Meaning: “labour; work.”
Eng (I-dah); Germ/Swe (EE-da)
The name is derived from the Germanic element, id, meaning “work; labour.”
The name was introduced into England by the Normans and fell out of usage by the late Middle Ages. It experienced a revival during the 19th-century, possibly due to the heroin of the Lord Tennyson poem, The Princess (1847); which was later adapted into a play entitled Princess Ida.
The name could also, likewise, be related to the Greek female name, which is found in Greek Mythology as the name of a nymph who nursed Zeus. Mount Ida on Crete is supposedly named after her.
In Hinduism it is the name of an earth goddess.
The name does not appear in the U.S. top 1000, the highest she has ranked in U.S. naming history was between 1880-1882, where she consecutively came in as the 7th most popular female name. She is, however, the 2nd most popular female name in Denmark, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 7 (Norway, 2010)
- # 8 (Iida, Finland, 2010)
- # 17 (Sweden, 2010)
The name was borne by St. Ida of Lorraine (1040-1115); Russian ballerina, Ida Rubenstein (1885-1960); First Lady Ida Saxton McKinley (1847-1907); African-American Journalist and Early Civil Rights Activist, Ida B. Wells (1862-1931).
Ida is used across Europe, and rarely deviates from the original form. In Finnish she is rendered as Iida, and there is a very archaic Polish form of Hida, no longer in usage.
The designated name-days are: February 16 (Slovakia); March 14 (Czech Republic); September 4 (Germany, Norway, Poland); September 14 (Finland/Sweden).