Boy Names baby nameDaniel

What does the name Daniel mean?

The meaning of the name “Daniel” is: “God is my Judge”.

Additional information: Daniel is a masculine name of Hebrew origin, coming from the Hebrew prophet Daniel (Hebrew “Daniyyel”, Ancient Greek “Δανιήλ”), meaning ‘God is my judge’, from the Book of Daniel in the Bible. He existed throughout the Jewish bondage in Babylon, serving the King’s court, climbing to conspicuousness by deciphering the King’s dreams. He survived a politically motivated death sentence in a lions' den and a fiery furnace. The book additionally displays Daniel's four visions of the apocalypse.

Dan and Danny are popular diminutives for Hebrew and English around the world, while “Daan” and "Daniel" are two Dutch variations. Other variants of Daniela (Dani, Daniella, Danielle) are popular as feminine forms of Daniel. As biblical names go, it is one of the less formal sounding ones, and is much easier to shorten and simplify than the weightier names like Gabriel or Ezekiel – similar simple biblical names are Adam, Joshua, and Jacob. Although many countries use the spelling ‘Daniel’ and then pronounce it differently, some romance languages spell it differently, such as the Spanish and Portuguese ‘Danilo’. Misspellings tend to be misplacements of the vowels – ‘Dainel’, ‘Daneil’, or ‘Danial’.

The popularity of the name Daniel arise in England during Middle Ages, while it became rare during the 15th century and started gaining popularity after the Protestant Reformation.

The name Daniel has not fallen out of the top hundred names for boys since 1880, but it saw particular popularity during the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s, peaking at fifth position in 1985, 1990, 2007 and 2008. It saw a brief period of use as a girls name during the seventies and the eighties in the USA, but it never made it into the top 500 names. Daniel was the sixth most popular boy's name in the US in 2006, and the ninth most popular in the UK, climbing at the top 10 of the most popular names in USA in 2013, at number 10. Daniel has been declining in popularity in England and Wales since 1996, falling from the second most popular name for boys in 1996 to 22nd in 2014.

Famous people named Daniel include Daniel Craig (English actor), Daniel Radcliffe (English actor), Daniel Day-Lewis (English actor), and Daniel Powter (Canadian singer). Famous fictional characters named Daniel are the eponymous Daniel Isaacson from the novel The Book of Daniel, and Daniel Deronda from George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.

The American pioneer Daniel Boone has attracted several legends to his name, escaping from Native Americans on multiple occasions, killing a she-bear with just his knife, and he was written about by Lord Byron in Don Juan.