The notion of gift can have different etymological origins and, therefore, different meanings. When the term derives from the Latin word donum, it refers to a talent or aptitude that a person has.
For example: “My daughter has a special gift for music: she knows how to play four instruments and has a heavenly voice”, “You have the gift of perceiving what happens to people, don’t waste it”, “I was born with a natural gift to play soccer, from a very young age I was able to dominate the ball without difficulty”.
In the sphere of the Catholic religion, a good or a grace that the faithful receives from God is known as a gift. The gifts of the Holy Spirit, in this framework, allow man to lead a life according to Christian precepts.
A gift can be an aptitude or a talent.
Gift as treatment
If don comes from domĭnus, on the other hand, it alludes to a treatment that precedes the given name and that allows respect or deference to be reflected. In Spain, it was used to distinguish nobles from commoners.
It is often believed that gift comes from the expression “of noble origin”. However, etymology leads us to the aforementioned Latin word (domĭnus). Although in ancient times it was reserved for individuals of a high social class, it is currently used on a general level when it is intended to establish a respectful and courteous treatment.
“Don Quixote de la Mancha” is one of the most important works of literature in Spanish.
Term in literature
In the field of literature, the word in question has been used on numerous occasions to give a title to works. One of the best known examples is the novel “Don Quixote de la Mancha”, a world masterpiece, which was written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and published in 1605.
In the same way, we cannot ignore “Don Juan Tenorio “, a play written by José Zorrilla and which was released in 1844. It is considered another of the most relevant literary works of literature in Spanish of all time. and it is that, among other things, he played an enormous role in consolidating the figure of Don Juan.
Precisely from this last work derived an “attribute” that today we use colloquially to refer to a type of man. Thus, when we say that Manuel is Don Juan, it means that he is a conqueror in matters of love.
Don as diminutive and stage name
In the same way, we cannot ignore that Don is also the diminutive of the Anglo-Saxon name Donnie. A good example of this is the American actor Don Johnson, who became a relevant figure worldwide after his portrayal of the policeman Sonny Crockett in the series “Corruption in Miami”, which triumphed in the decade of the 80s.
In addition, in the field of music we find the Puerto Rican artist who goes by the name of Don Omar. This has achieved enormous success with songs such as “Dale, Don Dale”, “Angelito” or “Ayer la vi”.
Other uses of the concept
Don can also be used ironically with an adjective or, when it does not accompany a name, as a synonym for Señor.
“Looks like a caring don donated half a pack of noodles to earthquake victims” and “Hey, don, can you tell me what time it is?” are expressions that show this usage.