Björk, Bjørk

Gender: feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “birch, birch tree.”
(BYERK) Pronunciation can be heard here: http://www.forvo.com/word/björk/

Indie rock star, Björk Guðmundsdóttir (b.1965), made this one a household name, though it is now a recognized name outside of Iceland, it will probably always be associated with the singer to non-Icelanders.

Björk is the Icelandic word for birch tree, when spelled Bjørk, it has the same meaning in both Faroese and Norwegian. It is interesting to note that björk is the modern Swedish word for birch tree, though neither nouns are used as a given names in Swedish or Norwegian. However, it is a very common and ordinary female name in both Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

As of 2010, Bjørk was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

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Ritva

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Finnish
Meaning: “branch.”
(REET-va)

The name comes directly from the Finnish word for branch or associated with the Finnish word for birch tree, ritvakoivu.

Between 1937-1944, this was the most popular female name in Finland.

Its usage has spread to neighboring Scandinavian countries such as the Faroe Islands and Sweden.

The designated name-day is January 4 (Faroe Islands), May 27 (Finland), July 24 (Sweden).

Sources