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Origin, Meaning, And History Of Donna

Donna is a feminine name with English roots that has been used for many years, and it has a fascinating history behind it. The name’s origins can be traced back to modern Italian, where it means ‘woman.’ In classical Italian, the name has a more nuanced meaning associated with ‘lady’ or ‘mistress.’ However, the original meaning of the name is ‘lady of the home,’ and it was used as a title of respect in Italy. This usage is comparable to how ‘Don’ is used as a title for gentlemen or lords.

The name Donna can also be used as a feminine variation of the name Donald, which has Scottish Gaelic roots. The name Donald comes from Dòmhnall, which means ‘ruler of the world.’ This name is made up of the Old Irish words ‘domun,’ meaning ‘world,’ and ‘fal,’ meaning ‘rule.’

In addition to being a popular first name for girls, Donna is a surname with Italian roots. The surname originated from a medieval personal name, ‘Donna,’ which means ‘mistress.’ The name has also been Americanized from the French name ‘Danis.’

The common variations of the name Donna include Donelle, Dona (English), and Donalda, Donaldina, Donella (Scottish). The name Donna has been used in various fictional characters across TV shows and genres. Donna Bishop appeared in the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away, while Donna Clark was a character in the drama TV series Halt and Catch Fire. Donna Freedman was a character in the long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours, and Donna Hayward was a character in the cult favorite TV series Twin Peaks. Finally, Donna Tubbs appeared in the animated sitcom The Cleveland Show, while Donna Cabonna was a character in the teen sitcom That’s So Raven, created by Michael Poryes and Susan Sherman.


heart image
Lady; Woman
English, Italian
1 word, 5 letters, 2 vowels, 3 consonants
Short and easy to pronounce

How To Pronounce Donna?

Pronounced as don-na

The way you pronounce a name can make all the difference.

Listen to the sound of the name Donna in English.

Famous People With The Name Donna

  • Donna DouglasAmerican actress, famous for her role in the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies
  • Donna FargoAmerican country singer, recipient of a Grammy Award and five awards from the Academy of Country Music
  • Donna LewisWelsh singer, well-known for her pop hit debut single I Love You Always Forever
  • Donna ReedAmerican actress, recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film From Here to Eternity
  • Donna Louise TarttAmerican writer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Goldfinch

Donna On The Popularity Chart

Donna has declined in popularity over the years. Check the graphical representations given below for more information.

Popularity Over Time

The name was given to 2010 babies per million in 1980. However, it has now declined to 105 babies per million in 2021.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

The name was in the list of top 500 names till 1995. However, the ranking has steadily declined since 1996.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Donna

If you find the sound of Donna appealing, you may also appreciate these names that have a similar sound.

Popular Sibling Names For Donna

If you are looking for some matching sibling names that resonate with Donna, check our suggestions here.

Boy Sibling Names For Donna

Find matching brother names for Donna and create a wonderful team of siblings.

Daewon heart imageDain heart imageDaine heart imageDancesa heart imageDane heart imageDanforth heart imageDangela heart imageDangelo heart imageDanger heart imageDanon heart image

Girl Sibling Names For Donna

Looking for some suitable sister names for Donna? Check out our collection of beautiful and unique names.

Daenerys heart imageDahna heart imageDaina heart imageDanah heart imageDanaiah heart imageDanara heart imageDandra heart imageDandret heart imageDanesha heart imageDanet heart image

Other Popular Names Beginning With D

Looking for more baby names starting with the letter D to resonate with your family’s naming tradition or to rhyme with the sibling names? Find a range of alternative names starting with this letter.

Names With Similar Meaning As Donna

Have a look at this list of names that share similar meanings, in case you are interested in the meaning of the name Donna but would like to consider other alternatives.

Infographic: Know The Name Donna‘s Personality As Per Numerology


Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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How To Communicate The Name Donna In Other Languages

In Nautical Flags


In Sign Language


In Braille Alphabet


In Morse Code


Name Numerology For Donna

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the meaning of the name Donna?

The name Donna means ‘lady’ or ‘woman.’

2. What is the origin of the name Donna?

Donna has English and Italian origins.

3. How to pronounce the name Donna?

Donna is pronounced as ‘don-na.’

4. Is Donna a rare name?

Based on the data from the US Social Security Administration, the name Donna can be considered relatively uncommon. It was last seen on the popular baby name chart in 2010, representing 258 baby girls. Thus it significantly declined in popularity (1).

5. What are some alternative spellings or variations of the name Donna?

Donna has several variants and related names, with Dona being the most common. Other options include Donelle, a diminutive, and the masculine forms, Donald, Don, Donnie, and Donny. In Scottish culture, the name exists as Donalda, Donella, and Donaldina

6. What are some potential nicknames for someone named Donna?

Potential nicknames for someone named Donna include Dee, a straightforward and playful option, and Nona, a unique choice. These nicknames cater to personal preferences and provide a range of options to add familiarity to the name Donna.


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  1. Popularity of name Donna;
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