Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Duke

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • English
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 718
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Duke

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

Etymology & Historical Origin - Duke

Duke is a title given to the highest of high-ranking noblemen (short of the monarch) and/or a prince who rules a duchy, principality or some other small state or province (such as England’s heir apparent Prince Charles, aka the Duke of Wales). The word “duke” is derived from the Latin “dux” meaning “leader” (form “ducere” meaning “to lead”). In England, after the Norman Conquest, Dukes replaced Earls as the highest title below King/Queen. The female equivalent of a Duke is a Duchess. Dukes date back to the Middle Ages in continental Europe feudal societies as rulers of the provinces overseen by a monarch (although often times in medieval Europe, Dukes held more power, political clout and money than even the monarchs or emperors). Today in most places, Duke is little more than a hereditary title. And it’s not often used as a masculine personal name except for time to time in the U.S. (where “dukes” have never existed).

Popularity of the Name Duke

Believe it or not, Duke is a name that’s been used sporadically in America since the late 19th century. During the 20th century, this was pretty much a name that came and went. It saw most of its consistent usage during the 1950s when iconic actor John Wayne (aka “Duke”) was at the height of his stardom. Still, this is a name that has never been very common (only 154 boys were named Duke in 2012). Perhaps people consider it a bit too nicknamey. We like it though. It’s just supremely awesome and oozing with coolness. Duke Kahanamoku was a famous Hawaiian surfer and Olympic swimmer. Duke Ellington is considered by many to be the greatest jazz composer of all time. Talented slugger Duke Snider played for the Dodgers in the 1950s. And let us not forget THE Duke, John Wayne. He gives this name some wild, wild west appeal (thanks to all those rugged westerns he acted in).
Popularity of the Boy Name Duke
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Duke

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Duke

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Duke

    Duke We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Duke.

  • Popular Songs on Duke

    Popular Songs on Duke

    Duke Kahanamoku - a song by the Queers

    Duke of Earl - a song by Gene Chandler

    Sir Duke - a song by Stevie Wonder

    The Duke - a song by Dave Brubeck

    The Duke - a song by Blind Melon

    The Duke of Dubuque - a song by the Manhattan Transfer

    The Duke Regains His Chops - a song by Frank Zappa

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Duke

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Duke

    Duke (Kirby Larson) - A poignant World War II story about a boy and his dog and his dad, and the many meanings of bravery, from Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson. With World War II raging and his father fighting overseas in Europe, eleven-year-old Hobie Hanson is determined to do his part to help his family and his country, even if it means giving up his beloved German shepherd, Duke. Hoping to help end the war and bring his dad home faster, Hobie decides to donate Duke to Dogs for Defense, an organization that urges Americans to "loan" their pets to the military to act as sentries, mine sniffers, and patrol dogs. Hobie immediately regrets his decision and tries everything he can to get Duke back, even jeopardizing his friendship with the new boy at school. But when his father is taken prisoner by the Germans, Hobie realizes he must let Duke go and reach deep within himself to be brave. Will Hobie ever see Duke, or his father, again? With powerful storytelling and gripping emotion, critically acclaimed author Kirby Larson explores the many ways bravery and love help us to weather the most difficult times. Recommended for ages 8-13.

    Duke Ellington (Mike Venezia) - From the Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers Series. The author/illustrator of the highly successful Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series lends his creative talents to another fun, informative series, this one featuring world-famous composers. Recommended for ages 6-9.

    Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra (Andrea & Brian Pinkney) - Review by Amazon: “We applaud this talented husband-and-wife team--award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney and writer Andrea Pinkney--for making music fly in this fantastic tribute to a jazz legend. Andrea does an extraordinary job of translating music into words, with blues "deeper than the deep blue sea" and "hot-buttered bob, with lots of sassy-cool tones," while her husband visually interprets the movement of music as spirals, waves, and swirls of color, prepared as scratchboard renderings with luma dyes, gouache, and oil paint. Andrea writes, "Toby let loose on his sleek brass sax, curling his notes like a kite tail in the wind. A musical loop-de-loop, with a serious twist," while Brian paints those curling notes, the loop-de-loops, and the kite sailing up to the New York City skyline. Young readers will enjoy the rhythm and beauty of the story itself, and may even be inspired to give Raffi a rest and swing with the Duke! Great read-aloud for ages 4-8.

