Gender: Male Meaning of Duncan: "dark warrior" Origin of Duncan: Scottish

Duncan Origin and Meaning

The name Duncan is a boy's name of Scottish origin meaning "dark warrior".

Duncan is jaunty, confident, and open, a Scottish royal name that's brimming with friendly charm and makes it into our golden circle of names that are neither too popular nor too strange. Popularity aside, Duncan is one of the most classic Scottish names for boys.

From a surname based on a clan name, Duncan was the name of a Scottish saint and two early Kings of the Scots. The beneficent Duncan I, who lived in the eleventh century, was immortalized in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

The brave and handsome Major Duncan Heyward is one of the main characters in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. Other cultural references include Duncan Idaho, the only character to appear in all of Frank Herbert's Dune novels; Duncan MacLeod, the immortal protagonist of Highlander; one of Garp's sons in The World According to Garp; and singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik.

David Bowie's son Zowie changed his name first to Joey and then finally to Duncan.

16 names similar to Duncan

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Duncan. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Duncan, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


- this week

Famous People Named Duncan

Pop Culture References for the name Duncan

Dune, Dun, Dunc, Dunkan, Dunn


Voltage Says:


Don't know why, but I really like this name. Something about it...

Princess Hockey Says:


You'd be surprised..most people spell it Duncan over Dunkin. Every now and then though I'll have to say "Like Duncan Heinz, not the donut" and that usually works (in the US)

Princess Hockey Says:


I wasn't chubby as a kid so maybe I lucked out there, but I am as an adult and have never once been teased about it in any negative way. I wear my name on my sports jersey and have been mocked there about my weight but no one has ever connected the name to it.

Princess Hockey Says:


It's my surname and I love it. I do occasionally have to correct someone when spelling it since most want to spell it Dunkin or they'll stop after the N and ask, but I'll say Duncan Heinz not the donut and that sometimes helps. I think both spellings are widely used. I didn't grow up in a state/area that had Dunkin donuts so that might have made things different.

I think it's a great name, I was never teased about it as a child. I had a friend who was a Dunkin and we used to always joke with each other about how the other person spelled it wrong.

BerriesandCream Says:



Louisa Says:


Duncan Donuts though...

Jinxgirl Says:


I always thinks Dunkin Donuts too. It would be awful to be chubby and named Duncan

headintheclouds Says:


I do think of Dunkin Donuts when I hear this name, because of the similar sound. But IMO it's a great name and the donut association isn't that strong. Duncan is a historic name with roots, is distinguished and handsome while also sounding modern and contemporary; to me it has the same feel as names like Eric and Dylan while being less popular. I'd say if you like the name, go for it!

virginiawoolf Says:


My son is a Duncan. We love it, and so does pretty much everyone we introduce him to. Plus, my husband, a huge basketball fan, loves calling him "Slam Dunc!"

Rush1986 Says:


i just failed at life. Granted, there aren't any Dunkin Donuts where i live. But still, fail.

Theodora_Phoenix Says:


Well it's actually Dunkin' Donuts, so the name is a bit different. :)

Kateri Says:


I love this name I'd use it in a heartbeat.

Rush1986 Says:


I wish there wasn't a donut place with this name. Because i think it could get a revival.

Noey Says:


There's always been a small part of my heart that has loved this name. Too bad I know my fiance will never go for it.

Guest Says:


Duncan makes me giggle because in Wreck it Ralph one of the donuts was named Duncan (get it?)