Swe/Germ (RONE-yah); Eng (RAHN-yah)
The name can either be a transliteration of the Russian diminutive form of Veronica or it could be from the Hebrew רוֹן (ron) meaning “happiness; joy.”
The name was recently popularized in Northern Europe via the the 1981 Astrid Lindgren childrens’ novel Ronja Rövardotter, known in English as Ronia the Robber’s Daughter. The novel recounts the adventures of a Sami-like Medieval heroine who lives in the forest. Lindgren based the novel on Sami folktales and got many of the names by looking at a map of Lapland. For the name Ronja, she was supposedly inspired by Lake Jaronjaraure.
Currently, its Faroese form of Ranja is the 4th most popular female name on the Faroe Islands, (2010). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 25 (Finland, 2010)
- # 44 (German-speaking, Switzerland, 2010)
- # 62 (Norway, 2010)
- # 77 (Germany, 2011)
- # 78 (Sweden, 2010)
- # 246 (Netherlands, 2010)
Other forms include the English Ronia and the Faroese, Ranja.