Last name origins & meanings:
- English: from the medieval personal name Den(n)is (Latin
Dionysius, Greek Dionysios ‘(follower) of
Dionysos’, an eastern god introduced to the classical pantheon
at a relatively late date and bearing a name of probably Semitic
origin). The name was borne by various early saints, including St
Denis, the martyred 3rd-century bishop of Paris who became the patron
of France; the popularity of the name in England from the 12th century
onwards seems to have been largely due to French influence. The
feminine form Dionysia (in the vernacular likewise
Den(n)is) is also found, and some examples of the surname may
represent a metronymic form.
- English: variant of
- Irish (mainly Dublin and Cork): of the same origin
as 1 and 2, sometimes an alternative form to Donohue but more
often to MacDonough, since the personal name Donnchadh
was Anglicized as Donough or Denis.
- Irish (Ulster and Munster): Anglicized form of the rare Gaelic name Ó Donnghusa
‘descendant of Donnghus’, a personal name from donn
‘brown-haired man’ or ‘chieftain’ + gus ‘vigor’.
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