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Gender: Masculine
: English, Welsh
Dewey is the Anglicized form of Dewi, short for Dewÿd, a Welsh form of the name David. David comes from a Hebrew name, Dodavehu. Originally it meant “Friend,” or “Beloved.”

Dewÿd, or Dewi (or Dewey) was the original form of the name David developed by early Welsh Christians. This was the form of the name given to St. David. As such, it was not used much, because prior to the Middle Ages, many saints’ names were considered too holy for every day use. Later, the form Dafÿdd (taken from the Latin Davidus) was developed to bestow upon children (a similar situation, involving the names Eoin, and Sean, arose in Ireland).

In the United States, Dewey did not become common until the late-19th/early-20th century. At this time there was a naval hero, George Dewey (1837-1917), who fought in the Spanish-American war. This may account for the name’s sudden jump in popularity.

Coincidentally or not, this was also around the same time as the invention of the Dewey Decimal library system, devised in 1876 by Melvil Dewey (1851-1931).

Please see David for more information.

Pronunciation: dew-ee.

Alternates: Dewi, Dewy.

Famous Bearers:
Religious Figures:
Saint Dewi (David) (520-600):
Patron saint of Wales.

Percentage from the 1990 U.S. Census:
0.023% named Dewey

Popularity of Dewey
Popularity (for newborns)
In the United States...
1875: N/A
1900-1910: 192nd most popular.
1910-1920: 262nd most popular.
1920-1930: 208th most popular.
1930-1940: 442nd most popular.
1940-1950: 288th most popular.
1950-1960: 394th most popular.
1960-1970: 533rd most popular.
1970-1980: 610th most popular.
1980-1990: 891st most popular.
1990-2000: N/A

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