Monday, 6 February 2012

Name Loves: Scandinavian Beauties

After the mess I made of picking Scandinavian names in the last post, I decided to give this thing another go. The names below appear in the top 100 in Sweden, Norway or Iceland, but do not feature in the US or the England and Wales top 1000. The rankings for Sweden and Iceland are from 2011 and Norway from 2010.


Juni (#71) - The Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish form of the month June.

Nova (#22) - From the Latin novus meaning 'new'. Some source say that in Hopi the name means 'she chases butterflies' or 'chassing butterflies'. However, other sources state that Nova actually means 'food' in the Native American language.

Tindra (#60) - In Swedish it means 'to twinkle, to sparkle'. 


Sanna (#89) - Short form of Susanna, which has the possible meaning of 'lily'. The name can also be seen as deriving from the Swedish word 'sann' meaning 'true'. 

Synne (#63) - Used as a nickname for Synnove or Sunniva, meaning 'sun gift'.  

Vilde (#13) - A variant of the name Vilda, it means 'wild one'.


Asta (#16) - Short form of Astrid, which comes from the Old Norse elements áss 'god' and fríðr 'beautiful'. Its meaning has thefore been interpreted as 'divinely beautiful', 'devine beauty' and 'beautiful as a god'. 

Dagny (#77) - Means 'new day', derived from the Old Norse elements dagr 'day' and ný 'new'.

Soley (= #75) - From the Old Norse elements sól 'sun' and perhaps ey 'island' or auja 'gift of luck'. Sóley is also the Icelandic word for 'buttercup'. 

Although Nova and Dagny don't presently appear in the top 1000, they have in the past. Dagny ranked once in the US in 1901 (#925), but Nova was a constant in the charts from 1894 to 1938.

Image: An illustration from Rhinegold and the Valkyries by Arthur Rackham.