Bertha of Swabia, by Albert Anker 1888

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: “bright.”
Eng (BER-thuh); Germ (BEHR-tah)

The name is derived from the Old Germanic element, beraht, meaning “bright.”

It was borne by an early Germanic goddess of childbearing and weaving, also known as Perchta or Berchta in Southern Germanic dialects.

According to Jacob Grimm and Lotte Motz, Perchta was the Alpine version of Holda (see

As a given name, it was quite common among the Franks, as is demonstrated with Charlemagne’s mother, whose name was Bertha.

As is to be expected, the name does not appear in the U.S. Top 1000. In the latter half of the 20th-century, Bertha has taken on a bad reputation as being the worst name one can give to a daughter. In 1883, however, Bertha was the 7th most popular female name in the United States.

Other forms of the name include:

Behrte (Anglo-Saxon)
Berta (Czech/Estonian/Faroese/Hungarian/Icelandic/Italian/Norwegian/Polish/Slovak/Slovene/Spanish/Swedish)
Berthe (French)
Bertille (French)
Bertilla (Italian)
Bertina (Italian/Hungarian)
Behrta/Perchta (Old German)

    Obscure Italian male forms include, Berto, Bertinello, Bertillo, Bertino, Bertolo and Bertonello.

    Other notable bearers include: St. Bertha of Kent (593-612) known for her Christianization of Anglo-Saxon England; St. Berthe Val d’Or (d.c 690); St. Berthe of Artois (c.725); St. Bertha of Bingen (c. 757); Berthe of Burgundy, Queen of France (c. late 10th-century); Bertha of Swabia, Queen of France (907-966); Berthe of Holland, Queen of France ( 1055-1093); Bertha of Sulzbach, renamed Irene, was a Byzantine Empress and first wife of Manual I Comnenus (1110-1159); Blessed Berta de Bardi (d. 1163); Austrian novelist and pacifist, Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914); First woman Puisne Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court, Bertha Wilson (1923-2007).

    The designated name-days are: February 8 (Sweden); May 1 (Germany); May 15 (Poland); July 2 (Slovakia); August 6 (Hungary); August 24 (Estonia); September 23 (Czech Republic)




    Gender: Feminine
    Origin: Old Norse
    Meaning: “to cover; secrecy; lovable, sweet.”


    Origin: Hebrew Biblical
    Meaning: “weasel.”


    The name can be traced both Norse Mythology and the Hebrew Bible.

    In Norse, the name is derived from the word, hulda, meaning “hiding; secrecy.” In modern Swedish, the name is often associated with the archaic Swedish term of endearment, huld, meaning “sweet; lovable.”

    In Norse Mythology, the name was borne by a völva, a Norse shamanic seeress. She is mentioned sporadically in the Ynglinga Saga and the Sturlunga Saga.

    This same figure remained quite alive in both modern German and Swedish folklore.

    In Scandinavian folklore, she evolved into the huldra, a type of spirit that appears to young men in the form of a beautiful and seductive woman. In some traditions she is evil and in others she is just looking for companionship with a human. She was also known to be particularly fond of colliers.

    In German folklore, she is known as Holda, and is considered the supernatural guardian of anything related to female domesticity. In other German traditions, she is referred to as Frau Holle. The most famous account of Holda was written by the Brothers Grimm in 1812, entitled Mother Hulda.

    In Biblical tradition, Huldah was the name of a prophetess mentioned briefly in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34. In this case, the name is derived from the Old Hebrew word for weasel.

    Huldah prophesized to King Josiah the destruction of Israel.

    Another notable bearer includes Hulda (1881-1946), a renowned Icelandic poet.

    The name was quite common in Germany during the 19th and early 20th century, where it was also particularly common among German Jews.

    The name also appears in the U.S. top 1000 in the late 19th-century, in fact, in 1891, the name was the 194th most popular female name.

    The name has experienced a recent revival in both Sweden and Norway.

    The designated name-day is September 8 (Sweden).

    Other forms of the name include:

    Huldà (Catalan)
    Chulda (Czech/Modern Hebrew)
    Hulda (Danish/Dutch/English/Faroese/Frisian/German/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish)
    Hulra (Finnish)
    Hulta/Hulti/Hultu/Hultukka (Finnish)
    Holda (German)
    Holle (German)
    Huld (Icelandic/Swedish)
    Hulð (Old Norse)
    Aldama/Aldana Олдама Олдана (Russian)

    An Icelandic male form is Huldar.