Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Deanna

Deanna is mostly considered a 20th century coinage, sort of a modern day female equivalent of Dean. Dean is the transferred use of an English surname, originating from one of two places. On the one hand, it’s believed to be derived from a place name, from the Olde English “denu” or Middle English “dene” meaning valley (signifying someone who dwelled in a valley). The second meaning is derived from an occupational name, coming from the Latin word “decanus” which gave us Dean, the name of an ecclesiastical supervisor or imperial officer. Now we know this name to be mainly used for one of the heads of faculty in a college or university. Dean is also sometimes considered the Anglicization of the Italian pet name “Dino” (for example Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in 1917). Deanna could also be an embellished variation of Diana or Dana (see those names for more detail). What really brought the name Deanna to the attention of English speakers everywhere was a young Canadian actress/singer named Edna Mae Durbin who busted on to the Hollywood scene in 1936 when she was only 14 years old (a contemporary of the then-young Judy Garland). Edna Mae changed her screen name to Deanna Durbin just in time for American audiences to embrace it as a chosen name for their own daughters (Dean is an anagram of Edna). Deanna Durbin had a profound impact on the popularity of Deanna as a girl’s name for the 10 years she remained one of the highest paid actresses and biggest box office draws in Hollywood. Yet the superstar would show some unprecedented chutzpah by walking away from her movie career before the age of 25 having never liked the Tinsel Town persona created for her with little consent.

All About the Baby Name – Deanna

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME DEANNA

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME DEANNA

We have been looking at naming graphs for scores of names; identifying remarkable shifts in popularity and then researching who or what in popular culture was impacting the abrupt movement of the needle. In all of our experience we have yet to see a chart like Deanna. For instance, singers like Aaliyah and Rihanna had major impacts on the increased circulation of their first names in America. But we have never seen anything like what Deanna Durbin did to the name Deanna. This name did not even exist on the charts prior to 1936 – it went from complete obscurity and non-existence to #115 on the charts in less than two years (see chart below). What Deanna Durbin did for her name in the late 1930s up through the early 1940s remains unprecedented. It just goes to show you the power of celebrity culture was alive and well more than 75 years ago! Deanna dropped some in usage during the 1950s but then rebounded again to reach her peak success from 1969 to 1971 when for three short years she managed to eke out a position on the Top 100 list. Deanna remained respectably popular all the way through the mid-1990s but unfortunately the 21st century has turned their back on this old Hollywood starlet. Deanna has dropped over 500 positions since 2000 and is now barely hanging on to the Top 800. Now forgotten and outdated, Deanna is no longer considered stylish among the Emmas and Sophias or the Madisons and Addisons of today. Deanna is a “mid-century” name and has therefore lost her luster and may need a generation or two before she’s ready for her close-up again. If you’re a Trekie, you may remember Commander Deanna Troi from the Star Trek: Next Generation series; or if you’re a reality TV fan than you may have noticed the repeat “Bachelor(ette)” personality DeAnna Pappas. In any case, Deanna is a pretty name whose fashionable days are behind her (at least for now).

Quick Facts

ON DEANNA

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

English

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

3

RANKING POPULARITY:

907

PRONUNCIATION:

dee-ANN-ah; dee-AHN-ah; DEEN-ah

SIMPLE MEANING:

Valley

Characteristics

OF DEANNA

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Deanna

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME DEANNA

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

Popular Songs

ON DEANNA

Deanna
a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Famous People

NAMED DEANNA

Deanna Durbin (b. Edna Mae Durbin, actress)
DeAnna Pappas (reality TV personality from the Bachelor)
Deanna Nolan (basketball player)
Deanna Lund (actress)
Deana Carter (country musician)
Deanna Russo (actress)
Deanna Wright (actress)

Children of Famous People

NAMED DEANNA

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

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME DEANNA

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Deanna