Gender: Feminine
Origin: Norwegian/Swedish
Meaning: “little mother.”

With the recent surge of popularity in Lily names, I thought this unusual gem might be worth posting, though considered an “old lady” name in Scandinavia, it might make a fresh and interesting option for an Anglophone parent.

Lillemor is relatively recent in history, she first appeared in Norway as a nickname and was first recorded as a full-fledged given name in Sweden in 1901. The name comes from the Norwegian and Swedish words lille meaning “little; small” and mor meaning “mother.” Ask most Swedes or Norwegians how they feel about this name and they will likely frown, she is somewhat the equivalent of a Mildred to an American. She was quite fashionable during the 1930s and 40s, and is hence, usually considered a name of its time. She has, however, spawned off a fashionable nickname name: Moa, which is currently very trendy in Sweden as an independent given name.

Her name-day is November 18. As of December 31, 2008, there were approximately 11, 198 women who bore the name Lillemor in Sweden.

Nicknames are Lily and Moa.


Gender: Feminine
Origin: Swedish
SWE (MOO-wah); Eng (MOH-ah)

Liking Noa on a girl, but fear she might be mistaken for a boy? Then you might like this Swedish alternative.

Moa is a contraction of the old Norse feminine name, Lillemor, which is composed of the elements, lille, meaning, “small” and mor, meaning, “mother” hence, “little mother.”

For a long time, Moa exclusively a diminutive form, but in recent years, its popularity as an independent name has replaced its formal counterpart, which in Sweden, is now considered a dated old granny name, while Moa is currently very trendy. She is the 21st most popular female name in Sweden’s top 100 list of 2008.

The name was borne by Moa Martinsson, (whose real name was Helga Maria Svarz; Moa was her nickname). A famous socialist novalist whose books focused on working class life in Sweden.

The Swedish pronunciation is rather hard to render, the first part isn’t necessarily like the sound the cow makes, its like the O in home but is very stretched out with a slight W sound at the end, I hope that isn’t too confusing. If its easier, it kinda rhymes with Noa.