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David Name Meaning: Origin, Popularity & Nicknames

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

David Overview

  • Meaning: David means “beloved” in Hebrew or “to love” in a more verbal sense.
  • Gender: David is traditionally a male name and is more commonly used today for males.
  • Origin: David has a Hebrew origin, named after the second and greatest king of Israel, King David. The name has a biblical meaning, deriving from the early Hebrew word “dod” meaning “beloved”.
  • Pronunciation: You would pronounce David as DAY-vid.
  • Popularity: David is a highly popular name in the United States and parts of Europe. It currently ranks at 28 in popularity after many decades in the top ten.
  • Nicknames: Dav, Dave, Davy, Dewey, and Davie.
  • Variations: Davina, Davida, Davi, Davide, Davito, Davey, Davy, Daveed, Dauf, and Davidek.
  • Namesakes: David Rose, David Rossi, David Brent, David Xanatos.

What Does David Mean?

The name David means “beloved” and comes from significant biblical roots. The name came from the Hebrew Bible after one of Israel’s greatest leaders, King David.

The name can also mean “to love” or “uncle” but its Hebrew origin often makes the “beloved” definition more prominent.

What is the Origin of the Name David?

David originated from the Hebrew word “dod” or “dodaveha” meaning “beloved of Jehovah,” which came from the early version “dawid.”

The Bible shows a legendary figure named David who slew the Philistine giant Goliath and then became the second king of Israel.

King David became a legendary ruler for the early Jewish culture and a notable biblical figure to followers of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. He is mentioned in the Old Testament to have united Israel under a single monarchy (1).

How Popular is the Name David?

The name “David” has been around for generations and has never truly lost its popularity. Since its rise in popularity thousands of years ago, it has made its way from Israel through Europe and across the ocean to America.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), David has never been ranked lower than 32 on the popularity scale and even ranked number one in 1960 (2).

Throughout the last century, David ranks as number six for overall popularity with about 3,564,053 children with the name.

David showed a steady top ten ranking in the middle of the century and then gradually declined in most recent decades.

2020 is the most recent year that the SSA has available information for the name David currently sitting at number 28.

How Do I Pronounce David?

The name David is pretty straightforward in its modern variation. David is pronounced as DAY-vid, but the earlier Greek, Latin, and Hebrew versions may be more difficult to pronounce.

Is David a Boy or Girl Name?

Over the centuries, David was predominantly a boy name. However, some females were given a variation of it.

Variations of David

David is a centuries-old name that has given people the time to form new variations of it. Many cultures, such as the French, English, Russians, and Arabs, have adopted the name as their own.

Here are some of the more common variations:

  • Davina (English)
  • Davida (English)
  • Davi (Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Davide (French)
  • Davito (Spanish)
  • Davey (English)
  • Davy (English)
  • Daveed (Russian)
  • Dauf (Arabic)
  • Davidek (Czech)
  • Davidsen (Danish)
  • Davison (English)

Most of these variations are not as popular as the original, but parents who favor uniqueness may choose a variation, such as Dayvid or Daveed.

Nicknames for David

Whenever you do not want to call someone by their name, nicknames tend to be the go-to. Although David is quite easy to pronounce, some may want to use an additional name instead.

Here are a few of the favored nicknames:

  • Dav
  • Dave
  • Davy/Davie
  • Dewey

Nicknames for David are shorter and easier to say and may be used by the people closest to the person who is named David.

Similar Names to David

If you’re not set on David, then there are a few options that are similar in both origin and sound.

Names with a similar origin:

Names that are close to David or start with a D sound:

  • Danny
  • Daniella
  • Darren
  • Donald
  • Dave

Middle Names for David

Choosing a middle name for your child can be just as hard as choosing the first name! Here are some middle names to help you out:

Sibling Names for David

The good thing about this name is that it pairs well with so many other names! Here are a few options for both girls and boys.

For a brother:

For a sister:

Famous People Named David

It’s fun when you share a name with a famous person. Many famous actors, professional athletes, and musicians are named David.

Here are a few of those notable figures:

  • David Bowie: Rock singer, performer, and songwriter.
  • David Beckham: English football player (soccer).
  • David Schwimmer: TV actor known for his role in Friends.
  • David Dobrik: Youtube star/influencer.
  • David Guetta: DJ and musician.
  • David De Gea: Spanish football player (soccer).
  • David Oríz: Baseball player.

David in Popular Culture

Modern culture has a few fictional characters with the name David. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • David Rose: Fictional character on the TV sitcom Schitt’s Creek.
  • David Rossi: Character from American TV show Criminal Minds.
  • David Brent: A character in the British TV show The Office.
  • David Xanatos: A character from Disney animated series Gargoyles.

David FAQs

Is David a Strong Name For a Child?

David has strong biblical roots and comes from the heroic King David of the Old Testament in the Bible. The name has been around for centuries and shows no hint of going away. If you like tradition and favor a name with deep meaning, then David is a strong choice.

How Many Davids Are There in the United States?

David is a popular name in the States with about 10,905,563 Americans named David and a little over 92,000 Davids born each year (3).

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