I seemed to be inadvertently working my way through the most popular names in England&Wales list with these posts, but that matters not.
The name Freya hit the Top 100 in 1998, and has resided there ever since. In 2011 she ranked at #19, exactly the same as she did in 2010. Freya is an interesting name; she comes from Norse mythology where she is the Goddess of love, beauty and fertility.
When it comes to selecting names for these posts, I like to look at the aspects of the name that makes it so fantastic and match up those qualities with those of other names; hence, the names I’ve collected together are either similar in sound or have similar qualities to Freya.
Like Freya, Elska also has Norse origins: she means love in Old Norse. With no non-English characters, such as å, to deal with, this makes the name more accessible and indeed she has potential to cross into English-speaking use as Freya has done so before her.
Not a Norse name, rather, a Russian name meaning fairy. I added this name in for it’s similarity to Freya in sound.
This name is from Hindu mythology, where Chaya was the name of the hand maid of Surya. In Sanskrit, the name means shade, shadow, play of light. Also, Chaya exists a a feminine form of Chaim, a Hebrew name meaning light. Like Feya, this name makes an appearance on the list as she shares the ay-ah sound.
Another Norse Mythology name, Embla comes from Old Norse and means elm tree. In Norse Mythology, Embla is the name of the first human female. Like Elska before her, Embla also has potential to cross into English-speaking use (she also happens to be an anagram of Mabel).
Long popular in Scotland and the name of an isle there, this name means yew. Finding the right name for the #5 spot was hard, but for some reason Iona felt like the right name to throw into the mix. Like Freya, she isn’t popular the world over, moreover, only appears in Scotland’s Top 100, so is familiar in the English-speaking world, but only really used widely in one part of the world.
The near-misses: Fauna; Fuschia; Anya; Enya; Astrid; Feray and Elsa.