Hearing the name Donald, the world divides to two types of people, where the former directly think of the Walt Disney’s most popular cartoon character, Donald Duck; while the latter go to Donald Trump, who sometimes, whether in a flattering or in an ironic way, often goes just by his first name: The Donald.
And yes, while Trump is the Donald of our times, his name actually derives from circa 7th century and some might say that the name explains, or might even be the reason for his path to success.
The name Donald comes from the Old Gaelic name Domnall (pronounced Dovnall and with variants of Domhnall and Domhnull), which derives from the Proto-Celtic dubno-walos, meaning ‘world-mighty, ruler of the world,’ from dubno, domhan (world) and walos / val (ruler).
The first famous ruler to carry the name, was Domnall Brecc, known as Donald the Freckled – the king, who ruled Dál Riata (in modern Scotland) from about 629 until 642.
Followed by tens of Scots and Picts rulers, some more famous than others, to carry the name through the 14th century, when the final –d on Donald became the common pronunciation among English-speakers – as a result of a misinterpretation of the original Gaelic name and partly also influenced by Germanic names that end with a -d, like Ronald.
And we also have the famous Norse-Gaelic Clan MacDonald, starting from Dòmhnall Mac Raghnuill in the 13th century; where MacDonald, simply means ‘son of Donald.’
And back to Donald Trump, carrying a name, which etymologically names him a world ruler, he is scheduled to take office this Today, January 20, as the 45th President of the United States of America.
Trump will be the oldest and wealthiest person to assume the presidency, and his name is currently crowned as the most famous and, at the same time, the most infamous one in America.
Going a step further, (or better to say, a step away), looking at the etymological origin of the name of the current President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, we come to discover certain similarities, to share in our next name of the day.