The name Dennis is a derivation of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and good times, and came about in reference to servants to that ancient hedonist.
The name is often shortened to Denny, and variants include Denis, Denys, and Dion. (Interestingly, the name Sidney/Sydney is an abbreviated variation on the old French town Saint-Denis.) The female equivalent is Denise.
In addition to being a person's name, there are 13 cities in the United States named Dennis, and there is of course 1999's Hurricane Dennis.
Famous People Named Dennis
- Dennis "Dan" Brouthers, Hall of Fame first baseman during the 19th century
- Dennis Eckersley, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics
- Dennis Farina, actor (Get Shorty, "Law & Order", "Crime Story")
- Dennis Franz, Emmy-winning actor famous for his role as Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue"
- Dennis Haskins, actor best known as Mr. Belding on TV's "Saved by the Bell"
- Dennis Haysbert, actor (Major League, "24")
- Dennis Hopper, actor (Speed, Apocalypse Now, Blue Vevlet)
- Dennis Kucinich, United States Representative from Ohio and Democratic Presidential candidate
- Dennis Leary, comedian and actor ("Rescue Me")
- Dennis Martinez, long-time Major League Baseball pitcher and Nicaraguan politician
- Dennis Miller, comedian and TV commentator for CNBC
- Dennis Mitchell aka "Dennis the Menace", comic strip scamp
- Dennis Muren, Oscar-Winning visual effects guy at ILM (Return of the Jedi, AI, Jurassic Park)
- Dennis Potvin, NHL Hall of Fame defenseman for the New York Islanders
- Dennis Quaid, actor (Far From Heaven], Wyatt Earp, Jaws 3-D)
- Dennis Rodman, longtime NBA player and actor wannabe
- Dennis Weaver, actor (Chester on "Gunsmoke", "McCloud")
- Dennis Wilson, brother of Brian Wilson and longtime drummer for The Beach Boys