About Names: Lion’s share of Daniel’s cachet is thanks to Bible

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Dr. Cleveland Evans writes about names for the Omaha World-Herald. In his June 6 column, he looks at the history of the name Daniel. Daniel is a Hebrew name meaning “God is my judge.” The original Daniel is hero of the book named after him in the Old Testament. Daniel, a Jewish captive, is made chief of Babylon’s wise men when only he can interpret King Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams.

Though after 1350 Daniel was rare in England, it was one of the first Old Testament names revived after the Reformation. It ranked 44th for English boys born in the 1550s, and 15th in the 1690s.

Daniel, like most Old Testament names, receded in popularity in the late 19th century, but it never became rare. Between 1914 and 1916 it ranked 55th, its lowest point, on Social Security’s baby names lists.

Read on to find out where Daniel ranks now!