Quick Facts on Douglas
- English, Scottish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Characteristics of Douglas
Etymology & Historical Origin - Douglas
Douglas is the anglicized version of the Scottish medieval surname Dùbhghlas, from the Gaelic elements “dubh” meaning ‘dark’ and “glais” meaning ‘water, stream’. This distinguished clan name was borne by a long and powerful line of Scottish Earls, originating from the lands of Douglas. The clan name was most likely developed from a topographical feature of the lands (a dark, black stream running through the territory now located in South Lanarkshire, Scotland near Glasgow). This powerful family had two main branches: The Black Douglases (Earls of Douglas) and the Red Douglases (Earls of Angus). One historian referred to the Douglas Clan as "the great, turbulent, daring, and too often treacherous house". One of the most notable was Sir James Douglas, heroic knight and trusted deputy of Robert the Bruce (King of the Scots) during Scotland’s First War of Independence in the early 14th century. After Robert the Bruce died, Sir James Douglas carried the king’s heart on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (which is why the family coat of arms features prominently a heart). The first recorded spelling of this illustrious surname appeared in 1175 as “de Duglas” in Kelso, Scotland. Douglas has been used as a given name since the 16th century. Ironically, it was mainly used as a feminine personal name in northern England in the 17th and 18th centuries, although today it is widely accepted as a masculine personal name.
Popularity of the Name Douglas
Douglas has had a remarkably successful career on the American male naming charts. The name dates back to the late 1800s which is as far back as we have data. At the turn of the 20th century, Douglas was inside the Top 200 most commonly used boy names, making him a name of moderate popularity. The name slowly gained ground and by 1929, Douglas was a Top 100 favorite. The name would remain on the Top 100 list for 60 straight years (until 1990). The height of Douglas’s popularity was no doubt during the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Some of the name’s popularity is owed to army General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), a distinguished leader of the World War II effort in the Pacific, most notably for defending the Philippines and accepting the defeat of the Japanese. He was extremely admired during and post-WWII up through the Korean War; the man was so respected he could have ran for President if he so desired (he didn’t). Douglas was still a popular and familiar choice in the 1970s and 80s, but it was becoming clear that his glory days were fast retreating. Douglas has been in free-fall decline since 1990, dropping almost 400 positions on the charts in 20 years. No longer in vogue, people are beginning to consider this name outdated and a little boring. It’s still an interesting choice for Scottish-American parents or those who appreciate the mysteries of a “dark stream”. There’s also something brave and honorable about Douglas thanks to his war-hero namesakes.
Popularity of the Boy Name Douglas
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Douglas
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Douglas
Douglas We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Douglas.
Popular Songs on Douglas
Douglas Traherne Harding - a song by The Incredible String Band
The Black Douglas - a song by the Corries
Children's Books on the Baby Name Douglas
Don't Worry, Douglas! (David Melling) - Douglas the big, brown, lovable bear is back! His dad gives him a special gift, a new woolly hat! But then something terrible happens. Douglas's hat gets caught on a tree and turns into one long string of spaghetti! How will he ever tell his dad? Douglas learns that it takes a BIG bear to tell the truth in this heartwarming and hilarious follow-up to Hugless Douglas! Recommended for ages 3-6.
Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor (Geoff Benge) - Under siege on the island of Corregidor, General Douglas MacArthur received a warning from the enemy. "You are well aware that you are doomed," the Japanese general wrote. Of course, there was no way Douglas was going to surrender. Whether masterminding battle strategies or guiding the peace process among war-torn nations, 5-Star general MacArthur faced challenges with unwavering courage & resolve . Recommended for ages 10-14.
Douglas the Dragon: Books I-IV (William Forde) - ‘Douglas the Dragon’ symbolizes ‘the power of love.’ A young orphaned dragon is found and adopted by a young boy and becomes a much-loved dragon in the village. When the boy is killed by a volcano, the dragon is eventually evicted from the community. The dragon spends 50 years in exile sitting upon his volcano of hate and getting angrier and angrier- until his anger explodes and he seeks revenge. The story is meant to teach anger management for children. Kindle edition. Recommended for ages 6-9.
Hugless Douglas (David Melling) - Douglas is a young bear looking for a hug. But each time he thinks he has found that very special feeling, it turns out to be a false alarm. The big rock he hugs is too...oof! HEAVY. The tall tree he hugs is too...ouch! SPLINTERY. And the cozy-looking bush he hugs quivers and trembles and then runs away! Poor Hugless Douglas. Won't anyone give him a hug? Recommended for ages 3-6.
Famous People Named Douglas
Famous People Named Douglas - Douglas MacArthur (American war general); Douglas D. Osheroff (Nobel Prize winner – physics)
Children of Famous People Named Douglas
Famous People Who Named Their Son Douglas - Robert F. Kennedy (politician); Charles Durning (actor)
Personality of the Boy Name Douglas
The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth". Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.
Variations of the Baby Name - Douglas