Svenja

Gender: Feminine
Origin: German
Meaning: debated
Germ (SFEN-yah)

It could either be a feminine form of of the Scandinavian male name, Sven, or it could be derived from any ancient Germanic name containing the element, Swan, such as Swanhild, hence the name could simply be from the German meaning, “swan.” Since Svenja has never had a history of usage in Scandinavia, the latter etymology is the most likely.

The name was especially popular in Germany in the early 1990s, she is currently the 201st most popular female name in Germany, (2011). Another spelling is Swenja.

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Svante, Svätopluk, Svatopluk, Świętopełk

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Old Slavonic
Meaning: “mighty army; mighty regiment.”

An old Slavonic name most notably borne by a 9th-century Moravian prince, Svätopluk, (the Slovakian rendition), appears on the Slovakian name-day calender for November 15. Though today it is a very rare name in Slovakia, it did rank in as the 95th most popular male name, (in the form of Svatopluk), in it neighbor country, the Czech Republic, for 2006. In the Czech Republic, its designated name-day is February 23rd. Its Polish form of Świętopełk, is also extremely unusual today, though it does boast two name days, June 1 and September 25.Slovakian diminutives are, Sväto, Svaťo, Svätoš, Sväťo.

There is a popular folklore attributed to Svatopluk I of Moravia. When the king knew he was about to die, he gave each of his three sons a twig and had them break it, which was easy for all of them to do, but then Svatopluk asked his sons to break the twigs a second time, and this proved to be even more difficult. The king was trying to prove to his sons that it is difficult, yet necessary to keep a kingdom united.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Svend (Danish)
  • Vante (Finnish)
  • Sventopolcus/Sventopelcus (Late Latin)
  • Światopełek/Świętopałk/Świętopełek/Wszetopełk (Polish)
  • Svjatopolk/Svyatopólk (Russian/Ukrainian)
  • Svante/Svantepolk (Swedish/Norwegian/Danish: name-day in Sweden is December 5. Svante was the 97th most popular male name in Sweden for 2007)
  • Swante (Swedish)

Notable Czech bearers are:

  • Svatopluk I, Great Prince of Moravia (c. 894)
  • Svatopluk II, Prince of Nitra (c. 9-10 centuries)
  • Svatopluk of Bohemia (1107-1109)
  • Svatopluk Inneman, Czech director (1896-1945)
  • Svatopluk Benes, Czech actor (1918-2007)
  • Svatopluk Havelka, Czech composer (1925-2009)
  • Svatopluk Skopal, Czech actor (b.1952)

Famous Polish bearers include:

  • Prince Świętopełk of Poznań (979-992)
  • Świętopełk II the Great, Duke of Gdańsk Pomerania (1220-1266)
  • Świętopełk Karpiński, Polish poet and satirist (1909-1940)

It was also borne by one Kievan duke, Svyatopolk I of Kiev.