How popular is the baby name Degare in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Degare.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Degare

Posts that Mention the Name Degare

Where Does the Pilgrim Name Degory Come From?

Every November, I get a ton of traffic to my Pilgrim names post. And, every November, I look over those Pilgrim names and think to myself, “What’s up with the name Degory?”

So, this year, let’s finally dig into Degory.

First, Pilgrim Degory — who was he?

His full name was Degory Priest. He was about 40 when he sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a hatter by profession, and he had a wife named Sarah and two daughters named Marah and Sarah. (His family stayed behind in 1620, but all three eventually crossed the Atlantic.)

Degory Priest signed the Mayflower Compact in mid-November, but — like dozens of other Pilgrims — didn’t last long in the New World. He died on the first day of 1621.

Where does Degory’s name come from?

It’s a version of a name that’s been spelled many different ways: Diggory, Digory, Digorie, Digery, Digerie, Deggory, Deggary, Degorie, Degorye, Degore, Degarre, and so forth.

Diggory and Digory seem to be the preferred spellings nowadays, at least among writers. Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native (1878) includes a character named Diggory Venn, and C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series (1950s) features a character named Digory Kirke.

No one is certain where the name comes from or what it means, but it may have been inspired by the 14th-century English romance Sir Degaré, which may have been based on an earlier Breton tale called Lai d’Esgaré, which points to the Old French word ésgaré, meaning “lost,” “astray,” or “destitute.”

What do you think of the name Degory/Diggory? Usable nowadays, or too unusual?

Sources: Genealogical profile of Degory Priest [pdf], Sir Degare: Introduction