The name has a Latin sound but is actually of German origins. It is derived from the German word brun meaning “brown.” A follower of my blog, Capucine, informed me that the meaning of the name was originally a euphemism for a bear.
It has also been suggested that the name maybe related to the Old High German, brunja, meaning, “breastplate.”
According to askoxford.com, the name has been borne by German royalty and nobility alike. It was also borne by a 10th-century saint and the son of Emperor Henry the Fowler as well as by the Saxon Duke who gave his name to the town of Brunswick (in German Braunschweig).
The name has also experienced popular usage in Spanish speaking countries, as well as in Italy, Portugal and Poland. The only English speaking country the name has ever gotten much usage in is the United States. Thanks to the influx of German immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century it reached # 260 way back in 1915. The highest it has ever reached in the Social Security list. It currently comes in at a mere # 753. His rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 35 (Croatia, 2009)
- # 43 (Catalonia, 2010)
- # 46 (Chile, 2010)
- # 56 (Spain, 2010)
Other forms of the name include:
- Bruno (Croatian/Czech/Dutch/Finnish/French/German/Icelandic/Italian/Polish/Portuguese/Romansch/Scandinavian/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish)
- Brun (German)
- Brúnó (Hungarian)
- Brunone (Italian)
- Broen (Limbergish)
- Brunon (Occitanian/Polish)
The feminine form of Bruna is a popular name in Brazil, Italy and Croatia.
Other feminine forms are Brunonia, which is borne by author, Brunonia Barry, and the Polish Brunona a feminine form of the more obscure masculine Polish form of Brunon. Both forms are seldom heard in Poland these days, but it’s listed on their name-day Calender.
Italian feminine form is Brunella a derivative of the Italian masculine diminutive form Brunello.
Its designated name day is July 12.