David Origin and Meaning

The name David is a boy's name of Hebrew origin meaning "beloved".

David is an enduring worldwide classic, used from ancient times to the present day.

David is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, believed to come from the root dôwd, meaning “beloved”. The first famous David was the Old Testament second king of Israel: the shepherd boy who killed the giant Goliath, and later a warrior, poet, and powerful leader, wise but humanly fallible. He is an important figure in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, and later inspired many works of art, including Michelangelo’s colossal sculpture.

Since then, there have been countless Davids of note in history, literature, and popular culture, including the patron saint of Wales — a translation of the Welsh name Dewi — two kings of Scotland. Then there’s Copperfield, Crockett, Bowie, Beckham, Letterman, Grohl, and many more. Celebrities who have chosen it for their sons include Jennifer Hudson, Bar Refaeli, and J.K. Rowling.

In its international forms, David is steadily popular around the world, and ranks in the Top 10 names in Brazil, Austria, Armenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Israel.

In the USA, David has never been out of the Top 40 boy names, but was at peak popularity in the mid-twentieth century, ranking in the Top 10 from 1936-1992. This means that, although it’s still given to thousands of boys each year, it has an “older man” feel to it. It ranks highest in states with a large Jewish population, and is still a Top 10 name in New York.

After Daniel, David is the second most popular boy name starting with D. Although fading a little in popularity, it remains a serious-yet-friendly classic with deep roots.

If you’re looking to update David, perhaps as an honor name, the freshest alternatives are surnames deriving from David, including Dawes, Dawson, and Davies. You could also try an international variation, like Welsh Dai or Finnish Taavi.

# 27 in the US

David Rank in US Top 1000

# 138 on Nameberry

David Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

David Popularity

Famous People Named David

  • David2nd King of Israel
  • David "Davy" CrockettAmerican frontiersman and politician
  • David Laʻamea Kahalepouli Kinoiki KawānanakoaPrince of Hawaiʻi
  • David Lloyd George1st Earl Lloyd,George of Dwyfor, British Prime Minister
  • David HumeScottish Philosopher
  • David Frederick AttenboroughEnglish naturalist and broadcaster
  • David Randolph ScottAmerican astronaut
  • David Howell PetraeusAmerican former CIA director
  • David William Donald CameronFORMER British Prime Minister
  • David Bowie (born David Robert Jones)English musician
  • David Robert Joseph BeckhamEnglish footballer
  • David Keith LynchAmerican director
  • David Michael HasselhoffAmerican actor and singer
  • David ArquetteAmerican actor
  • David Julian DobrikSlovak YouTuber
  • David ByrneAmerican musician of "Talking Heads"
  • David Michael LettermanAmerican television host
  • David Alasdair BoudiaAmerican diver
  • David Thomas "Davy" JonesEnglish singer of The Monkees
  • David John "Dave" FrancoAmerican actor
  • David Michael "Dave" MirraAmerican professional BMX rider
  • David Eric "Dave" GrohlAmerican musician of the Foo Fighters
  • David John "Dave" MatthewsAmerican musician
  • David Warren "Dave" BrubeckAmerican jazz pianist
  • Robert David "Dave" GrusinAmerican film composer
  • David Khari Webber "Dave" ChappelleAmerican comedian
  • David Allen "Dave" MeltzerAmerican sports journalist
  • David Scott "Dave" Mustainelead guitarist for American band Metallica
  • David "Dave" FleischerAmerican animator
  • David Victor "Dave" SimCanadian cartoonist
  • David "Dave" SextonEnglish footballer
  • David Allan "Dave" RighettiAmerican baseball player and coach
  • David Mark "Dave" WinfieldAmerican baseball player
  • David "Dave" Nizam BakshCanadian guitarist of Sum 41 and Brown Brigade
  • David "Dave" Rodman AnnableAmerican actor
  • David "Dave" GardnerBritish sports agent
  • David William DuchovnyAmerican actor
  • David Hyde PierceAmerican actor
  • David Tennant (born David John McDonald)Scottish actor
  • David Clayton HenrieAmerican actor
  • David Albert MazouzAmerican child actor
  • David Abraham AdlerAmerican children's author
  • David BermanAmerican actor and researcher
  • David Cloud BermanAmerican musician of band The Silver Jews
  • David BoreanazAmerican actor
  • John Arthur "David" CarradineAmerican actor
  • David Roland CookAmerican musician
  • David EigenbergAmerican actor
  • David Howell Evans aka The EdgeIrish musician of U2
  • David Jon GilmourEnglish musician of Pink Floyd
  • David Wright MilibandBritish Politician
  • David James Stuart MitchellEnglish actor and comedian
  • David Mark MorrisseyEnglish actor
  • David Alan RobertsonAmerican baseball pitcher
  • David Allen WrightAmerican baseball player
  • David Lawrence SchwimmerAmerican actor
  • David Wayne SpadeAmerican actor and comedian
  • David Courtney SuchetEnglish actor
  • David KrejciCzech ice Hockey player
  • David "Dave" SheltonAmerican rapper of the group "Another Bad Creation"
  • David Scott "Dave" FoleyCanadian actor
  • David Bruce CassidyAmerican actor/singer
  • David Richard FreeseAmerican baseball player
  • David HilbertGerman mathematician
  • David Joseph BohmAmerican theoretical physicist
  • David Jonathan GrossAmerican particle physicist, string theorist and Nobel prize winner
  • David BagrationiPrince Regent of Georgia
  • David Russell StrathairnAmerican actor
  • David James "Dave" GormanEnglish comedian
  • David Wallace CrowderAmerican Christian Musician
  • David Gulpilil (Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu)Aboriginal Australian actor
  • David LambertAmerican actor
  • David Laurenson of American fashion designer Ralph Lauren
  • David Spencer aka iBallisticSquidEnglish YouTuber
  • David Nagle aka Daithi De NoglaIrish YouTuber
  • David RamseyAmerican actor
  • David Portner aka Avey TareAmerican musician of Animal Collective
  • David Michael "Dave" BautistaAmerican actor and pro wrestler
  • David Philippe DesrosiersFrench Canadian bass player of Simple Plan
  • David Miscavigeleader of the Church of Scientology
  • David KaufmanAmerican voice actor
  • David Daniel Otunga Jr. (b. 2009)son of American singer and actress Jennifer Hudson
  • David Lee RothAmerican lead singer for the band Van Halen
  • David JarreFrench magician and musician, son of composer Jean,Michel Jarre and actress Charlotte Rampling
  • David HarbourAmerican actor
  • David McGoldrickIrish professional footballer
  • David GreenBritish film director, TV producer, and media executive
  • David Michael BurtkaAmerican Actor and Chef; married to American actor Neil Patrick Harris
  • David James FurnishCandian Filmmaker; married to British singer and songwriter Sir Elton John
  • David GoffinBelgian tennis player
  • David Ferrer ErnSpanish tennis player
  • David Rosen(b. 1930) American businessman co,founder of the Japanese video game company Sega
  • David Ezra (b. 2020)son of Bar Refaeli and Adi Ezra.
  • David Andrew BurdAmerican rapper and comedian, better known by his stage name Lil Dicky
  • David Spencer (b. 1983) 13 year old British boy missing since 1996

