Transferred use of the Scottish surname, now used as a given name throughout the English-speaking world. In the 20th century it was particularly popular in Australia. The surname was originally a Norman baronial name, but a precise identification of the place from which it was derived has not been made (there are a large number of possible candidates). The Bruces were an influential Norman family in Scottish affairs in the early Middle Ages; its most famous member was Robert ‘the Bruce’ (1274–1329), who is said to have drawn inspiration after his defeat at Methven from the perseverance of a spider in repeatedly climbing up again after being knocked down. He ruled Scotland as King Robert I from 1306 to 1329.
Indian (Bengal) and Bangladeshi: Hindu (Kayasth) name, from Bengali daš ‘votary’, ‘servant’, from Sanskrit dāsa ‘slave’, ‘servant’. It is also commonly used as the final element of compound given names, for example Bhagavandas ‘servant of god’, Mohandas ‘votary of Mohan (an epithet of the god Krishna)’.