Origin: Greek Δαναη
The name is possibly related to the Greek word Δαναοι (Danaoi) a name of an ethnic group in Greece.
It is borne in Greek mythology by the daughter of King Acrisius, who upon hearing the Oracle of Delphi tell him that his grandson would kill him, locked Danaë up in a bronze chamber. The god Zeus visited her in the form of gold rain and impregnated her with Perseus. After the birth of her son, Acrisius locked Danaë and Perseus up in a wooden casket and set them off to sea and they both landed safely ashore on the island of Seriphos. When Perseus grew to adulthood he competed in the games of Larissa where he accidentally struck his grandfather in the head with a javelin.
Of all the Greek mythological names, this one was never popular in the English-speaking world, but remained very common in Greece where its name-day is December 11. For whatever reason, the name has always been very popular throughout Latin America and is currently the 65th most popular female name in Chile, (2010).
Other forms of the name include:
- Danaja Данаја Даная (Bulgarian/Croatian/Russian/Serbian/Ukrainian)
- Dànae (Catalan/Portuguese/Spanish)
- Danaé (Czech/French)
- Danae (Italian)
- Danajė (Lithuanian)
- Dânae (Portuguese: Brazilian)
- Danaa (Slovene)