David in Pop Culture

  • David Fisher from the HBO television series "Six Feet Under".
  • David Tanakadoctor on Australian soap "Neighbours"
  • City of Davidanother name for Jerusalem
  • David Gamutcharacter in "Last of the Mohicans," by James Fenimore Cooper
  • Dr. David Marrowcharacter in "Haunting of Hill House"
  • "David Copperfield" novel by Charles Dickens
  • Dr. David "Mr. Bone" Huxleycharacter in "Bringing Up Baby"
  • Davidrobotic boy in the movie "AI"
  • Davidcharacter in "The Uglies" series
  • David Nolan/Prince Charmingcharacter on the TV's "Once Upon a Time"
  • David Rossicharacter on "Criminal Minds"
  • David Camdenone of the twins on TV's "Seventh Heaven"
  • David Brentfrom the UK TV series "The Office"
  • David McCallvillian in the movie "Fear"
  • David Shaynecharacter in movie "Bullets over Broadway"
  • David Stenfaeldtcharacter from The dung,beetle flies at dusk, by Maria Gripe
  • David Fletcher"One Tree Hill"
  • David Charlestonmain character in The Reckoners Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • David Singhcharacter in DC Universe
  • David "Dave" Stutlermain character in the movie "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
  • David "Dave" Sevillemain character in the movie "Alvin and the Chipmunks"
  • David Halleralso known as Legion, character in Marvel Universe
  • David Raincharacter in book series "The Last Dragon Chronicles," by Chris D'Lacey
  • David Dunncharacter in "Unbreakable"
  • David Draytoncharacter in "The Mist"
  • Davidcharacter in "Alien" series
  • David Andersoncharacter in the "Mass Effect" trilogy
  • David Gregory Phillipscharacter on TV's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
  • David Hodgescharacter on TV's "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"
  • Davidmain character in the Rooster Teeth animated series "Camp Camp"
  • Davidcharacter in the "Underworld" series
  • David Healycharacter on TV's "Roseanne"
  • David Wallacecharacter from the US TV series "The Office"
  • David Sunflower Seeds
  • David Levinsoncharacter in the 1996 film "Independence Day" aka ID4
  • David Prentisscharacter in Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness.

David in Nameberry Blog Posts