQs

Here are some common questions regarding the name Dahlia.

Is There a Goddess Dahlia in Mythology?

There is a goddess named Dahlia or Dalia in Lithuanian mythology (a pre-Christian Lithuanian religion). Dahlia is the goddess of fate and is associated with the Baltic goddess Laima (another goddess of fate).

While the goddess of fate Laima is linked to childbirth and marriage, the goddess Dahlia is associated with fate relating to material wealth and property, such as the giving and taking away of goods and land.

In Lithuanian mythology, each newborn has its share of internal wealth, and Dahlia is the deity who redistributes that wealth and property. Dahlia’s goal is for the goods of the world to be fairly and evenly given to the people of Earth. She typically appears as a woman, a lamb, a duck, or a dog (4).

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