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Gender: Female Meaning of Dolly: "gift of God" Origin of Dolly: English, diminutive of Dorothy

The name Dolly is a girl's name of English origin meaning "gift of God". Dolly and is often added to lists like Early African-American Names and discussed in our forums with posts like "Girls Makeover - Two Middles".

From the experts:

Hello, Dolly! Okay, we couldn't resist, but be warned: Most people who meet your little Dolly won't be able to either. This nickname-name, rarely heard since whatever decade Dolly Parton was born, is singing a fashionable note again along with sisters Dottie and Dixie; it was chosen for one of their twin girls by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell.

Dolly has been used on its own since the seventeenth century, so common then that it became a generic term for a favored girl. In the US, Dolly was a Top 300 name around the turn of the last century. The fourth First Lady of the United States spelled her name variously as Dolly and Dolley Madison. And of course Dolly Levi is the name of the central character in the iconic musical bearing her name.

Trivia tidbit: Dolly, the sheep that was the first mammal to be cloned, was named after Dolly Parton.

Find other names based on Dolly using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Dolly

Dolly Rebecca Parton, American country music singer
Dorothy Clara Louise "Dolly" Haas, German-American actress, wife of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld
Dorothy Theresa "Dolly" Hall, American film producer
Dorothy Ann "Dolly" Collins, English folk musician
Dolly Buster aka Nora Baumberger (born Nora Dvořáková), Czech-American actress
Dolly Jacobs, American circus aerialist
Dorothy "Dolly" Peel, English fishwife and smuggler
Dorothy "Dolly" Pentreath, Last native Cornish speaker
Dolly Rathebe, South African singer/actress
Dolly Vanderlip, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitcher
Dolly Banks-Baddiel (b. 2001), daughter of actress Morwenna Banks
Dolly Rebecca Rose O'Connell (b. 2009), daughter of actors Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell
The Dolly Sisters, Jenny and Rosie Dolly, Hungarian-American identical twin dancers and actresses, famous in the 1920s

Pop Culture References for the name Dolly

Darya "Dolly" Alexandrovna Oblonskaya, character in Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina"
Dolly Gallagher Levi, main character in Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker" and musical "Hello, Dolly!"
Dolly Meriwether, character in Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind"
Dolly Keane, character in The Family Circus comic strip
Dolly Skilbeck, character on British soap "Emmerdale"
Dolly, doll in Pixar's "Toy Story 3"
Dolly, occasional nickname for Dolores "Lolita" Haze in Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" ("she was Dolly at school")
Dolly, Scottish cloned sheep
"Dolly Dagger," song by Jimi Hendrix
"Little Dolly Daydream," English music hall song by Leslie Stuart.
Dolly, a character featured in Billion Surprise Toys videos. The doctor told her to never play in the rain, and she replied, "okay sure I will do like that"

Dolley, Dolly


I'm a Banana Says:



Leah_ Says:


I love Dolly Parton but I wouldn't use this name. It sounds a bit childish to me. If you like it though, use it! It's not a bad name.

paulapuddephatt Says:


This is so cute. The only Dolly I've known was an African Grey Parrot, though. I can't decide whether it is better as an independent name or a nickname. I love Dorothea, and I'm sure that it could be short for that, since it derives from Dorothy. Yet, I do feel that it makes a lovely independent name, and I think that it would sound fine on an adult or older person, as well as a baby or child. Some people do feel that it's childish, especially because of the fact that it refers to dolls, but I honestly don't see it - and, after all, others do also say that Polly, Lucy and many other names are "childish", and I don't see a problem with any of those names on adults.

Dogandhug Says:


Love it! Different with a feminine yet spunky feel to it, plus smart and southern- from the queen of country, Dolly Parton! Cute as a formal name or nickname.

Jenn Terry Says:


I think it's a very sweet nickname.

Moony Says:


On the one hand, I feel that a dolly is what little boys and girls play with, which gives it a rather juvenile and unsophisticated appeal. But, on the other hand, it also comes across as being so sweet and soft and ultimately feminine. It doesn't make sense to damn Dolly as babyish and thus unusable when so many similar names are so widely accepted. As such, I think this name should be given a chance. If you love the likes of Daisy, Molly, Lily and Chloe but think they're too popular and tedious, why no give Dolly a shot?

senseandsensibility Says:


Oh that's interesting! Thanks for sharing this info.

Catastroffy Says:


Actually the word "doll" came from this name, not the other way around.

Caroline Says:


Too childish!!

HatGirl Says:


2 reasona i don't like this name. 1) it's a person not a doll 2) there is a famos hacker named dolly

senseandsensibility Says:


it doesn't sound like it came from Dorothy tho... is sounds like it's from doll! weird name.