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Quick Facts on Donald

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • Celtic, Scottish
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 415
Simple meaning:
Ruler of the World

Characteristics of Donald

  • Freedom-loving
  • Adventurous
  • Adaptable
  • Intellectual
  • Easygoing
  • Progressive
  • Sensual

Etymology & Historical Origin - Donald

Donald is the anglicized version of the Scottish name Domhnall which is one of the oldest Celtic names in continuous use (the Scottish actually imported the name originally from Ireland where a few early rulers of Irish kingdoms held this moniker). The name comes from the Celtic elements “dumno” meaning ‘world’ and “val” meaning ‘rule’. Therefore, Donald essentially means ‘Ruler of the World’ or ‘Mighty Ruler’. Not surprisingly – given a meaning like that – Domhnall was borne by several early medieval rulers of Scottish kingdoms as well as kings of the Scots and Picts, between the 7th and 14th centuries. It’s safe to say that Donald (like Kenneth or Duncan) is a name of enduring importance among the Scots. Furthermore, the MacDonald clan is one of the most illustrative and numerous throughout Scottish history. Lastly, St. Donald of Ogilvy was an 8th century Scottish saint who lived a pious life with his nine virginal daughters known as the Nine Maidens. Don and Donny are English pet forms for Donald, while the Scottish have traditionally used Dolly.

Popularity of the Name Donald

Donald has been a long time favorite name for boys in America. Although the name was only moderately used in the late 19th century, by the turn of the 20th century, Donald had already entered the Top 100 list of most commonly used male names in America. The peak popularity for Donald was no doubt over the period from the early 1920s through the early 40s when for 20 straight years the name was on the Top 10 list (aside: the loveable Disney character Donald Duck was created in 1934 at the height of this name’s popularity). In fact, Donald remained quite popular right up until the 1980s. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that he would fall from fashion and drop off the Top 100 list. Since we’ve crossed the threshold into this new century, American parents are clearly leaving Donald behind in the dust. For the last 20 years, the name has shown consistent decline and is now experiencing levels of low popularity – the lowest ever in over 100 years. Perhaps Donald Draper from “Mad Men” will bring an old mid-century suaveness back to the name. We’ll have to wait and see, but for now, it’s fair to say that this Scottish lad is now decidedly passé. Move over Donald, Donovan has come to town and taken your place as a newer, more modern version of this ancient Celtic-Scottish name. Perhaps you will return to the charts one day again to ‘rule the world’.
Popularity of the Boy Name Donald
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Donald

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Donald

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Donald

    Donald Farfrae (The Mayor of Casterbridge) Donald Farfrae is a very important character in Thomas Hardy’s tragic novel, The Mayor of Casterbridge, published in 1886. He is the exact opposite of Michael Henchard, whose shocking act of selling his wife and child to a sailor drives the plot of the book. Both men become mayor of Casterbridge, but that is all they have in common. Donald is a good and gentle man who befriends Henchard (not knowing his secret) and, through his superior knowledge and education, leads Henchard to great success. He is paid for his kindness with Michael’s rising jealousy of him, which leads him to fire Donald. Henchard’s fortunes turn sour, though, and for once virtue is rewarded – Donald’s fortunes only rise. Ultimately, he becomes the greater success, he has the happier marriages, and he is by far the better liked. Even when he knows all about Henchard, and has been on the receiving end of Henchard’s base acts, Donald still finds room for forgiveness and understanding. And in spite of all this, Donald never comes across as holier-than-thou; he is simply that rarest of creatures – a thoroughly good man.

    Donald Fauntleroy Duck (Disney) Donald Duck is the charmingly bad-tempered cartoon character created by the Walt Disney group, appearing for the first time in 1934 in “The Wise Little Hen”. As time went by, his role grew larger and larger, and he spun off from the shadow of his friend and competitor, Mickey Mouse, to work solo. No super hero, Donald is created in the image of most men – he has some good in him; he has some bad in him. Sometimes he wins; sometimes he loses. Strutting around in his sailor suit and cap, Donald cuts a fine figure, and is very attractive to his lady-love, Daisy Duck. He also acts as a part-time guardian for his three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, who often reduce him to unintelligible squawks with their antics. He is often accused of being lazy, but he puts a lot of energy into his every action. A good deal of his time is spent worrying about the likelihood of his inheriting the vast fortunes of his uncle, Scrooge McDuck. But the best part of Donald, and the reason for his long and hearty life, is simply that he is one funny duck.

  • Popular Songs on Donald

    Popular Songs on Donald

    Donald and Lydia - a song by John Prine

    Donald of Glencoe - a song by Cara Dillon

    Donald Where's Yer Troosers? - a song by the Real Mckenzies

    My Donald - a song by Mary Black

    The Ballad of Donald White - a song by Bob Dylan

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Donald

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Donald

    Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection (Rev. W. Awdry) - Since the first Thomas stories written by a father for his son over 60 years ago, Thomas the Tank Engine continues to delight children everywhere. This collection contains 14 of the best-loved titles of the Reverend W. Awdry’s classic Railway Series and includes the most famous adventures of Thomas and his Really Useful Engine friends such as Donald and Douglas. These exciting and funny tales, over 55 of them, are enhanced by the original artwork in this stunning new gift edition. Recommended for ages baby to preschool.

    Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck Volume 1 (Don Rosa) - With its new series, WALT DISNEY TREASURY, BOOM Kids! brings you classic Disney stories, never-before-collected in North America. In this first volume, Eisner Award-winning writer/artist Don Rosa’s very first Donald Duck stories are collected in the order they were originally printed! These are Donald Duck’s greatest stories and he’s bringing along all of his old friends, including Uncle Scrooge, Gladstone Gander, Flintheart Glomgold and those mischievous nephews of his, Huey, Dewey and Louie! Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck Volume 2 (Don Rosa) - Don Rosa’s classic run of Donald Duck stories continues with classic tales collected and reprinted for the fi rst time in two decades. In this volume, Donald’s travels take him across the globe and time, from Norway for the Winter Olympics to the Middle Ages for an epic battle against none other than King Arthur himself. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Donald

    Famous People Named Donald

    Famous People Named Donald - Donald of Ogilvy (Scottish saint); Donald Rumsfeld (U.S. Secretary of Defense); Donald Sutherland (actor); Donald Trump (businessman); Donald "Donny" Osmond (entertainer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Donald

    Children of Famous People Named Donald

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Donald - Donald Trump (businessman); Donny Osmond (entertainer)

  • Historic Figures

    Donald - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy Name Donald

The number Five personality loves the excitement of life and can easily adapt to all situations. As natural adventurers, these personalities thrive on the new and unexpected and prefer to be in constant motion. It makes them feel alive. They'll stir up some action if there's not enough around, and as inherent risk-takers they enjoy pushing the envelope. Naturally rebellious, the Five personality has no fear and never resists change.  Traveling and new experiences feed their souls. Fives are very social and attract friends with ease. People love to be around the Five fun-loving and exciting energy.  This is also a lucky number in numerology (like the Threes), so fortune seems to shine on them, helped along by their own optimism and good-nature. Fives have a quick wit, a cerebral mind, and are generally very persuasive. 

Variations of the Baby Name - Donald

  • No Variations Found.
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