Origins of the name 'Douglas'

 

There is no clear meaning of 'Douglas', or how the name originated.

It is alleged by Chalmers that the founder of the family came from Flanders, about the year 1147, and was named Theobald the Fleming, and that he received from Arnold, Abbot of Kelso, a grant of lands on Douglas Water (Dhu-Glas), the dark stream, from which the family name was derived. But this is mere conjecture, not supported by any evidence.

Some translate 'Dhu Glas' as 'Black Water', or 'Dark Water'

David Hume of Godscroft writes (in 1646) that when King Solvathius inquired about the knight who had done such valuable service in battle (mythical or otherwise!) in 767AD, somebody exclaimed "Sholto du glasse!"..."Behold the black gray man!".

However, others have interpreted this as "Sholto Dhuglass," "behold that swarthy man".

Interestingly, some Gaelic reports spell the name: 'Dhubhghlas'.

Douglas also appears in the following countires/origins/languages: American, Australian, Celtic, Danish, English, French, German, Irish, Scotts, Swiss

Douglas is often used as a boy's first name, but during the 17th and 18th centuries, it was sometimes used as a girls's name.

See also:

The Douglas surname
Origins of the Douglas family/clan

 

This page was last updated on 11 February 2017

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