Origins: Welsh/Old Norse
Meaning: “snow; snow white; white as snow; or “protection; mercy; help.”
(Ay-rah South Wales; I-rah North Wales; AYR-wen South Wales; IRE-wen North Wales. Swedish/Finnish I-rah)
Eira can be of two different etymologies and origins, in Welsh, it is related to the word eir, meaning “snow”, the offshoot of Eirwen is composed of the elements eir and gwen, (which either means fair, blessed or white), in which case, Eirwen would roughly translate as “white as snow”, “snow white” or “white snow.” A reverse of Eirwen, is Gwyneira, which virtually means the same thing, pronounced (gwyn-AY-rah) South Wales, and (gwyn-EYE-rah) North Wales.
Eira can also be connected to an Old Norse element. It is believed to be a variation of the Old Norse female name, Eir, which was the name of the Norse goddess of healing. Eir means, “protection; mercy; help.”
It is also the name of a neighborhood in Helsinki which its name from a hospital. Its designated name-day in all Scandinavian countries, including Finland, is August 9. Other forms of this version include
- Eiri (Faroese)
- Eira (Finnish/Norwegian/Swedish)
- Eir (Old Norse: used in Iceland and on the Faroe Islands)
- Eirin (Norwegian: possibly also a Norwegian phonetic spelling of the English pronunciation for Irene).