Dorothy is a female given name from Greek meaning "God's Gift", from, "gift" + "god". The earliest form of the word δῶρον is the Mycenaean Greek do-ra, meaning "gifts", written in Linear B syllabic script. Although much less common, there are also male equivalents in English such as "Dorie" from the Greek masculine Δωρόθεος Also, the given names Theodore and Theodora are derived from the same two Greek root words as Dorothy, albeit reversed in order.
Dorothy was a less common variant of Dorothea, until it became one of the most popular girl's names in the United States between 1904 and 1940. It was ranked among the top 10 most popular names given to American newborn girls. The name remained among the top 100 most popular names for American girls until 1961. It then declined in popularity and was last ranked among the top 1,000 most popular names for American newborn girls in 2006, when it was ranked in 986th position. There were 235 newborn American girls given the name in 2010. Just 20 American girls were given the variant name Dorothea in 2010.