Meaning and Origin of the Name Duff

As an anglicised form of the Gaelic word “dubh”, the boy’s name Duff stems from Scottish, English, and Irish origins. The meaning of Duff is “dark” and “swarthy”, but it also has a more serene meaning of “black peace.”

Duff can represent a certain type of individual too. For example, in Scotland, it was used to describe someone who had dark hair and an olive complexion. It is also used to refer
to a man, with a dark temperament.


As a first and last name, Duff enjoys more popularity as a surname, than it does as a actual first name. It is estimated, there is about 13.100 people with this name, and in a world of billions, this only represents less than one percent of the population.
Although, you can find more people named Duff in Ireland, United States, and the United Kingdom, the name is still rare, even in these countries. For example, in 1880, there were 42 babies per million named Duff, and in 2013, there were only two babies per million, in the USA.

Variation of the name Duff

Duff has variations in the names of Duffy, Duffey, Duffie, Duffee, Duffi, Duffye, Duffia, Duffe, and Duffa.

Famous People with the Name

Despite its rarity, there are still some famous people called Duff. There is Duff Green, who was not only a diplomat, but a teacher, author, industrialist, and politician, among many other things.

Duff Bruce, who began playing for Aberdeen in 1923, was a Scottish pro football player. As a singer and songwriter, Duff Mckagan was a member of the very famous American hard rock band ” Guns ‘N’ Roses.”

Although, the name Duff, is an unusual name, the dark meaning of it, does seem to give it, a quite alluring air of mystique.

Useful Resources

  • Discover the meaning and origin of other Scottish boy’s names

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