USAGE: English, Hebrew, French, Scottish, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Scandinavian, Dutch, Czech, Slovene, Russian, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian, Biblical, Biblical Latin
PRONOUNCED: DAY-vid (English), dah-VEED (Jewish), da-VEED (French), DAH-vit (German, Dutch), dah-VEET (Russian)
Meaning & History
From the Hebrew name (Dawid), which was probably derived from Hebrew (dwd) meaning “beloved”. David was the second and greatest of the kings of Israel, ruling in the 10th century BC. Several stories about him are told in the Old Testament, including his defeat of Goliath, a giant Philistine. According to the New Testament, Jesus was descended from him.
This name has been used in Britain since the Middle Ages. It has been especially popular in Wales, where it is used in honour of the 5th-century patron saint of Wales (also called Dewi), as well as in Scotland, where it was borne by two kings. Famous bearers include empiricist philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) and explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873). This is also the name of the hero of Charles Dickens’ semi-autobiographical novel ‘David Copperfield’ (1850).