Sólja, Sóley

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Faroese/Icelandic
Meaning: “buttercup.”
(SOLE-yah); (SOO-lay).

Both names are derived from the Norse word sol meaning “sun.” In modern vernacular both names are used to refer to the buttercup flower in their own respective languages. Sólja is the Faroese form and Sóley the Icelandic. Though Sóley is used as a given name in the Faroe Islands as well.

As of 2010 Sólja was the 8th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

Rannveig

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “war counsel.”
Nor (RAHN-vye); Faro (RAHN-vow)

The name is composed of the Old Norse elements, rann “counsel” and vig “war”, hence “war counsel.”

As of 2010, its Faroese form of Rannvá was the 6th most popular female name in the Faroe Islands.

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ranveig (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Rannveig (Scandinavian)
  • Rannvà (Faroese)
  • Rannaug (Norwegian)

(upperleft: Faroese women in traditional dress).

Snae Names

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “snow.”

There are several Icelandic feminine names that carry the snae- element which is derived from the Icelandic word for snow. These are the following:

Snæbjörg

The name is composed of the elements, snae meaning “snow” and björg meaning either “rock” or “help; aid.”

As of 2007, 11 women in Iceland bore this as a first name and 8 had it as a middle name.

The Faroese version is Snæbjørg.

Snæbjört

Composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and björt meaning “bright; clear; shining.”

As of 2007, only five women bore this as a first name and five women had it as a middle name.

Snæborg

Composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and borg meaning either “town; city” or “castle” or “shelter” or “rocky hill.”

As of 2007, only 3 women in Iceland had this as a first name and one had it as a middle name.

Snæbrá

Composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and brá meaning “brow; eyebrow” or “eyelash.”

As of 2007, only one person bore this as a first name and one had it as a middle name.

Snædís

Composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and dís meaning “goddess; fairy; nymph.”

As of 2007, 169 women bore this as a first name, while 34 had it as a middle name.

Snæfríður

The name is composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and fríður meaning “pretty.”

The Faroese form is Snæfríð.

As of 2007, 63 women in Iceland bore this as first name and 9 had it as a middle name.

Snælaug

The name is composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and laug meaning “hot spring; bath.”

Its Faroese form is Snæleyg.

As of 2007, nobody in Iceland had this as a first name or as a middle name.

Snærós

The name is composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and rós meaning “rose.”

As of 2007, 5 women bore this as a first name and 2 had it as a middle name.

Snærún

The name is composed of the elements snae meaning “snow” and rún meaning “rune.”

As of 2007, 4 women had this as a first name and one had it as a middle name.

Eik

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “oak”
Ice (AKE)

The name is an Icelandic and Faroese female name and comes from the Old Norse word for “oak”. It remains the word for oak in Dutch, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese. However, its usage as a female given name is exclusive to both Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The Danish word for oak (eg), the Swedish word for oak (ek) and the German word for oak (eiche) share the same etymological root.

According to the Icelandic Registry, 18 women bore Eik as a first name and 110 bore it as a middle name.

Tone

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Norwegian
Meaning: “new Thor; young Thor.”
(TOH-neh).

The name is a more modern Norwegian form of then Old Norse female name Torný, which is composed of the elements Tor (Thor, which means “thunder” but in this case the name was most likely created in reference to the god) and meaning “new; young.” Other Norwegian forms include Todne, Todni, Torny, Tønni (a Norwegian dialectal form from Numedal in Buskerud) and Tonni. Swedish forms are Tona, Toni and Tony. Faroese forms are Tóna and Torný and the Icelandic form is Þórný.

The designated name-day in Norway is November 2.

Vetle

Gender: Masculine
Origin: Norwegian/Old Norse
Meaning: “one winter old bear.”
(VET-leh)

The name is derived from the Old Norse Veturliði which is composed of the elements vetr meaning “winter” and liði meaning “one who fares.” Veturliði is still in use in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. Other forms include the Old Norse Vetreliðr and Vetreliði, other Norwegian dialectical forms include Velle (Rogaland) and Vete/Vette (Östfeld).

In modern Norwegian the word Vetle coincides with the word for small. In this case it is the name of one of Norway’s highest mountain peaks known as the Vetle Skagastølstinden or the Vesle Skagastølstind.

The designated name-day in Norway is November 1.

