Meaning and Origin of: Daniel

Daniel is from the Hebrew personal name Daniel "God is my judge", borne by a major prophet in the Bible.

Boy name origins & meanings

Daniel baby name

  • Hebrew : God is my judge

Syllables: 2

Family name origins & meanings

  • English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian (Dániel), Romanian, and Jewish : from the Hebrew personal name Daniel ‘God is my judge’, borne by a major prophet in the Bible. The major factor influencing the popularity of the personal name (and hence the frequency of the surname) was undoubtedly the dramatic story in the Book of Daniel, recounting the prophet’s steadfast adherence to his religious faith in spite of pressure and persecution from the Mesopotamian kings in whose court he served: Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar (at whose feast Daniel interpreted the mysterious message of doom that appeared on the wall, being thrown to the lions for his pains). The name was also borne by a 2nd-century Christian martyr and by a 9th-century hermit, the legend of whose life was popular among Christians during the Middle Ages; these had a minor additional influence on the adoption of the Christian name. Among Orthodox Christians in Eastern Europe the name was also popular as being that of a 4th-century Persian martyr, who was venerated in the Orthodox Church.
  • Irish : reduced form of McDaniel, which is actually a variant of McDonnell, from the Gaelic form of Irish Donal (equivalent to Scottish Donald), erroneously associated with the Biblical personal name Daniel. See also O’Donnell.
  • Peter Daniel was one of the pioneer settlers in the 17th century in Stafford County, VA, where he was a justice of the peace. His grandson, Peter Vivian Daniel, was a U.S. Supreme Court justice from 1841 to his death in Richmond, VA, in 1860.

Famous people with this first name

Famous people who gave their babies this name


According to Social Security Administration data, Daniel has been extremely popular throughout the last century. It has remained in the top 20 names since the 1970s, and was at its peak popularity in 2007 and 2008 when it was the fifth most popular baby name for boys. Daniel has been in the top 20 since 2000.

However, it is the 49th most popular name on

According to Google search data analysis, in the last five years Daniel was at its peak popularity in February 2016.

Although Daniel has been in use since biblical times, it has been more popular than ever throughout the last couple of decades. It has become one of the most popular names in existence along with its similar counterpart, Michael. It is also used widely as a popular surname. Today its popularity can be attributed to popular actors like Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Where is it Popular?

Daniel was searched for most often in the following states:

Nicknames for Daniel

  • Dan
  • Danny
  • Danya

Pairs well with these middle names