    Good Knight, Duke: A Lesson in Being Nice (Ronald Kidd) - What’s Duke supposed to do when the meanest knight in the whole kingdom challenges him? Join the crowd as Duke shows how we can be nice to others even when they’re not being kindhearted in return. Recommended for ages 4-8.

  • Famous People Named Duke

    Famous People Named Duke

    Famous People Named Duke - Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaiian Olympic athlete in swimming and water polo; notable surfer); Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (jazz musician); Marion Robert Morrison (aka John Wayne, aka The Duke); Edwin Donald "Duke" Snider (baseball player)

  • Children of Famous People Named Duke

    Children of Famous People Named Duke

    Famous People Who Named Their Son Duke - Justine Bateman (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Duke - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Duke Ellington (29 Apr 1899 – 24 May 1974) - Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was one of the most beloved and revered figures of American jazz, whose long career encompassed composition, piano playing, radio, movie and television appearances and leading his own jazz band, with innumerable recordings testifying to his genius. Duke Ellington first gained widespread acclaim through appearances at New York City’s famed “Cotton Club”, with its white, wealthy clientele; in the 1930s his band toured Europe, garnering even more attention. The prolific Ellington produced over 1,000 compositions in his lifetime, including the classics: “Satin Doll”, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”, and “Sophisticated Lady” among others. Throughout his lifetime, Duke performed and recorded with such contemporary greats as Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus. While the 1950s saw a decline in his favor, his reputation eventually was elevated to even greater prominence with his participation in the 1956 Newport Jazz Festival and with the issuance of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Duke Ellington’s Songbook”. Among the many awards and tributes Duke received were counted the Presidential Medal Freedom and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His fame is as great as ever today, and he is universally recognized as a musical master. His own 1973 autobiography says it all: Music is My Mistress.

    Duke Kahanamoku (24 Aug 1890 – 22 Jan 1968) - Duke Kahanamoku was the iconic father of modern surfing, having been a five-time Olympic swimming gold and silver medalist who almost single-handedly popularized the nascent sport of surfing. Born and raised in Waikiki in Hawaii, Duke was the original beach boy. Well, not exactly. We’d like to see some of those California boys ride the waves as Duke did: on his hand-carved, koa wood, 16 foot, 114 pound board! Write a song about that, Beach Boys! After his extraordinary success in the Olympics and other sporting venues, Duke moved to Southern California and pursued an erratic career as a movie actor, mostly in supporting and extra roles. Returning to Hawaii, Duke served as sheriff of Honolulu for 29 years and more or less eked out a living lending his name to a nightclub (where Don Ho reigned supreme). He was also a friend and surfing companion (and perhaps more) to tobacco heiress, Doris Duke, who fronted the loan for a house for him and his wife. Duke’s memory is kept affectionately alive today in Hawaii; he is unanimously agreed to have been a sincerely good person. Ultimate kudo - he has even had a stamp issued in his honor.

    John Wayne (26 May 1907 – 11 Jun 1979) - John Wayne was the iconic and hugely successful American movie star born in Iowa with the unfortunate moniker of Marion Morrison. Called “Duke” (happily) from a young age, the man whom the studios dubbed John Wayne came to movies by way of odd jobs and bit parts. It took the genius of director John Ford to insist on his being cast in 1939’s Stagecoach to send John Wayne to superstardom via almost 150 movies, most of them Westerns. Among his most popular movies were Rio Bravo, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, and True Grit, for which he won an Academy Award. John Wayne was known in later years as much for his conservative politics as for his movies, as he boosted Republican causes, championed the war in Vietnam and bemoaned the state of contemporary American youth. As much as he stood for a militant aggressiveness, he never joined the armed services, although he tried. Deferred because of his age and family status, he was also the object his studio’s efforts to keep him on the lot cranking out pictures. Nonetheless, he epitomized the fighting patriotic American to the day of his death. Married three times, John Wayne fathered seven children and died of stomach cancer, after having beaten lung cancer some years earlier. He remains one of the best known and most popular figures of American culture to this day, and even has an airport named after him. Not bad for a boy named Sue, er, Marion.

Personality of the Boy Name Duke

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 - Duke

  • No Variations Found.
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