Origin: Old Norse
The name is found in the Old Norse poem, the Song of Grótti (Grottasöngr) and in Snorri Sturlesson’s Prose Edda as the name of one of two sister giantesses, Fenja and Menja.
According to the Song of Grótti, both sisters are enslaved to the Danish king Frodi, forced to grind out wealth from a magical stone and to sing for the king. They sing of the king’s benevolence and wealth, but as they become overworked, the king refuses to hear their pleas until they start to sing a warning that the king shall soon be destroyed by an army, which they eventually create from the magical grindstone.
Fenja is of Old Norse origins, but its etymology has been lost. Both sisters supposedly inspired the names of the Danish Islands, Fanø and Mandø.
Currently, Fenja is the 181st most popular female name in Germany, (2011).
It is also borne by German actress, Fenja Rühl (b.1963)