Dana (given name)

Gender Female/Male

Dana is a given name used for both males and females. As a male forename it is well known in the United States, being in the 314th rank out of 1219 in the 1990 U.S. Census. It was among the 100 most popular names given to girls born in the United States between 1960 and 1990. It has since fallen in popularity and was ranked the 446th most popular name given to girls born in the United States in 2007.[1]

The name has multiple derivations. It may come from Dane (from Denmark), the meaning of the common surname. It is also occasionally regarded as a feminine version of Daniel or a short version of feminine names such as Bogdana or Yordana. Dana is also an alternate spelling of the name for Danu, a Celtic fertility goddess. "Dana" or "Danah", in Arabic, means "the most perfectly sized, big, round, and beautiful pearl". This name is used mainly by Arabs of the Persian Gulf, due to their traditional pearl diving professions wherein they gave different type of pearls names. It is used in the Arab world as a female name. The name is used in Persian for both male and female sexes. While the word literally means 'knowledgeable', some speculate that the name is first used as a first name in Shahnameh.


People named Dana

In the English language, Dana is mostly pronounced "DAY-na," as in Dana Carvey. For example, those descended from Celtic heritage and the United Kingdom use the “DAY-na” pronunciation. This name can also be pronounced "DAH-NA," as in Dana Bash. Occasionally, the "DAN-A" (rhymes with Montana) pronunciation is used. Dana can be pronounced "Day-na" for boys or "Dar-ner" for girls.



Please help to classify the following people into males and females

As a fictional character

  • Survival of Dana, a 1979 TV film starring Melissa Sue Anderson as a North Dakota high schooler who moves to Los Angeles' affluent Valley suburb after her parents' divorce.
  • Dana, on the television show Angel
  • Dana, the lover of Sadistik in the photo comic
  • Dana Barrett, featured in the Ghostbusters movies, played by actress Sigourney Weaver
  • Dana Fairbanks, main character from Showtime's lesbian drama series The L Word, played by actress Erin Daniels
  • Dana Foster, fictional character on Step By Step, portrayed by Staci Keanan
  • Dana Lee, title character in TV film Survival of Dana (1979) played by Melissa Sue Anderson
  • Dana Mitchell, on the show Lightspeed Rescue Power Rangers
  • Dana Scully, main character on the television show The X-Files, portrayed by Gillian Anderson
  • Dana Stevens, a transsexual character featured in Chris Bohjalian's novel Trans-Sister Radio
  • Dana Sterling, from the Robotech anime television series
  • Dana Freeling is a female character in the film Poltergeist (1982).
  • Dana Appleton is the lawyer opposite Jim Carrey in the 1997 film Liar Liar. She is portrayed by Swoosie Kurtz.

In mythology

  • King Dana, a Corinthian king, son of Sisyphus and Merope
  • Danu, the founding goddess of the Tuatha De Danaan

See also


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