Dana \d(a)-na\ as a boy's name (also used as girl's name Dana), is pronounced DAY-nah. The meaning of Dana is "from Denmark". Also possibly a place name referring to an English river. Also variant of Daniel or Dane. Surname first used as a boy's name in the 19th century. In 1840 Boston writer Richard Henry Dana, Jr. published the maritime classic "Two Years Before the Mast", about his voyage in a sailing ship around Cape Horn to California. Artist Charles Dana Gibson; actor Dana Carvey.