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Gender: Female Meaning of Dorothy: "gift of God" Origin of Dorothy: English variation of Greek Dorothea Dorothy's Popularity in 2017: #601

The name Dorothy is a girl's name of English, Greek origin meaning "gift of God". Dorothy is ranked #601 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Saints' Names for Girls and discussed in our forums with posts like "Baby a Day".

From the experts:

In the 1930s, Dorothy left Kansas and landed in the Land of Oz; by the '80s she had become a Golden Girl, living in Miami with roommates Blanche and Rose, giving her a decidedly older image. But parents today seeking a quiet classic are bringing Dorothy back—she reentered the Top 1000 in 2011 after almost completely disappearing.

Dorothy was once one of the most popular names in the US; she was in the Top 10 from 1904 to 1939, and held the Number 2 spot for eight years.

Dorothy has been used in Britain since the sixteenth century and was so common there that nickname Dolly led to the word "doll." Many Brits are reviving the cute nickname Dot or Dottie.

There are numerous worthy Dorothy namesakes, including essayist and wit Dorothy Parker; writer Dorothy L. Sayers; journalist Dorothy Thomson; social activist Dorothy Day; actresses Dorothy Gish, Dandridge, McGuire, and Lamour; and figure skater/haircut icon Dorothy Hamill. Actress Faye Dunaway was born Dorothy.

Some parents now are favoring the more flowing, romantic variant Dorothea.

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

Famous People Named Dorothy

Dorothy Stuart Hamill, American Olympic figure skater
Dorothy Day, American journalist and social activist
Dorothy Parker, American poet and author
Dorothy Thompson, American journalist and radio broadcaster
Dorothy Jean Dandridge, American actress
Dorothy Hackett McGuire, American actress
Dorothy Lamour (born Mary Slaton), American actress and singer
Dorothy Leigh Sayers, English novelist
Dorothy Catherine Anstett, Miss USA 1968
Dorothy Kathleen Benham, Miss America 1977
Dorothy Lee (born Marjorie Millsap), American actress/comedian
Dorothy Compton, American voice actress
(Dorothy) Faye Dunaway, American actress
Dorothy Elizabeth Gish, American actress
Dorothy Kilgallen, American journalist
Dorothy Diane "Dedee" Pfeiffer, American actress
Dorothy Mary Hodgkin, British biochemist, winner of the Nobel Prize
Dorothy Irene Height, American civil rights activist
Dorothy Fields, American librettist and lyricist
Dorothy Brower Barkley, wife of U.S. Vice President Alben W. Barkely
Dorothy "Dodie" Clark, Youtuber
Dorothy Wang, American TV personality on Rich Kids of Beverly Hills
Dorothy Seven Gee (b. 2012), from the Bucket List Family (Travel vloggers)
Dorothy Vaughn, American NASA computer programmer featured in film "Hidden Figures"
Rose Dorothy Dauriac (b. 2014), daughter of actress Scarlett Johansson & Romain Dauriac

Pop Culture References for the name Dorothy

Dorothy Gale, main character in L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz".
Dorothy Zbornak, character on TV's "Golden Girls" .
Dorothy Boyd, character in movie "Jerry Maguire".
Miss Dorothy, character in musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie".
Dorothy, Elmo's pet goldfish on TV's "Sesame Street".
Dorothy Jane Torkelson, character on TV's "The Torkelsons".
Dorothy, character in the anime M.A.R.
Dorothy the Dinosaur, character in Australian children's music group The Wiggles.
Dorothy, fairy in animated TV series "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom".
Dorothy de Vere, character in Jenny Nimmo's "The Children of the Red King" series.
"Friend of Dorothy," code for a homosexual.
Dorothy Perkins, a women’s fashion retailer based in the United Kingdom.
Dorothy Williams, a character from the tv show Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.


Ruanne Says:


What a pretty name, with a great meaning.

Kaylon O. Centres Says:


Why not just name her Dora Jeanne? It's an independent name; Dora by itself is beautiful, my great-great grandmother named Dora, passed the name to her daughter, my great grandmother, who in turn named her daughter Doris.

alextheindigo Says:


I really want to like this name, I really do but I just don't like it ALL. Such a lovely character behind it but it's just too old ladyish.

Leah_ Says:


Very cute!

CatH Says:


Leaning towards Dorothy Jeanne, which would be for both of my grandmothers. Dora for short.

scblovesnames Says:


This such a cute name.

mill1020 Says:


I like this.

Marvellous Says:


I love this name, Dolly would be an adorable nickname!

Mhill46 Says:


I love this name! Beautiful, classic and familiar yet not too popular. I think it would be lovely on a little girl and it would also age well. I prefer this to Dorothea.

Lynda Smith Says:


My daughter is a Dorothy. We love it and call her dot, Dottie or Dorrie I love the vintage feel and it fits well with our sibset of ned and Arthur

sbtracy Says:


Really don't like this name...only can think of that darn blue fish and the yellow brick road.Very old lady.

littlepenelope Says:


This has really been growing on me recently. I like the sound, the history... and the nickname possibilities are wonderful. But I just don't like how it looks visually. Dorothy. Dorothy. The more I look at it and write it, the less I like it. So unfortunate, because I think I would love to have a little Dottie toddling around my house. :)

zackylmfao229 Says:


My favorite girl's name of all time due to several great associations. One combo could be Mildred Dorothy which was my great-grandmother's name.

nell_07 Says:


I love this name, particularly with the nickname Thea! I know it's a bit of a stretch from Dorothy as opposed to Dorothea but I'm just not as keen on Dorothea. Hopefully I can get Thea to stick :)

headintheclouds Says:


Still too "we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!" for me, though I love the meaning and idea behind Dorothy. Plus IMO, Dorothy skirts the line between super-datedness and being fresh and charming for a baby girl today. I much prefer Dorothea.

Jo Jo Says:


I'm with @madmaddie and suddenly love this name, too. It's classic, sweet, quiet, and deserves a come-back.

ThistleThorn Says:


Cute nickname Dottie

lcd1912 Says:


I wish I liked it because it's my grandmother's name but...I don't. I think Theodore nn Theo is cute for a boy though and could stretch it by saying it honored her in a way? Maybe?

jordalini Says:


I second that, I know too many old woman named Dorothy

Zoey_Artemisia Says:


Nope, I find it outdated and stale

madmaddie Says:


I suddenly love this name!

Eva Thyssen Says:


DoroThyssen. Yay. :/

I love the -thy ending, though ^_^ this is a sweet and classic name. The nickname Dotsie sounds awesome, too!

Guest Says:


I doesn't get more Old Lady than this to me. Dottie and Dot are terrible nicknames too.

mabespark Says:


I know I'm in the minority here, but I despise this name. :/

SparkleNinja18 Says:


I could never use this because I grew up in Kansas and there it would be cruel to name a child Dorothy!

Orchid_Lover Says:


I actually like the fact that "Dot" and "Dottie" can be used as nicknames better than either full name itself

CocoWhite Says:


Agreed. Dorothea is okay but it lacks Dorothy's cool retro-vintage feel, IMO.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Much better than Dorothea in my opinion.