Origin, Meaning, And History of Dorothy
Dorothy is a Greek name that means “Gift of God.” It originates from the name Dorothea, which is a combination of the Greek words “Doron” (gift) and “theos” (god). The name has been utilized since the Middle Ages for saints and martyrs in the Christian faith.
Throughout history, Dorothy’s name has been used in various ways. St. Dorothea of Caesarea was a 4th-century martyr celebrated for her piety and charity. As the word “Doron” also means “present” or “gift”, it became common in medieval Europe as a name for girls born around Christmas time.
Dorothy’s name can be traced back to ancient Greek culture, where it was used as a surname. In the 16th century, it gained popularity as a first name in England. The name became even more prevalent in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in the US. It reached its peak in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, partly due to the success of “The Wizard of Oz” film. However, its popularity declined in the latter half of the 20th century, and it is now considered an uncommon name. Nonetheless, the name continues to be used frequently and has a classic and timeless vibe.
Dorothy has a lengthy and rich history, with many notable individuals bearing the name. One of the most well-known was Dorothy Parker, an American writer and social activist who was a prominent member of the Algonquin Round Table in the 1920s and 1930s.
There are several variations of the name Dorothy, including Dorothea (Greek), Doralie (French), Doroteya (Bulgarian), Doroteia (Portuguese and Spanish), and Dorotea (Spanish and Italian). The common nicknames for Dorothy include Dot, Dottie, Dee, Dora, Dory, Dortha, Doe, Dede, Thora, and Thea.
Some well-known fictional characters associated with the name include Dorothy Gale, the protagonist of the novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and its subsequent adaptations; Dorothy Zbornak, a character on the 1980s sitcom “The Golden Girls;” Dorothy Boyd, a character in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire;” and Dorothy Haebea, a character in John Steinbeck’s 1945 novel “Cannery Row.”
How To Pronounce Dorothy?
Famous People With The Name Dorothy
- Dorothy Catherine FontanaAn American television scriptwriter and story editor, known for her work in the original Star Trek series
- Dorothy Stuart Hamill A retired American figure skater, an Olympic champion in 1976
- Dorothy Marie “Dottie” Metcalf-LindenburgerAn American astronaut, the first Space Camp alumna to become an astronaut
- Dorothy GarlockAn American author of more than 50 historical romance novels, mostly set in the American West
- Dorothy PhillipsAn American actress, known for her emotional performances in melodramas
Dorothy On The Popularity Chart
According to the United States Social Security Administration (SSA), the popularity of the name Dorothy has varied over the years. Here are the ranking and popularity graphs for this name:
Popularity Over Time
Dorothy has been a reasonably popular name. However, the graph shows a decline between the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2021, 643 babies per million shared the name, Dorothy. Check the graph to know the evolutionary trend.Source: Social Security Administration
Rank Over Time
From 1980 to 2006, the ranking of the name Dorothy was under 1000. However, the rank reached 1117 in 2009, after which it again improved slightly. The graph below provides you with the details.Source: Social Security Administration
Names With Similar Sound As Dorothy
If you liked the sound of Dorothy but are looking for a unique name, here is a list of names that sound similar.
Names With Similar Meaning As Dorothy
If the meaning of the name Dorothy appealed to you, but you’re looking for other possibilities, take a look at this list of names with similar meanings.