Boy Names Starting With D
Baby boy names starting with the letter D don't have to be "dad names". Along with longtime favorites Daniel and David, D names for boys in the US Top 200 include Dylan, Declan, Dawson, Dean, and Diego.
Darragh and Donnacha are D names on Ireland's Top 100 for boys. Iceland's top D name for boys is Dagur. And one of the most popular boy names in The Netherlands starts with the letter D: Daan.
D had a good run back in the 1950s and 60s, when D was the third most popular initial for boys thanks to D-starting names David, Donald, Daniel, Dennis and Douglas.
(D was a popular first initial for baby names for girls a half-century ago too, led by the super-popular Debbie with Donna, Diane, and Denise on her heels.)
Unique D names on our recommended list include Dashiell, Deveraux, Dune, and Drummer.
Search through our entire roster of boy names beginning wuth D here. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.
Origin:Irish, meaning unknown, possible "man of prayer"
Meaning:"man of prayer"
Description:Declan is the Anglicized form of the Irish name Deaglán. St. Declan was one of the first missionaries to bring Christianity to Ireland, preceding St. Patrick. Originally from Wales, he founded the monastery of Ardmore in Ireland.
Origin:Latin diminutive of Durant
Description:Though closely associated with the great medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri -- who's so famous most people skip the last name -- it's not as much of a one-man name as you might think. Heck, it's not even a one-poet name, thanks to British pre-Rapahaelite Dante Gabriel Rosetti. Though especially well used in the Italian-American community, it would make a striking name for any little boy.
Origin:Greek, name of a tribe
Description:The Dorians were an ancient Greek tribe, one of the three major pre-Spartan tribes. It literally means “of Doris,” a Greek district, or “of Doros,” referring to the son of Helen of Sparta. Dorian derives from the Greek doron, meaning “gift,” along with related names such as Dorothy and Dora.
Meaning:"belonging to the lord"
Description:Dominic comes from the Latin name Dominicus and is common in the Roman-Catholic community. In the past it has been given to boys born on Sunday—the word “Sunday” in languages including Spanish and French shares Dominic’s roots. In use in the English-speaking world since medieval times, its most famous bearer was St. Dominic, founder of the Dominican order of monks in the thirteenth century.
Meaning:"son of the sea"
Description:Dylan was derived of the Welsh components dy and llanw, meaning "sea." In Welsh mythology, Dylan was a legendary sea god who prompted all the waters of Britain and Ireland to weep when he died. The name came to prominence via the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, whose name Bob Dylan adopted in tribute.
Meaning:"God is my judge"
Description:Daniel was derived from the Hebrew name Daniyyel, from the elements din, meaning "judge," and ’el, "God." The Book of Daniel in the Old Testament describes the Jewish prophet’s life of captivity in Babylon and visions of the last days of Earth. Dan and Danny are common short forms of Daniel.
Description:The jazzy, ultra-cool Dexter, like most names with an "x," has a lot of energy and dynamism. Over the years, it's been attached to a number of diverse real and fictional personalities—C. K. Dexter Haven, the witty Cary Grant character in The Philadelphia Story; Dexter Green, the protagonist of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story "Winter Dreams"; great jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon; the boy-genius protagonist of cartoon Dexter's Laboratory; and the most recent TV series Dexter based on the books by Jeff Lindsay, whose lead happens to be a genial but sociopathic serial killer.
Meaning:"to tame, subdue"
Description:Damian has sidestepped its demonic horror movie overtones, leaving a basically friendly and charming Irish image. A well-used upper-class name in England, it is growing in popularity here.
Origin:Persian or Latin from Greek
Description:Darius is a historic name via Emperor Darius the Great, a key figure in ancient Persian history, and several other Persian kings. His name today has an appealingly artistic image, which might well be found on a concert program or gallery announcement.
Description:The appealingly energetic Dax, with its trendy X-ending, re-entered the Top 1000 in 2007. Its somewhat sci-fi vibe emanates from his appearance as a fictional being in the Star Trek universe, seen on the TV show "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine." The Power Rangers character Dax Lo was the Blue Ranger.
Meaning:"child of heaven and earth"
Description:In ancient Greece, a student of Plato; in modern America, a cool guy.
Meaning:"one from south Munster"
Description:Desmond is a sophisticated and debonair name, with noble ties to 1984 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bishop Desmond Tutu, and with some great nicknames: Des/Dez, Desi/Dezi.
Description:Dean may sound to some like a retro surfer boy name, but it is once again climbing up the popularity chart in the USA. For decades it was associated with Dean (born Dino) Martin; more recent representatives include Dean Cain, Dean McDermott and Dean Koontz -- not to mention Jared Padalecki's dreamy Dean Forester in Gilmore Girls.
