David Name Meaning

A smiling baby standing up in a crib

Artem Varnitsin / EyeEm Premium / Getty Images

What Does David Mean?

The name David has deep Biblical roots and means "beloved." It is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, which evolved from the Hebrew word dod (beloved).

In the Bible, David is an important figure and appears as the Old Testament second king of Israel. As a young shepherd, he defeats the giant Philistine Goliath with a slingshot. The name has special meaning in Jewish culture, with the Star of David being the symbol of Judaism.

  • Origin: The name David comes from the Hebrew word dod (beloved). David was the second king of Israel.
  • Gender: David is historically used as a boy name. Though not as popular, feminine variations of the name include Daveigh, Davetta, and Davida.
  • Pronunciation: DAY-vidh

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

How Popular Is the Name David?

David is a name that has been popular in the United States for over a century. David has been a top 35 name since 1880, the earliest year the Social Security Administration has data available.

The name David steadily increased in popularity until it hit the number 1 spot as the most popular boy name in America in 1960. Then, it hovered in the top 10 names for boys for the next several decades.

In 1993, it dropped out of the top 10 and slowly began to decrease in popularity. The latest data from 2020 shows that the name David is now ranked 28.

Name Variations

As it is a Biblical name, David has an equivalent in many known languages, including:

  • Dafydd (Welsh)
  • Daihbi (Irish)
  • Daividh (Scottish)
  • Daoud (Arabic)
  • Dauf (Arabic)
  • Davide (French)
  • Davidde (Italian)
  • Davito (Spanish)
  • Daveed (Russian)
  • Dewey (Welsh)
  • Davidek (Czech)

Similar Names

Other boy names from the Old Testament:

  • Daniel
  • Aaron
  • Abraham
  • Benjamin
  • Jonathan
  • Noah
  • Samuel
  • Jesse

Other boy names starting with D:

  • Darrel
  • Darius
  • Darren
  • Dennis
  • Dexter
  • Diego
  • Douglas
  • Donald

Common Nicknames

Common nicknames for David include:

  • Dave: Suggests a more casual but still reliable figure. Dave Matthews the musician, and Dave Chappelle the comedian, use their nickname professionally.
  • Davy/Davey/Davie: Less formal than Dave, the nickname Davy conjures up a more playful spirit. Many boys nicknamed Davy often grow up to be called Dave although some will retain their impish boyhood pet name. Davy Jones was a member of the popular band The Monkees from the 1960s, known for his youthful energy and mischievous humor.

Suggested Sibling Names

  • Abigail
  • Audrey
  • Charlie
  • Daniel
  • Donavan
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph
  • Joshua
  • Louise
  • Miriam
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca
  • Sarah

Famous People Named David

Famous Davids:

  • David, the masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, created by Italian artist Michelangelo
  • David Alan Grier, American actor and comedian
  • David Beckham, English former professional football player
  • David Bowie, English singer-songwriter, actor
  • David Copperfield, American magician and illusionist
  • David Duchovny, American actor known for role in television series "The X-Files"
  • David Lee Roth, American rock musician, singer, songwriter
  • David Letterman, American late-night talk show host
  • David Schwimmer, American actor known as "Ross" in popular sitcom "Friends"
  • David Spade, American actor and comedian

Famous Davys

  • Davy Crockett, American folk hero, frontiersman, and politician
  • Davy Jones, member of the popular 1960s band The Monkees
  • Davy Klaassen, Dutch professional footballer who plays for the Netherlands national team

Famous Daves:

  • Dave Chappelle, American stand-up comedian and actor
  • Dave Coulier, American stand-up comedian, actor, voice actor, and impressionist who became a household name as "Uncle Joey" in 1990's television show "Full House"
  • Dave Matthews, American musician and founding member of Dave Matthews Band

Fictional Davids:

  • David, main character in the "No, David!" children's picture book series
  • David Brent, character in the BBC television show "The Office"
  • David Rose, character in the popular Canadian sitcom "Schitt's Creek"
  • David Seville, dad character in the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" franchise
  • David Silver, character in the classic 1990s television show "Beverly Hills, 90210"

More Baby Names

Still searching for the perfect baby name? Check out these related baby name lists for even more options:

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Social Security Administration. Popular Baby Names.

By Vicky Yip
Vicky is a freelance writer specializing on topics relating to prenatal care, motherhood, parenting, family, and home life. She is also a Senior Contributor for HoustonMoms (City Mom Collective).