Usual English form of Dorothea. The name was not used in the Middle Ages, but was taken up in the 15th century and became common thereafter. It was borne by the American film star Dorothy Lamour (1914–1996, born Dorothy Kaumeyer).
English and Welsh: patronymic from the Middle English personal name Jon(e) (see John). The surname is especially common in Wales and southern central England. In North America this name has absorbed various cognate and like-sounding surnames from other languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988).