Gender: Masculine
Origin: Arabic طارق
Meaning: “morning star; messenger; the knocking one; traveller, path finder.”

The name is of Arabic origins and can have several different interpretations, one is that it is from the Arabic verb ṭaraqa meaning “to knock” or “to pound.” In this case, the name would take on the meaning of “messenger” or “bringer of news.”

In the Qu’ran, the morning star is named ṭāriq and is described as something that shines and leads the way and in this case, the name can take on the meaning of “someone who leads the way” “traveller” or “pathfinder.”

As of 2010, Tarik was the 2nd most popular male name in Bosnia & Herzegovina, while Tareq is the 8th most popular male name in Libya.

The name was most notably borne by Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Islamic general who helped conquer Spain in the 8th-century.

The name is used by both Muslim and Christian Arabs.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Tarik (Albanian/Bosnian)
  • Tarak/Tarek (Algerian/Lebanese/Moroccan/Tunisian: these are usually the way the name is transcribed in French and hence is most often used in the Francophone world)
  • Tarık (Azeri/Kurdish/Turkish)

The name is also transliterated as Tareq and Tareeq.



The name is derived from a pan-Slavic word meaning “morning star; venus.” In Slavic mythology it was borne by the personification of the morning star.

In the United States, the name seems to have appeared out of nowhere in the 1970s. In 1977, it first entered the top 1000 coming in as 924th most popular female name. Never a popular name, there have been a few well-known personages who have borne the name, leading to the now standard anglicized pronunciation of (DAN-ik-kuh). In all the Slavic languages where it is commonly used as a given name, it is pronounced (dah-NEET-sah).

Currently, it is the 424th most popular name in the United States, (2010).

Coincidentally, it is also the Latin name for Denmark, in which case it is pronounced (DAN-ik-kuh).

The name is borne by actresses Danica McKeller (b.1975) and race car driver Danica Patrick (b.1982).


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/danica