Diego is a Spanish male name of uncertain etymology. It’s often been linked as a shortened form of Santiago, which itself is an abbreviated form of Latin Sanctus Iacobus “Saint James”, in reference to Saint James the great, the brother of John the Apostle, and also one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament.

James is the English form of Latin IacobusAncient Greek Iakobos which comes from the Hebrew name Ya’aqov (Jacob) which comes from a Hebrew root word aqeb עָקֵב “heel (of the foot) or essentially “supplanter”, referring to the Biblical Jacob, the younger twin brother of Esau who often “supplanted” his older brother.

During medieval times, Diego was Latinized as Didacus, a name of unknown origin though it’s been linked to Ancient Greek didakhe δῐδᾰχή (teaching, instruction), though whether Diego’s true origins lie there is unknown.

Diego is also a Spanish surname originating from the given name

Origin: unknown

Meaning: though the origin of the name is uncertain it may have originated as a shortened form of Santiago “Saint James”, or perhaps related to Latin Didacus “teaching”




  • Santiago (Spanish Portuguese)
  • Diogo (Portuguese)
  • Thiago (Portuguese (Brazilian)
  • Didacus (Medieval Spanish)
  • Dídac (Catalan)
  • Xanti (Basque)