U.S. social reformer Dorothea Dix (1802–87), painted 1868 by Samuel Bell Waugh
Dorothea is a palindrome of sorts of Theodora. They both have the same meaning, “gift of God,” and are formed from the same Greek roots, doron (gift) and Theos (God). The only difference is that each name puts the roots in a different order.
Dorothea is used in Greek, English, the Scandinavian languages, German, and Dutch. It gained popularity thanks to two early saints, particularly fourth century martyr Dorothea of Caesarea. This was also the name of Prussia’s patron saint, the 14th century Dorothea of Montau.
U.S. actor Dorothy Gish (1898–1968), younger sister of legendary Lillian Gish
Much more common in the Anglophone world is Dorothy, which was coined in the 16th century. Probably everyone associates this name with the protagonist of The Wizard of Oz. The name entered the U.S. Top 100 in 1890, at #93, and leapt up the chart till entering the Top 10 at #10 in 1904.
Dorothy entered the Top 5 in 1909, and peaked at #2 in 1920, a position it held till 1927. It remained in the Top 10 till 1939, and in the Top 20 till 1945. Dorothy’s final year in the Top 100 was 1961. In 2018, it was #586.
Other forms of this once-ubiquitous name include:
1. Dorotea is Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Galician, and Croatian.
2. Doroteja is Slovenian, Macedonian, Serbian, Latvian, Sorbian, and Croatian. The alternate form Dorotėja is Lithuanian. Nicknames include Dora, Tea, and Teja.
3. Dorottya is Hungarian. Nicknames include Dora, Dorka, and Dorina.
4. Dorothée is French. The nickname is Théa.
5. Doroteia is Portuguese. The Brazilian–Portuguese variant is Dorotéia.
6. Dārta is Latvian.
7. Dörthe is Low German.
8. Darafeya is Belarusian.
9. Dorofeya is Russian.
10. Darata is Lithuanian.
French aristocrat Dorothée de Talleyrand-Périgord (1862–1948), painted 1905 by Philip de László
11. Dorota is Polish, Czech, Slovak, Kashubian, and Lithuanian.
12. Dorote is Georgian.
13. Doroteya is Russian and Bulgarian.
14. Dóróthea, also rendered as Dórothea, is Icelandic.
15. Tiia is Estonian and Finnish.
16. Kōleka is Hawaiian.
17. Dorata is Albanian.
1. Dorotheos is Greek.
2. Dorofey is Russian.
3. Dorotheus is Latin.
4. Doroteo is Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.
5. Darafey is Belarusian.