The surname Denis is of English origin. It is derived from the medieval given name Dennis, the vernacular form of the Greek name ‘Dionysios’, ‘follower of Dionysos’. An eastern god introduced to the classical pantheon at a relatively late date and bearing a name of probably Semitic origin; his orgiastic cult seems to have originated in Persia or elsewhere in Asia. His name is of uncertain derivation, although the first part seems to be related to the name of the supreme god Zues. The name was borne by several early Christian saints, including St. Dennis, a third century evangelist who converted the Gauls and became a patron saint of Paris. It was on his account that the name was popular among the Normans. The popularity of the name in England seems largely due to French influence. The name may also be an English variation of Dench; an ethnic name for someone from Denmark, from Middle English ‘den(s)ch’, Danish. It may also be an anglicization of the Irish name Donohue; itself an anglicized form of the Gaelic name O’Donnchadha, composed of the elements ‘donn’, brown and ‘cath’, battle. The name … Coat of arms: Ermines, thr…
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