I’ve been a fan of the How To Train Your Dragon books since I was gifted the first book many, many Christmases ago. So, naturally, I was excited for the DreamWorks film franchise, and whilst a little bit horrified that my favourite character from the books (a girl named Camicazi) was replaced, I am mostly satisfied with the films because I see them as being inspired by the books, rather than an adaptation of them. Although it remains a shame that they’ve totally cast aside the King’s Lost Things storyline, which I think of as a better executed Horcrux plotpoint.
Where I’m going with this is that whilst in the books the characters have pretty ludicrous names such as Big-Boobied Bertha, Madguts the Murderous and Norbert the Nutjob, the film has brought in some fantastic Nordic-inspired names such as Astrid, Valka, Drago and Eret. And as a name nerd, I appreciate the touch.
Today’s name that we have kicking off Week B doesn’t feature in the films, but I think she’d fit right in as she’s another Nordic-inspired pick. She’s also a sound-alike to the ever popular name Freya.
But they’re not just sound-alikes, as Brynja shares Scandinavian roots with Freya; she comes from Old Norse and means armour. The name Freya also comes from Norse mythology, where she is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death. As for meaning, Freya is decidedly more feminine: she means lady.
The name Freya is another one of those names that have been inside the Top 100 since what seems like forever (also known as 1998), so that means there are a lot of teenaged-to-little Freya’s running around England&Wales. Right now, the name Freya ranks at #20. On top of the many Freyas, there are a few little girls with the name Freyja and Freja, as the names rank at #699 and #1220, respectively.
This is all whilst the name Brynja fails to rank at all in England&Wales. However, it is worth noting that she ranks highly in Iceland: #48 in 2012, which makes a certain amount of sense given that Icelandic parents have a deep love of Scandinavian names.
The name Brynja is said how most would hopefully presume: BRIN-yah. Some may wonder whether the ‘-ja’ would cause problems, but names like Sonja and Freja seem to have little issue when compared to Sonya and Freya. Of course, there is the potential to simply respell as Brynya, if you so wish, although I think she looses some of her Scandinavian charm.
In the end, what you have with Brynja is a quirky Scandinavian pick that works as an alternative to Freya.