Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Dennis

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English, French, Greek, Latin
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 455
Simple meaning:
Zeus of Nysa

Characteristics of Dennis

  • Inspirational
  • Highly Intuitive
  • Spiritual Teacher
  • Extremely Bright
  • Uplifting
  • Truth-seeker

Etymology & Historical Origin - Dennis

The English get the name Dennis from the French (Denys or Denis), which were medieval forms of Dionysius, the Latin name for the Greek god of wine and celebration, who was the son of Zeus. The name ultimately comes from the Greek Dionysos from Διος (Dios) meaning ‘of Zeus’ and Νυσα (Nysa) which is the name of the mountain where rain nymphs raised Dionysius. So the etymology of Dennis ultimately means ‘Zeus of Nysa’. More importantly to the French, however, was the 3rd century Saint Denis who is now considered one of the patron saints of France. He was a missionary credited with converting the Gauls to Christianity but was ultimately beheaded for his endeavors in Paris by pagan priests. It was said that Denis picked up his severed head and walked six miles holding it as he continued to preach his sermons. Where he finally died and laid to rest. A few hundred years later, a Basilica was erected to honor him at his burial spot. Additionally, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis is where nearly all of the French kings were buried between the 10th and 18th centuries. Due to Saint Denis’s importance to the French people, the name has been common there since the Middle Ages. It eventually spread to England through the Norman influence. The name is normally spelled Dennis in the English-speaking world. Today, Dennis is most popular in the county of Norway.

Popularity of the Name Dennis

Dennis is one of the poster boys of American mid-century names (mid 20th century that is). This name was all the rage in the 1940s and 50s which was the height of his popularity (usually a Top 25 most favorite boy’s name). Not surprisingly, the comic strip character Dennis the Menace was created in 1951 when the name was the 17th most commonly used male name in America. However, in the 130+ years that the U.S. government has been tracking naming trends, the name Dennis is experiencing his lowest point of usage right now. What was once red hot in the middle of last century is now passé as we’ve entered the 21st century. Dennis is no longer hip and cool – it’s considered out of date and behind the times and too associated with the 1950s – a period of American history which is now long gone (and many of the names along with it: Dennis, Gary, Larry, Ronald, Donald and Kenneth). Yes these names are now arguably underrated and therefore underused. There will probably come a time when they return to the limelight, but for now their fashionable days are past. One thing we found interesting. Dennis is “sinned” spelled backwards. Of course, this doesn’t make sense for the pious St. Denis of France, but it’s not too far off for Dionysius – the god of wine, revelry, and basically debauchery. We think this spices up the name a bit; in a good way.
Popularity of the Boy Name Dennis
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Dennis

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Dennis

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Dennis

    Dennis (Dennis the Menace) Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell is the eponymous character in the comic strip created by Hank Ketcham in 1951, and was subsequently adapted to movies and television series. Based upon Ketcham’s own son, Dennis is a delightfully mischievous, freckle-faced little five year old boy, whose antics and outspokenness always lead him into trouble. Much of the strip’s humor derives from the other characters’ reactions to him, particularly his gruff but secretly lovable neighbor, Mr. Wilson. Dennis genuinely likes Mr. Wilson’s company, along with Mrs. Wilson’s baking. His behaviour often exasperates his long-suffering parents, but they devotedly persevere. With his dog, Ruff, in tow, Dennis rules the neighborhood, showing the ropes to his adoring sidekick, Joey, trading barbs with the self-important Margaret (who wants to marry him) and showing off for Gina (whom he secretly loves). Dennis will probably never celebrate that long-delayed sixth birthday – long may he live!

