fem. proper name; in U.S. little used before c. 1925, then in top 100 for girls born from 1963 to 1984.
"native or inhabitant of Denmark," early 14c. (in plural, Danes), from Danish Daner, (Medieval Latin Dani), which is perhaps ultimately from a source related to Old High German tanar "sand bank," in reference to their homeland, or from Proto-Germanic *den- "low ground," for the same reason.
It replaced Old English Dene (plural), which was used of Northmen generally. Shakespeare has Dansker "a Dane" (c. 1600). Dane was applied by 1774 to a breed of large dogs.
Danegeld (attested from 1086; it was first imposed in 991) supposedly originally was a tax to pay for protection from the Northmen (either to outfit defensive armies or to buy peace), continued under later kings for other purposes. Danelaw (c. 1050) was "the body of Danish law in force over that large part of England under Viking rule after Alfred's treaty in 878;" the application to the land itself is modern (1837, Danelagh).
proper name, Hebrew, literally "God is my judge;" related to Dan, literally "he who judges," the name given to the tribe descended from Jacob's son of that name in the Old Testament. Consistently in the top 15 names for boys born in the U.S. from 1972 through 2008.
fem. proper name, from Daniel. In U.S., little used before c. 1940 and in the top 20 for girls born from 1984-1994.
familiar form of proper name Daniel. The words to the popular song "Danny Boy" were written by English songwriter Frederic Weatherly in 1910 and altered in 1913 to fit the old Irish tune of "Londonderry Air."
masc. proper name, most modern uses outside Italy ultimately are in reference to Dante Alighieri (c. 1265-1321), the great poet; the name is a shortening of Latin Durante, from durare "to harden, endure," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." Related: Dantean, Dantescan, Dantesque (the last from French).
German name of Polish Gdańsk,city on the Baltic coast of Poland, perhaps from Gdania, an older name for the river that runs through it, or from Gothic Gutisk-anja "end of the (territory of the) Goths." The spelling (attested from 13c.) in the German form of the name perhaps suggests a connection with Dane.
fem. proper name, from Greek daphne "laurel, bay tree;" in mythology the name of a nymph, daughter of the river Peneus, metamorphosed into a laurel by Gaia to save her from being ravished as she was pursued by Apollo. The word probably is related to Latin laurus (see laurel).
strait between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, separating Europe from Asia, the classical Hellespont, probably from Dardanus (Greek Dardanos), name of an ancient city near Troy, on the Asia side of the strait, home of the Dardani, a people-name said to be from a mythical founder Dardanus, but this is likely folk-etymology. Related: Dardanian.