1. Origin: German
Meaning: “soft; tender”
2. Origin: Spanish
3. Origin: Estonian
In the English-speaking world, the name is most likely derived from the ancient Germanic element, linde, meaning, “soft; tender.”
Its popularity between the 1940s-1950s may have been due to its associations with the Spanish adjective, linda which means “pretty.” However, the name is not really used in Spanish-speaking countries.
In Estonian, the name has a completely different etymology and history. It appears in the Estonian national epic, the Kalevipoeg, where it is the name of the protagonist’s mother. In this case, the name is most likely derived from the Estonian word lind, meaning “bird.”
Between 1947-1952, this was the most popular female name in the United States, as of 2010, it ranked in as the 623rd most popular female name. Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 393 (France, 2009)
- # 456 (Netherlands, 2010)
The name is also used in Czech, German, the Scandinavian languages, Finnish, Italian, Hungarian, Latvian, Slovak and in Bulgarian.
Designated name-days are: February 13 (Hungary), April 15 (Finland), April 30 (Latvia), June 20 (Sweden), June 25 (Estonia), August 21 (Latvia), September 1 (Czech Republic) and September 2 (Slovakia).
Notable bearers include: American actress and star of the Exorcist, Linda Blair (b.1959); Wonder Woman star, Lynda Carter (b. 1951); Canadian supermodel, Linda Evangelista (b.1965); actress Linda Fiorentino (b.1958) and Linda McCartney (1941-1998).