David is an ancient Hebrew name. Its original meaning is uncertain, though it may have roots in an old endearment meaning “dear” or “darling.” The name has been popular for centuries with Jews and non-Jews alike, based on the famous Old Testament story of King David of Israel. The story of the young David’s fight against the giant Goliath, his friendship and rivalry with King Saul and his love for Saul’s son Jonathan are part of folklore; his name has a special resonance in Jewish tradition, as the leader who consolidated the kingdom of Israel.
In other countries, the name is also known in various forms and pronunciations. It has long been especially popular in Wales. David is the name of the Welsh patron saint, and it has also become associated with the ancient Celtic name Dai, which probably originally meant “to shine.”
Currently famous Davids include the singer David Grey. The name is often shortened to Dave, and there is a less common feminine form, Davina.