Origin:English variation of Damian
Description:Damon is a name with a strong, pleasing aura (much like the persona of Matt D.) and extremely positive ancient associations. From the classical myth, Damon and Pythias have become symbols of true friendship, as Damon risked his life to save his friend from execution. And Damon of Athens was the fifth century philosopher who taught both Pericles and Socrates.
Origin:Spanish variation of James
Description:The energetic Diego is rising rapidly along with a lot of other authentically Spanish baby names that work perfectly well with surnames of any origin.
Description:David is derived from the Hebrew name Dawid, which evolved from the element dod, meaning "beloved." It is the name of the Old Testament second king of Israel who, as a boy, slew the giant Philistine Goliath with his slingshot. He grew up to become a wise and highly cultivated leader who enjoyed music and was a poet, later providing inspiration to such great sculptors as Michelangelo and Donatello.
Origin:Diminutive of Andrew
Meaning:"strong and manly"
Description:Drew, which projects a polished, somewhat intellectual impression, is rapidly becoming the Andrew nickname of choice, replacing the past favorite, Andy. It is fully capable of standing on its own, which it has for many decades, non-stop since 1942.
Description:This name was transposed from the word for a church officer to a baby name when Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe chose it for their son, after a baseball player ancestor, and Don Johnson followed suit. Its popularity also got a boost from Nashville character Deacon Claybourne -- only to fall a bit in recent years.
Meaning:"the settlement in the valley"
Description:Dalton is a name with multi-faceted appeal. Many are attracted to the name's resemblance to other two-syllable n-ending favorites: Colton, Holden, and cousins. Others see it as a trendy Western name, recalling the legendary Dalton Brothers gang. It also has something of an upscale, preppy feel connected to the exclusive New York private school.
Origin:English from German form of THEODORIC
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Derek started out as a sophisticated Brit, but the name became so common over the last decades of the twentieth century that it lost much of its English accent, along with its stylish edge. Derek was a Top 100 name in the U.S. for 25 years, from 1970 to 1995.
Origin:French from Greek
Meaning:"to tame, subdue"
Description:Converting Damian to Damien – or Julian to Julien or Lucian to Lucien – adds a certain je ne sais quoi to names. But most people in English speaking areas will still pronounce this the same as the -an ending form. The French pronunciation is more like "dah-mee-u(n)".
Origin:Diminutive of Dashiell, meaning unknown
Description:Dash is a nickname that can stand on its own and sounds, well, dashing. Connected these days with Kardashian enterprises.
Origin:Italian variation of Darius
Meaning:"kingly or possess well"
Description:More creative and classier than Mario. It has regularly ranked near the bottom of the US Top 1000 over the last four decades. It does much better across the pond, and is especially popular in Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.
Description: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.
Origin:French from Greek, vernacular form of Dionysius
Meaning:"god of Nysa"
Description:Although it has come to sound Irish, Dennis is one of the most widely-used French names (St. Denis is the patron saint of France) and harks back even further to Dionysius, the Greek god of wine and debauchery. It was introduced to England by the Normans.
Origin:English word name
Meaning:"dragon; or, male duck"
Description:A simple one-syllable name that has been on the popularity list since the mid-1980s, Drake is most associated today with the single-named rapper (born Aubrey). The name peaked at Number 197 in 2010 and has since been on a slow decline, but it still can be counted among the stylish contemporary boy names starting with D.
Description:Douglas, and more particularly its nickname, Doug, had a real romantic swagger in the 1950s and 1960s dating back to swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks, but today is more likely to conjure up your mom's prom date. Originally a Celtic river name, it became attached to a powerful Scottish clan, renowned for their strength and courage. In its earliest incarnation, Douglas was used equally for girls and boys.
Meaning:"follower of Demeter"
Description:Classical and Shakespearean name that may appeal if you like your names long, flowing and multicultural.
Description:Devilishly handsome, Devin arrived as Kevin was moving out. Not to be confused (though it often is) with the English place-name Devon. While both Devin and Devon are flagging somewhat for boys, the names have dropped out of the Top 1000 for girls, making it more a masculine and less a unisex name these days.
Origin:English rank of nobility
Description:While John Wayne and Duke Ellington are worthy role models, the reason Duke is currently enjoying a revival and returned to the Top 1000 in 2013 as one of the year's fastest-rising boys’ names is more likely due to the name given to high-profile TV couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. Christened Edward Duke, he has always been called by his middle name, just as Edward Duke Ellington was. Duke is just one of several aristocratic titles being increasingly used by ordinary citizens.
