Musical Instruments of King David
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Musical Instruments of King David
Region of originIsrael

David is a common masculine given name of Biblical Hebrew origin, as King David is a character of central importance in the Hebrew Bible and in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic religious tradition.

Hebrew: , Modern: David, Tiberian: D?wî? has the meaning of "beloved", from a root dôwd, which had an etymological meaning of "to boil", but survives in Biblical Hebrew only in figurative usage "to love" and specifically a term for an uncle (father's brother).[1] In Christian tradition, the name was adopted as Syriac: ?‎ Dawid, Greek , Latin Davidus. The Quranic spelling is ? D?w?d.

David was adopted as a Christian name from an early period, e.g. David of Wales (6th century), David Saharuni (7th century), David I of Iberia (9th century). Name days are celebrated on 8 February (for David IV of Georgia), 1 March (for St. David of Wales) and 29 December (for King David), as well as 25 June (St. David of Sweden), 26 June, 9 July (Russia), 26 August, 11 December and 30 December (Hungary, Latvia, Norway).


The oldest, most popular and most commonly used diminutive form in the English speaking countries of David is Dave, which first appeared in written form in the 16th century.[] The nickname Dave has been used as a name in its own right in the 19th and 20th centuries, at least in the United States. At the height of its popularity in the 1950s and early 1960s, the name Dave was bestowed upon more than 3,000 infants each year.[2]

Other common English-language hypocorisms of the name David are Davey, Davie and Davy. The Welsh Dafydd is also abbreviated Dewi, Dai and Daf.[3]

In Ashkenazi Jewish culture, common hypocorisms of Dovid are Dovi and Dov. Dudi is a common hypocorism in Modern Hebrew.[4]

Davo is also used as a nickname, and is quite common in Australia and Armenia, while the nickname Dato (for Davit) is popular in the country of Georgia.[]

Feminine forms

Feminine forms of the name include Daveigh, Davida, Davetta and Davina. The girl's name Davinia may derive from David, but it has also been considered a derivation from the Gaelic Devin[] or a variant of Lavinia.[]


  • United Kingdom: David was the most popular masculine given name in Northern Ireland for newborns in 1975 and dropped to a fluctuating rank around 20th in the first few years of the 21st century.[5]
  • United States: David is the second most popular masculine name in the United States. 10,905,563 (1 out of 28) Americans are named David. Approximately 92,597 Davids are born each year.[6]
  • United States: In 2015, the name David was the 18th most popular name for baby boys in the United States. [7]


See also


  1. ^ Strong's Concordance H1732
  2. ^ "Popular Baby Names".
  3. ^ Although Dai was formerly used as a name in its own right prior to the late 15th century, possibly derived from a Welsh word meaning "shining". The name was very popular in Wales, leading to the situation whereby in England, "Taffy" or "Taff" (imitating the Welsh pronunciation of "Dafydd") became used as a pejorative nickname for Welshmen regardless of their actual name.[]
  4. ^ "The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition".
  5. ^ "Jack and Emma were the most popular first names in Northern Ireland in 2003" (PDF) (Press release). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. 2 January 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2006. Retrieved 2008. (see tables "Comparison with 1975" and "Top 20 Names 2000-2003")
  6. ^
  7. ^

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