Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his February 14th column, he looks at the history of the name Duane.
Dwayne’s a respelling of Duane, a form of Irish surname Ó Dubháin, “descendant of Dubhán.” Dubhán, “black-haired,” is known through St. Dubhán, founder of a medieval church in County Galway. Duane was the English form of Ó Dubháin in Connacht. Doane, Doone, Downe, Dewan, Dwane, and Devane were used in other parts of Ireland.
Duane first appeared on Social Security’s top thousand list in 1903. DeWayne showed up in 1918, followed by Dwayne (1921), Dwain (1923), Dwaine (1926), Duwayne (1929) and Dwane (1935).
DeWayne left the top thousand baby name list in 2002 and Duane followed in 2003. Dwayne held on until 2019. Will “Young Rock” be able to wrestle it back? We’ll know a couple of years from now.