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Donna has two origin stories, one dating back to Gaelic traditions and one coming from the Latin word “donna.” The name was once a top 10 name in the mid-twentieth century, but it was last on the top 1,000 list in 2010. Most recently, Donna was rank 1,567.

Meaning of the name Donna:

Latin: lady, woman
Italian: lady, woman
Gaelic: ruler of the world

Origin of the name Donna:

Donna comes from the Latin and Italian word “donna.” Some believe, however, that it is originally the feminine form of the name Donald. Donald comes from the ancient Gaelic name Domhnall. Domhnall comes from the Celtic words “dumno” and “val.”

Symbolism of the name Donna:

The baby name Donna likely means “lady” or “woman” because the Latin word “donna” translates to these. If considering the name Donald as the masculine form, however, Donna means “ruler of the world.” The Celtic word “dumno” means “world,” and “val” means “rule.”

Baby name Donna

Style of the name Donna:

Traditional

Gender of the name Donna:

Donna is a simple and feminine name.

Pronunciation of the name Donna:

DAHN-uh

Number of syllables in the name Donna:

Two

Emotion evoked from the name Donna:

Donna is simple and wholesome. It has a mature and old-fashioned feel to it.

Alternative spellings for the name Donna:

  • Dahna
  • Dawna
  • Dona
  • Dahnna

Nicknames for the name Donna:

  • Don 
  • Don Don
  • Donni
  • Donnie
  • Donny
  • Dona
  • Nonna
  • Nonni

Popularity of the name Donna:

Donna became a top 100 name in 1926 at rank 90. It moved to a top 50 placement in 1929 and a consistent top 10 placement in 1955. Donna remained a top 10 option until 1966, a top 50 option until 1972, and a top 100 option until 1976. Donna was last a top 1,000 option in 2010 at rank 985.

Related names for the name Donna:

Great middle names for Donna and their meanings:

  • Sue (lily)
  • Romelia (God's beloved one)
  • Josephine (Yahweh shall grow)
  • Mae (goddess of springtime, increase)
  • Rose (rose, a flower)
  • Lucille (the light)
  • Jolie (pretty)
  • Marlene (star of the sea)

Famous people with the name Donna:

  • Donna Reed (actress, “It's a Wonderful Life”)
  • Donna Douglas (actress, “The Beverly Hillbillies”)
  • Donna Summer (disco singer)
  • Donna Karan (fashion designer)
  • Donna Dixon (actress, “Spies Like Us”)
  • Donna Pescow (actress, “Saturday Night Fever”)
  • Donna Leon (novelist)
  • Donna Loren (actress, “Pajama Party”)

Donnas in popular culture:

  • Donna Paulsen (character from “Suits”)
  • Donna Pinciotti (character from “That 70's Show”)
  • Donna Noble (character from “Doctor Who”)
  • Donna (character from Spider-Man comics)
  • Donna Hayward (character from “Twin Peaks”)
  • Donna Troy (character from DC comics, Wonder Girl)
  • Donna Meagle (character from “Parks and Recreation”)