Donovan Origin and Meaning

The name Donovan is a boy's name of Irish Gaelic origin meaning "dark".

One of the first of the appealing Irish surnames to take off in this country, this boys’ name has long outgrown its "Mellow Yellow" association, which came via the single from a sixties singer-songwriter named Donovan.

Donovan was Scottish-born Donovan Leitch, whose name was probably inspired by his father Donald's. He proved to be an adventurous, celestial namer himself--three of his children are Astrella Celeste, Oriole Nebula and Ione Skye.

Another potential namesake is retired pro bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Donovan was in the USA Top 1000 as early as 1900.

Related options are surname Donegan and place name Donegal.

# 466 in the US

Donovan Rank in US Top 1000

# 610 on Nameberry

Donovan Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Donovan Popularity

Famous People Named Donovan

  • Donovan (Philips Leitch)Scottish singer,songwriter
  • Donovan Jamal McNabbAmerican NFL football player
  • Donovan WarrenAmerican football player
  • Donovan BaileyCanadian Olympic sprinter
  • Donovan BlakeAmerican cricketer
  • Donovan RickettsJamaican footballer
  • Donovan FrankenreiterAmerican singer,songwriter
  • Donovan Alan OsborneAmerican baseball player
  • Donovan WoodsAmerican football player
  • Donovan PattonAmerican actor
  • Donovan Jerome Leitch (b. 1967)English,American actor; son of singer Donovan
  • Donovan "Donnie" Jackson (b. 1992)son of actress Shar Jackson
  • Donovan Charles Hardy (b. 2003)son of actress Charisma Carpenter
  • Donovan Roth (adopted 2006)son of actors Matt Roth and Laurie Metcalf
  • Donovan Rory MacDonald Gallagher (b. 2007)son of musician Noel Gallagher
  • Donovan Jamal McNabbJr. (b. 2008), son of NFL player Donovan McNabb
  • Donovan Evers Leitch (b. 2015)son of actor Donovan Leitch & Libby Mintz; grandson of singer Donovan
  • Jagger Donovan Rooney (b. 2008)son of musician Joe Don Rooney and model Tiffany Fallon
  • Landon DonovanAmerican soccer player
  • Jeffrey DonovanAmerican actor
  • Tate DonovanAmerican actor
  • Jason Sean DonovanAustralian actor and singer
  • Terence DonovanAustralian actor, father of Jason Donovan

Donovan in Pop Culture

  • Donovancharacter in "The Puzzle Ring"
  • Donovanvampire on TV's "American Horror Story"
  • Mike Donovancharacter in Isaac Asimov's Robot stories
  • Matt Donovancharacter on "The Vampire Diaries"
  • Donovancharacter in the manga and anime "Berserk"