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Israelite Names:  David.
From History of Christian Names, by Charlotte M. Yonge, 1884.

"The man after God's own heart" was well named from the verb to love, David, still called Daood in the East.  It was Δαυὶδ in the Septuagint; Δαβὶδ and Δαυεὶδ in the New Testament; and the Vulgate made it the name well known to us.

The Eastern Church, in which the ancient Scriptural names were in greater honor than in the West, seems to have adopted David among her names long before it was revived among the Jews, who never seem to have used it since the days of their dispersion.  It has always been common among the Armenians and Georgians.  Daveed is frequent in Russia, in honour of a saint, who has his feast on the 29th of July; and in Slavonic it is shortened into Dako; in Esthonia it is Taved; in Lusatia, Dabko.

The influence of eastern Christianity is traceable in the adoption of David in the Keltic Church.  Early in the 6th century, a Welshman of princely birth (like almost all Welsh saints), by name David, or Dawfydd, lived in such sanctity at his bishopric of Menevia, that it has ever since been known as St. David's the principal Welsh see having been there transplanted from Caerleon in his time.  Dewi was the vernacular alteration of his name, and the Church of Llan Dewi Brevi commemorates a synod held by him against the Pelagians.  Dafod, or Devi, thus grew popular in Wales, and when ap Devi ceased to be the distinction of the sons of David—Davy, Davis, and Davies became the surname, Taffy the contraction, and Tafline or Vida the feminine.  The Keltic bishop was revered likewise in Scotland, and his name was conferred upon the third son of Malcolm Ceanmohr, the best sovereign whom Scotland ever possessed, and whom she deservedly canonized, although his Protestant descendant James VI. called him "a sore saint to the crown," because of his large donations of land to the clergy—at that time the only orderly subjects in the country.  Affection and honour for the royal saint filled the Lowlands with Davids, and this has continued a distinctively Scottish name.

The Anglicizing Irish took David as the synonym of Dathi (far darting); and Diarmaid (a freeman); and the Danes made it serve for Dagfinn (day white).*

* Proper Names of the Bible; Rees, Welsh Saints; Jones, Welsh Sketches; O'Donovan, Irish Names; Seven Champions of Christendom.


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