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Gender: Male Meaning of Donovan: "dark" Origin of Donovan: Irish Donovan's Popularity in 2017: #321

The name Donovan is a boy's name of Irish Gaelic origin meaning "dark". Donovan is ranked #321 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Dark and discussed in our forums with posts like "A Duggarlike Game: With a twist!".

From the experts:

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.

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

Famous People Named Donovan

Donovan (Philips Leitch), Scottish singer-songwriter
Donovan Jamal McNabb, American NFL football player
Donovan Warren, American football player
Donovan Bailey, Canadian Olympic sprinter
Donovan Blake, American cricketer
Donovan Ricketts, Jamaican footballer
Donovan Frankenreiter, American singer-songwriter
Donovan Alan Osborne, American baseball player
Donovan Woods, American football player
Donovan Patton, American 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 McNabb, Jr. (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 Donovan, American soccer player
Jeffrey Donovan, American actor
Tate Donovan, American actor
Jason Sean Donovan, Australian actor and singer
Terence Donovan, Australian actor, father of Jason Donovan

Pop Culture References for the name Donovan

Donovan, character in "The Puzzle Ring"
Donovan, vampire on TV's "American Horror Story"
Mike Donovan, character in Isaac Asimov's Robot stories
Matt Donovan, character on "The Vampire Diaries"

Donavon, Donevin, Donevon, Donoven, Donovon


CCB Says:


Is anybody seeing a lot of Donovan's being born in their region of the country this year?

paulapuddephatt Says:


A good way to get the nickname Don. The association with the singer-songwriter is a positive one for me.

Guest Says:


I want to put this on the list for a boy because it's so strong and handsome but again with my cousins having all the good names! gahhh!

Guest Says:


My cousin's middle name, I think it goes great with his first name Caleb

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


This name is annoyingly common where I live. It seems like everyone is naming their kid Donovan and thinking they're so cool or creative. I don't want to meet one more Donovan, or my head just might explode.

scgogirl Says:


I play soccer so I feel like this would be a cool name for a soccer fan's kid