Ursula

ursulaBritishMuseumGender: Feminine
Origin: Latin
Meaning: “little she-bear; she-cub; little female bear.”
Eng (ERS-uh-LAH)

The name is of Latin origin but is suggested that is may be a latinization of the old Germanic female name Yrsa meaning “bear” and was popularized by a medieval Christian saint said to be martyred in Cologne. Not much is known about the saint, other that she was martyred under Huns along with 11,000 other virgins, which is now believed to be a misprint from the written source of the legend. What is known for sure is that there was a basilica built in honour of a virgin Christian martyr in Cologne and from this arose several different legends referring to a St. Ursula and St. Cordula. According to the legend, St. Ursula was a British princess who was sent by her father to Germany to marry a prince, along with her, were sent 11,000 maidens, however,  her ship was taken off course due to a storm and instead ended up in France where she then decided to do a pan-European Christian pilgramage before meeting her future husband. She made a pilgramage to Rome where she tried to pursuade the pope to do a pilgramage with her and her 11,ooo companions. When she reached cologne she and her companions were massacred by the Huns.

The legend is based off of a 4th century inscription written in the Basilica which was built in the saint’s honour. It is believed that the 11,ooo handmaidens was confused with a female martyr named Undecimilia, Undecimila or Xemilia and that the abbreviation XI.M.V was misread as a number. The same saint has also been referred to under the names Pinnosa or Vinnosa. The name was quite prevalent in Great Britain before the Reformation and went out of usage afterwards. The name is also borne by Swiss actress Ursula Andress (b. 1936). It has also appeared in popular culture as the name of the evil sea-witch in Disney’s the Little Mermaid and as the name of the wife of Nigellus Phineas Black in the Harry Potter Series.

In Poland, the name is associated with a great piece of Polish Literature written by Jan Kochanowski. Known as Laments (Treny) 1580, they are a series of 19 elegies which talk about the author’s grief after the death of his two and half year old daughter Orszola (Urzula) which he refers to as the Slavic Sappho.

Other forms of the name are (divided alphabetically by nationality):

  • Orsula (Corsican)
  • Uršula (Croatian/Czech/Slovakian/Slovenian)
  • Yrsa (Danish/Faroese/Icelandic/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Orsel (Dutch)
  • Ursule/Ursuline (French)
  • Ursula/Ursel (German/Dutch/Estonian/Finnish/Spanish: German diminutive forms are Ulla, Uli and Uschi)
  • Orsolya (Hungarian: or-SHOH-lah was the 56th most popular female name in Hungary in 2006)
  • Úrsúla (Icelandic)
  • Orsina/Orsola/Orsolina (Italian)
  • Ursa (Latin)
  • Urzula (Latvian)
  • Uršulė (Lithuanian)
  • Urszula/Orszola/Warszula (Polish: Latter two forms are older forms and are rarely used. Diminutive form is Ula and Urszulka. Older diminutive forms are Ulicha and Ulita)
  • Úrsula (Portuguese)
  • Ursetta/Ursina/Urschla (Romansch)
  • Urška (Slovenian: originally a diminutive now used as an independent given name, it was the 51st most popular female name in Slovenia in 2005)
  • Orscheli (Swiss-German: ORSH-lee)

There are a few male equivalents which include:

  • Orso/Orsino/Ursio/Ursino (Italian)
  • Urs (German)
  • Ursinus/Ursus (Latin)
  • Ursyn/Ursycjusz (Polish: very rare)
  • Ursin/Urosin (Romansch)

Rán

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “theft; robbery.”
General Scan (RAWN); Ice (ROWN) like the word Round with the d cut off

The name is borne in Norse mythology by a sea goddess.

The goddess Rán, is the subject of several Old Norse Prose Eddas, including the Skáldskaparmál, in which a poem entitled, Lokesenna, talks of her life and exploits.

According to the Lokesenna, Rán is the wife of Aegir, and with him, she has nine daughters.

Rán is also famous for capturing unsuspecting seafearers with her fish-net. In fact, her fish-net is also recorded in the Volsunga Saga.

According to some sources, she is married to the sea.

The name is still in usage in Iceland and the Faroe Islands. In Iceland, it is often used as a one syllable filler middle name.

As of July 2007, 37 women in Iceland bore this as a first name, while 325 had it as a middle name.

The name can also be a Japanese female name,  meaning “orchid”

Fífa, Fípa

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic/Faroese
Meaning: “cotton grass.”
(FEE-fah); (FEE-pah).

Both names are derived from the Old Norse word describing cotton grass. Fífa is the Icelandic form, while Fípa is the Faroese.

Respectively, Fífa may also be considered a nickname for the Icelandic Alfifa, which is possibly an elaboration of the word alfr meaning “elf.”

In Iceland, Fífa is not very common, as of July 2007, only 10 women in Iceland has this as a first name.

Sædís

Gender: Feminine
Origin: Icelandic
Meaning: “sea goddess”
(SY-dees)

The name is made up of the Norse elements sae meaning “sea” and dis meaning “goddess.”

As of 2008, approximately 147 women in Iceland bore this as a first name, and 33 had it as a middle name.

The name is also in usage on the Faroe Islands.