[ 2 syll. do-nal(d), don-a-ld ] The baby boy name Donald is pronounced in English as DAAN-ahLD †. Donald is used chiefly in the English and Scottish languages, and it is derived from Celtic origins. The name's meaning is world ruler, world-mighty. It is derived from the elements 'dubno' meaning world ; 'val' to rule. The '-d' in the name originated from English speakers attempting to pronounce the silent sound in the original Gaelic name Domhnall. The name could also have been influenced by Germanic names such as Ronald. The name was borne by two kings of the Scots and the Picts in the 9th century, and it has also been associated with the prominent Scottish clan MacDonald. It therefore had an initially strong Scottish flavor, which was eventually lost by the 20th century as the name grew in popularity among all English speakers. The name has in modern times been made famous by the popular cartoon character Donald Duck (1934-). The name Donalda (English and Scottish) is the female form of Donald.
Donald is a widely used name; it has 28 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Donal (used in Irish too), Donaugh, Donát, Donel, Doneld, Donelson, Donild, Donnall, Donnel, Donnell, Donold, Donuld, and Donyld. The short form Don (used in Scottish too), and the diminutive forms Donnie (used in Irish too) and Donny are other English variants.
Foreign variants of Donald include Bogdan (Ukrainian), Bohdan (Ukrainian), Dolaidh (Gaelic), Domhnall (Irish and Scottish), Domnall (Irish and Scottish), Donaldo (Italian and Spanish), Donalt (Scandinavian), Donardo (Celtic), Donya (Ukrainian), and Tauno (Finnish). Specific foreign variants include the diminutive forms Dolly (Scottish) and Donaidh (Scottish).
See also the related form, Donna (English and Scottish).
Donald is a classic favorite. At present it is still fairly popular as a baby name for boys, though not to the extent it was in the past. Its usage peaked in 1934 with 2.865% of baby boys being given the name Donald. It ranked at #6 then. The baby name has since experienced a marked loss in popularity, and is today of occasional use. In 2012, its usage was only 0.036% and its ranking #400, but it was nonetheless the most commonly used among all boy names in its group. Donald has mostly been a baby boy name, though in the past century it has also been used for girls. In 1944, the name Donald was given to 375 times as many baby boys than girls.
† Pronunciation for Donald: D as in "day (D.EY)" ; AA as in "odd (AA.D)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; L as in "lay (L.EY)"
Details of famous persons named Donald:
Actor Donald Sutherland, born 17 July 1935, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.
Actor Donald Pleasence, born Donald Henry Pleasence, October 5, 1919 - February 2, 1995, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England.
Actor Donald Sinden, born 9 October 1923, Plymouth, Devon, England.
Aviator Donald K. "Deke" Slayton, born Donald Kent Slayton, 1 March 1924 - 13 June 1993, Sparta, Wisconsin.
Business Personality Donald Trump, born 14 June 1946, New York, New York.
Car Racer Donald Campbell, born Donald Malcolm Campbell, 23 March 1921 - 4 January 1967, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England.
Cricketer Don Bradman, born Donald George Bradman, 27 August 1908 - 25 February 2001, Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia.
Government Official Donald Rumsfeld, born 9 July 1932, Chicago, Illinois.
Musician Donald Mills, born 29 April 1915 - 13 November 1999, Piqua, Ohio.
Pop Musician Donald Fagen, born 10 January 1948, Passaic, New Jersey.