    Dennis Barlow (The Loved One) Dennis Barlow is the main character in Evelyn Waugh’s 1948 satirical novella, The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy, about the funeral business and Hollywood film community. It was made into a 1965 movie starring Robert Morse as Dennis Barlow. Dennis is a young British poet in Hollywood to write a script. Losing his job, he goes to work as a pet cemetery employee, incurring the horror of his fellow British expatriates. Falling in love with a funeral home cosmetician, he woos her with “borrowed” poetry he infers is his own and asks her to marry him after she receives a promotion, so that she can support him. Dennis is not a particularly high-principled person, it appears. After the suicide of his “loved one”, he presides over her cremation at his place of work, all the while reading a novel. But let’s not be too hard on him – he is an anti-hero at his author’s behest, and as such, he does a pretty darn good job.

  • Popular Songs on Dennis

    Popular Songs on Dennis

    Dennis - a song by Badfinger

    You Can't Fool Me Dennis - a song by Mystery Jets

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Dennis

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Dennis

    Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib (Darren Farrell) - When best friends Doug-Dennis and Ben-Bobby go to the circus, something terrible happens. Doug- Dennis eats all of his friend's popcorn, and then tells a fib (It wasn't me!), which grows and grows (Maybe monsters ate it!), carrying Doug-Dennis away. As the lie gets bigger, Doug-Dennis flies higher, until he's floating in a land of lies - some of them big, some small, and some just downright weird. Doug-Dennis misses his best friend, and realizes there's only one way to come back down: by finally telling the truth. Darren Farrell, a bright new talent in picture books, has created a cautionary tale that's chock-full of hilarity. This charming sheep is sure to become a favorite. (And that's the truth.) Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Pleasing the Ghost (Sharon Creech) - Ever since his father died, Dennis has been seeing ghosts. Lots of ghosts. They blow in on the breeze, visit for a while, and fly off again. But one night the ghost of his Uncle Arvie floats in the window. And Arvie wants to do more than chat. Together, they find a lost love letter, finish a special painting, and dig up buried treasure—all for Arvie's widow, Julia. Dennis loves having his uncle around again, but there's still one ghost he's longing to see. Perhaps on the next ghost wind… Recommended for ages 8-11.

    Snowboard Maverick (Matt Christopher) - Having just begun to learn how to snowboard, thirteen-year-old Dennis faces a frightening challenge when he allows a bully to shame him into racing on a difficult slope. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    The Monster Bed (Jeanne Willis) - Little Dennis doesn't want to go to sleep because there might be something under his bed. Dennis isn't afraid of monsters—after all, he's a monster himself. He's afraid that humans will get him. His mother says that humans are only in made-up stories, but Dennis is not convinced—but just try telling that to the lost little boy who wanders into Dennis's cave one night! Rollicking rhyme and delightfully detailed illustrations make this story of a bedtime surprise the perfect book for little monsters. Recommended for ages 5-8.

  • Famous People Named Dennis

    Famous People Named Dennis

    Famous People Named Dennis - Dennis Eckersley (baseball player); Dennis Hopper (actor); Dennis Rodman (basketball player); Dennis Miller (comic/TV personality); Dennis Quaid (actor); Dennis Leary (actor/comic); Dennis Wilson (musician); Dennis Franz (actor)

  • Children of Famous People Named Dennis

    Children of Famous People Named Dennis

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Dennis - Bing Crosby (actor/singer)

  • Historic Figures

    Dennis - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Dennis - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Dennis.

Personality of the Boy Name Dennis

The number 11 is a Master Number, and embodies heightened traits of the Two. This personality is on a life journey to find spiritual truth. They are extremely idealistic and intuitive. Elevens have a rare and exceptional spiritual energy that brings a sense of obligation to illuminate the world around them. It's a very powerful responsibility, but these people have far more potential than they know. It's important that they surrender to higher ideals. They have the capacity to see the bigger picture, and they possess the skills to inspire others spiritually. Elevens have strong diplomatic skills and can become great peacemakers. Master numbers can be both a blessing and a curse, as they walk the fine line between greatness and the potential for self-destruction.

Variations of the Baby Name - Dennis

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