Quick Facts on Damien
- French, Greek
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Tame, subdue, master
Characteristics of Damien
Etymology & Historical Origin - Damien
Damien is the French form of the English Damian, both of which come from the Greek “Damianos.” The name Damianos was borne by a popular early 4th century saint, a physician who, along with his twin brother, was martyred during a time of persecution in the Roman Empire. The name is derived from the Greek word “damān” which means ‘to tame, subdue.’ Damien also shares the same origin with the name Damon. The Greek mythological tale of Daman and Pythias, symbolizing the loyal bonds of friendship, is said to have taken place 2,400 years ago in ancient Syracuse (modern-day Sicily). According to the legend, Pythias is sentenced to death by the paranoid and vindictive despot, Dionysius the Elder, who believes him to be plotting against his tyrannical rule. Pythias asks for a brief pardon so that he may put his affairs in order prior to his pending death. Dionysius refuses, but does agree to allow Damon, Pythias’ friend, to replace him in the condemned jail cell and risk his own head should Pythias not return as promised. Pythias does return to spare his friend and face his own execution (after a dramatic delay that includes a pirated ship and a long swim back). Nonetheless, Dionysius is so impressed by the trust and friendship between the two men, he releases them both and all ends well. The name Damien reached the English by way of the French in the Middle Ages.
Popularity of the Name Damien
The French spelling of Damien followed the more traditional English spelling of Damian (with an “a”) onto the U.S. popularity charts. Damian debuted in 1952; Damien followed in 1968. Damien is not as popular as the spelling with an “a” but it has managed to climb onto the Top 200 list of most favored boy names. Apparently the spine-chilling movie “The Omen” (released in 1976) wherein the devil child is named Damien had no impact on the usage of the name; Damien would climb over 150 positions on the charts from 1976-1978. Damien arguably became synonymous with creepy children and evil-doers; but fortunately, American parents don’t seem to care. Or maybe they’re just being irreverent. The name of the character was probably selected given its close sound to the word “demon;” otherwise, there is no etymological basis for the choice. In fact, Damien/Damian is the name of many do-gooder saints such as Father Damien who benevolently went to serve the leper colony in Molokai, Hawaii. In any case, the name Damien (along with Damian) is still doing quite well on the American popularity charts.
Popularity of the Boy Name Damien
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Damien
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Damien
Damien We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Damien.
Popular Songs on Damien
Damien - a song by DMX [explicit]
Damien - a song by Savatage
Damien III - a song by DMX [explicit]
Children's Books on the Baby Name Damien
Father Damien (Laura E. Williams) - Along with dramatic full color illustrations, Father Damien tells the story of the famous missionary, from his boyhood in Belgium to his selfless work with children and adults afflicted with leprosy. Set against the colorful backdrop of the leper colony at Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands, the book introduces young readers to one of history's heroes, a man who built over 300 houses, a church, a hospital, and two orphanages, and who eventually contracted leprosy himself. Not just intended for those interested in religion, Father Damien gives young readers a way to think about how people treat each other and what it means to be a human being. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Father Damien: Hawaii's Saint (Peggy Chun Galleries) - This full color world manga style book illustrates Father Damien's life, beginning in Belgium and ending in Moloka'i, Hawai'i. This story vividly unfolds as it depicts the challenges and hardships he encountered leading up to and during his selfless dedication to the victims of Hansen's Disease. This miracle worker's story is known around the world, and continues with his canonization into sainthood in October '09. Enhancing this already colorful book, is the cover painting of Damien created by the late renowned artist Peggy Chun. Recommended for ages young adult.
Famous People Named Damien
Famous People Named Damien - Damien de Veuster (Saint Damien); Damien Dragonetti (rapper/producer); Damien Rice (Irish musician)
Children of Famous People Named Damien
Famous People who Named their Son Damien - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Damien.
Damien - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures
St. Damien of Molokai (3 Jan 1840 - 15 Apr 1889) - Father Damien was known as “The Leper Priest, the Hero of Molokai.” Originally a boy named Josef from Belgium, he joined the Sacred Heart Fathers as a young man and received the name Damien. At the age of 24, he was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he was ordained and would work missions on the Big Island. About 10 years after arriving on the Hawaiian Islands, Damien volunteered to go to the leper colony on Molokai. After spending another 10 years tending to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of these outcasts, as well as building churches, hospitals, graveyards and coffins, Damien would eventually contract Hansen’s disease (leprosy) himself. Robert Louis Stevenson would write about him in 1905, and the Catholic Church would declare him venerable in 1977, beatify him in 1995, and finally canonize him as a saint in 2009. "Not without fear and loathing," Pope Benedict underlined, "Father Damian made the choice to go on the island of Molokai in the service of lepers who were there, abandoned by all. So he exposed himself to the disease of which they suffered. With them he felt at home. The servant of the Word became a suffering servant, leper with the lepers, during the last four years of his life." Damien has become the patron saint of those inflicted with leprosy and outcasts in general. He is the unofficial protective saint for those with HIV and AIDS.
Personality of the Boy Name Damien
The number one personality is a leader - strong and competitive. They are willing to initiate action and take risks. One personalities work hard toward their endeavors and have the ability to apply their creative and innovative thinking skills with strong determination. They believe in their ability to succeed and are too stubborn to be hindered by obstacles. Ones meet obstacles head-on with such mental vigor and energy that you better step aside. They resent taking orders, so don't try telling them what to do either. This is an intensely active personality, but they are also known as starters rather than finishers. They have a propensity to become bored and will move quickly to the next project if not properly challenged. They are the ones to think up and put into action new and brilliant ideas, but they are not the ones to stick around and manage them. This personality has an enthusiastic and pioneering spirit. They are distinctly original.
Variations of the Baby Name - Damien