Meaning:"son of David"
Description:Dawson was scarcely heard as a first name before the debut of Dawson's Creek in 1998, at which point it leaped up more than 550 places in one year. The character Dawson Leery, played by James Van Der Beek, was a teen favorite until the show's demise in 2003.
Origin:Place-name and Irish
Description:Relaxed, laid-back cowboy name with broad appeal, although none of the western place-names packs the same style power they did a few years ago.
Meaning:"brave warrior, or Thor's stone"
Description:Dustin's popularity in recent years has probably had more due to its similarity to Justin than to idolization of Dustin Hoffman -- himself named after silent screen cowboy star Dustin Farnum -- who certainly was the one to put it on the name map. In recent years, golfer Dustin Johnson has brought fresh renown to the name. Dustin is a character in Netflix hit Stranger Things. After decades in the spotlight, Dustin feels like a classic rather than an upstart. It peaked in the Top 50s in the 1980s.
Description:An early and still one of the most popular unisex names, also a place name and name of a Native American people in the northern Mississippi valley, which makes it a controversial baby name choice. While the popularity of Dakota is trending downward for both genders, it's one of those rare genuinely gender-neutral names that is used for nearly equal numbers of boys and girls.
Description:Dane is a more masculine Dana alternative, with added style edge. Dane has been on the US Top 1000 for more than seventy years, having entered the list in 1945.
Description:Different origin from the Welsh Dylan, but increasingly used as a variant spelling to honor Bob Dylan or Dylan Thomas. Still, the Dylan spelling is found 20 times as often as Dillon.
Meaning:"little great one"
Description:Darren and wife Sharon shop for fifties memorabilia on eBay. The Connecticut place-name Darien might offer an update.
Origin:English or French place-name and surname
Description:Before there was Aspen, Denver was the Colorado city name of choice, and it reentered the US Top 1000 in 2015 after a 14 year absence as a stylish two-syllable boys’ name with its trendy -er ending. Its decade of greatest use was the 1920s, when it reached as high as Number 422.
Description:Enough parents have found naturalist Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, a worthy hero to keep Darwin consistently in the Top 1000—though some might just like its trendy two-syllable sound. It has a lovely meaning too—"dear friend."
Origin:Surname derived from David, Hebrew
Description:Davis is a fresh way to say David. Some sources define it as "son of David," but we see it as a surname spin on the original. While David is an everyman name, Davis has some creative edge -- and still gets you to the classic guy nickname Dave.
Origin:Modern invented name
Description:More and more parents are turning to this name as a route to the cool nickname Dax.
Description:Donald has been used for centuries in Scotland, where the Macdonald clan is one of the most ancient and where there have been six early Scottish kings by that name. Donald was a Top 20 name throughout most of the early twentieth century. But first there was the quacking Donald Duck, introduced in 1934, to affect its image, and then there was The Donald Trump, leaving it drained of much baby appeal. Trump's surprising run to the presidency didn't save Donald's decline on the baby name charts; it fell 47 spots between 2015 and 2016, from 441 to 488, and is now a less popular name than it's been since records have been kept.
Origin:Variation of Darius
Description:The most popular spelling in a family of names including Darien and Darion, Darian has nonetheless been on the decline since it peaked in the 1990s.
Origin:Variation of Latin Dominic
Meaning:"belonging to the Lord"
Description:This is the second-to-the-original spelling of a name that's part Jersey Shore, part upper-crust British. Dominick gets you more directly to nickname Nick.
Description:A diminutive of Daniel that's been immortalized in odes ranging from 'Danny Boy' to 'Danny's Song.'
Origin:Spelling variation of Derek
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Variation of Derek.
Description:Devon, spelled like the lovely seaside county in Britain that inspired the name, has crashed since its heyday around the Top 100 in the 1990s. Despite its use as a female name, for example for Devon on the TV show The 4400, Devon continues to be far more popular for boys than for girls.
Origin:Variation of Amari
Description:Damari is thought to be a variation of the popular trans-cultural name Amari with the Da- prefix. Amari means "eternal" in Hebrew and may mean "strength" in Yoruba, though other sources list the African meaning as unknown.
Origin:Spelling variation of Dylan; Turkish
Description:Dylan has become a go-to name for boys in the last generation, thanks to poet Dylan Thomas, musician Bob Dylan, and fictional characters like Dylan McKay of Beverly Hills, 90210. Spelling variations include Dillon and Dilan. Alternately, Dilan is a feminine Turkish name meaning "love." Due to the ultra-popularity of Dylan, Dilan will likely be misspelled frequently.