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Davies is a patronymic Welsh surname. It may be a corruption of Dyfed, itself a corruption of Dési, colonists from south-east Ireland who occupied the old tribal area of the Demetae in south-west Wales in the late third century AD, establishing a dynasty which lasted five centuries. Dyfed is recorded as a surname as late as the 12th century for e.g. Gwynfard Dyfed, born in 1175. 'Dafydd' appears as a given name in the 13th Century, e.g. Dafydd ap Gruffydd (1238–1283), Prince of Wales, and Dafydd ab Edmwnd (fl. c. 1450–97), Welsh poet. The given name 'Dafydd' is generally translated into English as 'David'. Alternatively it may derive from David (a Hebrew name meaning "beloved"), the name of Wales's patron saint. In Wales the name is standardly pronounced DAY-vis, that is, identically to Davis. This pronunciation is also used by many outside the United Kingdom, where it competes with the spelling pronunciation DAY-veez, which is particularly common in the US. Davies is the 2nd most common surname in Wales and 8th most common in England of Welsh descendants. where it is particularly widespread in the south-west, especially Cornwall. It is not common in the United States where the spelling Davis is preferred.

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Hills and Valleys [2017]


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