The name Daniel comes from Hebrew and means "judgment of God." (Dan refers to judgment, and el -- just like in the names Michael, Gabriel and Nathaniel -- refers to God.)
Daniel has been a consistently popular baby name in the United States. It ranked among the top 50 names in the nation for most of the years of the 20th century. It's been in the top 20 since the early 1950s, and ranked 5th in 2008. The name is also popular in other countries, including the UK, Ireland, Spain, Romania, the Czech Republic and New Zealand.
Nicknames for Daniel include Dan and Danny, and two of the most common feminine forms are Daniela and Danielle. Versions of Daniel in languages besides English include Danail (Bulgarian), Daniele (Italian), Danielius (Lithuanian), Daniil (Russian), Danijel (Croatian), Deiniol (Welsh), Taneli (Finnish) and Taniel (Armenian).
Notable bearers of the name Daniel include:
- The biblical Daniel, of the Book of Daniel.
- Dan Aykroyd (b. 1952), Canadian-American comedian and actor.
- Dan Brown (b. 1964), American writer. (Author of The Da Vinci Code.)
- Dan Jansen (b. 1965), American Olympic gold medalist.
- Dan Marino (b. 1961), American football player.
- Daniel Craig (b. 1968), English actor. (The current James Bond.)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (b. 1957), English actor.
- Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), English author.
- Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782), Swiss mathematician.
- Daniel Boone (1734-1820), American frontiersman.
- Daniel Radcliffe (b. 1989), British actor who played Harry Potter.
- Danny Elfman (b. 1953), American musician.
- Danny Glover (b. 1946), American actor.
Daniel, Daniels, and Danielson (and variants of these) are common surnames. One of the most recognizable examples is Jack Daniel, namesake of Jack Daniel's whiskey.
Daniel is also the name of a song by Elton John (released in 1973), a song by Bat for Lashes (released in 2009), a town in Utah and a town in Wyoming.
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