[ 3 syll. do-rot-hy, dor-o-thy ] The baby girl name Dorothy is pronounced DAOERah-DHiy- †. Dorothy is of Old Greek origin and it is used mainly in English. The meaning of Dorothy is 'gift of god'. It is a biblical name derived from doron which means 'gift' ; theos 'god'.
The name was borne by two early Christian saints, notably the 4th-century virgin martyr Saint Dorothea of Caesarea. The names Dorothy and Dorothea were adopted by English speakers in the 16th century, and by the late 19th century, Dorothy has eclipsed the older Latinate form. Its popularity dipped in the 20th century, after it was associated as a slang for a homosexual, in reference to the character Dorothy in the notable film adaptation Wizard of Oz (1939); the film has remained a cult status among gays till today, as has the actress Judy Garland, who portrayed Dorothy in the movie. In literature, the name has been made known by the fictional Dorothea Brooke in George Eliot's novel Middlemarch (1871-1872), while the form Dorrit has been made famous by Charles Dickens' serial novel Little Dorrit (1855-1857). In Scotland, Dorothy is used as an Anglicization of the Gaelic Diorbhail. Dorothy is the feminine version of the English, German, and Greek Dorotheus.
Dorothy is a widely used name; it has 122 forms that are used in English and foreign languages. English forms of the name include Dar, Darthy, Dasya, Diorbhall, Doa, Doanna, Doda, Dode, Dodi, Dody, Doe, Doll, Dolley, Dolli, Dollie, Dorathi, Dorathie, Dordei, Dordi, Dordie, Doreatha, Doretha, Dorethea, Dorika, Dorine, Dorita, Doritha, Doroata, Dorofey, and Dorolice (used in French too). Other English forms include the shortenings Do, Dora (used in Czech, French, German, Italian, and Spanish too), Doreen, Dot, and Thea (used in German, and Scandinavian too), the familiar forms Dee, Dodie, Dodo, Dolly, Doretta, Dori (used in Spanish too), Dorrie, Dorrit, Dorry, Dory, Dottie, Dottsy, and Dotty, and the spelling variant Dorathy.
Forms used in foreign languages include Dasha (Russian), Dashia (Russian), Dol (Romanian), Donina (Latin), Doralice (French), Dorchen (German), Dore (German), Dorena (German), Dorete (Scandinavian), Dorette (French and German), Dorée (French), Doriana (Italian), Dorina (German, Hungarian, and Italian), Dorinda (Spanish), Dorka (Czech, Polish, and Russian), Dorle (German), Dorlisa (German), Doro (Spanish), Dorosia (Polish), Dorota (Czech, Polish, and Slavic), Dorotea (Hawaiian, Italian, and Spanish), Doroteia (Spanish), Doroteja (Slavic), Doroteya (Russian), Doroteyo (Spanish), Dorotéia (Portuguese), Dorothe (Dutch), Dorothee (French and German), Dorothée (French), and Dorothya (Hungarian). Specific foreign variants include the shortenings Dorit (German and Scandinavian), Tea (Finnish, German, Italian, Scandinavian, Slavic, and Spanish), Tiia (Finnish), and Urte (Lithuanian), and the familiar forms Daria (Russian), Darija (Russian), Ditte (Scandinavian), Door (Dutch), Doortje (Dutch), Dorien (Dutch), Dosia (Polish), Dörte (German), and Dörthe (German).
Dorothy is an all-time favorite. Today it is still somewhat popular as a baby girl name, but to a lesser degree than it was before, and it is also perceived as rather trendy. At the peak of its usage in 1923, 3.115% of baby girls were named Dorothy. It was #2 in rank then. The baby name has suffered a marked decline in frequency since then. In 2015, it ranked at #714 with a usage of 0.020%, having regained some lost ground in the recent decade. Out of the family of girl names directly related to Dorothy, Thea was the most regularly used. It was 73% more frequently used than Dorothy in 2015. Dorothy has primarily been a baby girl name, although in the last century it has also been used for boys. In 1945, 235 times more baby girls than boys were given the name Dorothy.
Baby names that sound like Dorothy include Derorit, Dhruti, Doretha, Doretta, Dorota, Dorotha, Dorothée, Dorthea, Dorotea, Dorothea, Dorothya, Dareth, Darthy, Deroit, Dhriti, Dhrti, Dorathy, Dordei, Dordi, and Dordie.
† Pronunciation for Dorothy: D as in "day (D.EY)" ; AO as in "ought (AO.T)" ; ER as in "hurt (HH.ER.T)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)" ; DH as in "they (DH.EY)" ; IY as in "eat (IY.T)"
Details of famous persons named Dorothy:
Activist Dorothy Day, born 8 November 1897 - 29 November 1980, Brooklyn, New York.
Actress Dorothy Lamour, born Mary Leta Dorothy Slaton December 10, 1914 - September 22, 1996, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Actress Dorothy Tutin, born 8 April 1930 - 6 August 2001, London, England.
Author Dorothy Parker, born 22 August 1893 - 7 June 1967.
Author Dorothy Sayers, born 13 June 1893 - 17 December 1957, Oxford, England.
Model Dorothy Stratten, born Dorothy Ruth Hoogstraten 28 February 1960 - 14 August 1980, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Playwright Dodie Smith, born Dorothy Gladys Smith 3 May 1896 - 24 November 1990, Lancashire, England.
Singer Dorothy Dandridge, born 9 November 1922 - 8 September 1965, Cleveland, Ohio.