Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Darwin

Darwin is the transferred use of an English surname originating from a personal name which developed from the Olde English “deorwine” meaning “dear friend” (deor = dear; wine = friend). Deorwine probably started off as a nickname for a close kinsman or as a term of endearment for a child. Evidence of Deorwine as a personal name dates back to at least the 11th century when it was first recorded in Essex, England. Aside from Darwin’s lovely connection with “dear friends” of yesteryear, Darwin has another possible etymological source. In this case, the surname Darwin may have derived from a place name, so-called Darwen in northwest England (in the country of Lancashire). The town of Darwen draws its name from the river Darwent which comes from a Celtic Brythonic word “derw” meaning “oak” (the oak-lined river). The oak tree was a powerful symbol to the ancient Celtic people populating the British Isles; it represented strength, vitality, nobility and wisdom. The Druids (Celtic priests) would eat the oak’s acorns for wisdom before prophesying and the tree leaves were believed to contain healing and renewal powers. The first written form of this surname was rendered as “Derewin” in the early 13th century (so the personal or nickname Deorwine predates the surname Derewin. One might argue that Darwin is merely retuning to its original usage as a forename rather than a surname. Aside from all of this etymological interest, Darwin is also the namesake of an important British naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882) whose work revolutionized how we look at the origin and evolution of species and the diversity and survival of life. Darwin’s ideas have been distorted in the name of religion and racism over the years by ignorant people with their own agendas; however, in reality, Darwin’s main contribution (i.e., “On the Origin of Species”) is often considered the seminal event which moved the science of biology into the modern age. Certainly some parents have this great naturalist in mind when selecting Darwin as a given name for their baby sons. Mainly an American first name, Darwin is occasionally used as a masculine name in Australia and Canada as well.

All About the Baby Name – Darwin

Personality

OF THE BOY NAME DARWIN

Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.

Popularity

OF THE BOY NAME DARWIN

Darwin is one of those surnames with a long history of usage in the United States. The name dates back to 1881 on the Top 1000 list of American boy names but didn’t really stick to the charts until 1907. Throughout most of the 20th century Darwin did impressively well actually – generally used with respectable moderation. Then came the 1970s; a decade not altogether kind to this old “dear friend”. Darwin pretty much dropped like rocks and even fell out of circulation in the late 1990s (despite the fact that surnames were coming into vogue). We’re not sure why this charming last name didn’t make the cut, but at least he’s returned to the Top 1000 list. As far as surnames go, this one is pretty neglected by our standards and a fine choice for the discerning, erudite parent. Super religious people may be scared off by this name, but there’s certainly no reason why one can’t believe in natural selection and God at the same time. Still, for parents who DO choose this name run the risk of being called “anti-Creationists” or pretentiously smart. Then again, the “fittest” of parents will have no trouble “surviving” such narrow-mindedness. We love this name and applaud its users and name bearers alike.

Quick Facts

ON DARWIN

GENDER:

Boy

ORIGIN:

Celtic

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

2

RANKING POPULARITY:

826

PRONUNCIATION:

DAHR-win

SIMPLE MEANING:

Dear friend

Characteristics

OF DARWIN

Humanitarian

Community-minded

Family-oriented

Loving

Affectionate

Compassionate

Sensitive

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Darwin

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME DARWIN

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Darwin

Popular Songs

ON DARWIN

Darwin Star
a song by Des'ree

Darwin
a song by Third Eye Blind

Famous People

NAMED DARWIN

Darwin Cook (basketball player)
Darwin Cubillan (baseball player)
Darwin Walker, football player

Children of Famous People

NAMED DARWIN

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Darwin

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME DARWIN

Charles Darwin is the biologist who essentially founded the science of evolution with the publication of his exhaustive and controversial tomes, The Origin of Species, in 1859, and in 1871, The Descent of Man. Published to vitriolic attack for their seeming denial of the existence of an Almighty Creator, the works stir controversy even today, over a century and a half later. Charles Darwin undertook a five year voyage on HMS Beagle, and his observations and collections of species led him to the theorization of all life forms having been descended from common ancestors (including apes), and that natural selection decided which would live and which would die out. Not a popular dish to put before the Victorian public of his time, as he suspected and was to find out. No matter that we are still debating his “theories” this much later - all things being equal, and with no disrespect to Mr. Darwin, he and the redoubtable Mrs. D. contributed to the species by ten of their own – no small contribution!

Charles Darwin is the biologist who essentially founded the science of evolution with the publication of his exhaustive and controversial tomes, The Origin of Species, in 1859, and in 1871, The Descent of Man. Published to vitriolic attack for their seeming denial of the existence of an Almighty Creator, the works stir controversy even today, over a century and a half later. Charles Darwin undertook a five year voyage on HMS Beagle, and his observations and collections of species led him to the theorization of all life forms having been descended from common ancestors (including apes), and that natural selection decided which would live and which would die out. Not a popular dish to put before the Victorian public of his time, as he suspected and was to find out. No matter that we are still debating his “theories” this much later - all things being equal, and with no disrespect to Mr. Darwin, he and the redoubtable Mrs. D. contributed to the species by ten of their own – no small contribution!