Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Matilda and Her Sisters

There's a category of names that I love that really doesn't get much play anymore: the -ildas & -eldas. Maybe it's the medieval feel, or the Germanic clunkiness, or the way the L & D roll together, regardless, I love them all.
Chances are you can only think of Matilda and maybe Clotilda (or Romilda & Bathilda, Harry Potter nerds), since Germanic names have been on the decline in English for quite some time. Most are derived from Germanic -hild- "battle", but I'm sure we can find a few from different origins....

  • Agenilda (ah-gayn-EEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"sharp" or "enclosure" + "battle"
  • Aitilde (eh-TEELD, [archaic] French)--from Germanic, "brilliant battle"
  • Altilde (ahl-TEELD, [archaic] French)--from Germanic, "old battle"
  • Alvilda (ahl-VIL-dah, Scandinavian)--"elf battle". Other forms include Alfilda (archaic English), Alwilda, Awilda, & Elfilda (archaic English). 
  • Arilda (ah-RIL-dah, Scandinavian)--feminine of Arnold or Harold
  • Åshilde (ohs-HIL-deh, Norwegian)--"god-battle". Other forms include Åsilde & Áshilda
  • Batilda (bah-TEEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"bold" or "battle" + "battle". Other forms include Bathilda.
  • Benilda (beh-NEEL-dah, Spanish)--poss. "bear battle"
  • Bertilda (behr-TIL-dah, German)--"bright battle". Other forms include Berthilde.
  • Brunilda (broo-NEEL-dah, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)--"battle protection". Other forms include Brynhilde & Brynilda (both Scandinavian)
  • Casilda (kah-SEEL-dah, Spanish)--origin unknown, poss. Arabic
  • Clotilda (kloh-TIL-dah, English)--"famous battle".
  • Ermenegilda (ehr-meh-neh-JEEL-dah, Italian)--"whole sacrifice". Other forms include Ermenilda (archaic English)
  • Estrilda (ays-TREEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"Easter-battle". Other forms include Estrelda.
  • Everilda (ay-ver-REEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"boar battle". Other forms include Averilde.
  • Farhilde (fahr-HIL-deh, German)--"battle journey" 
  • Götilda (yu [u like in English "put"]-TIL-tah, Swedish)--"Goth battle"
  • Griselda (grih-ZEL-dah, English, Spanish)--poss. "grey battle" or "Christ's battle"
  • Gunilda (goon-EEL-dah, Old Swedish)--"battle" + "battle". Other forms include Gunhilda.
  • Imelda (ee-MEL-dah, Italian, Spanish)--"whole battle"
  • Ishilde (ees-HILD-eh, German)--"iron battle", poss. older form of Isolde
  • Lantilde (lahn-TEELD, [archaic] French)--from Germanic "land battle"
  • Leonilda (leh-oh-NEEL-dah, Italian)--poss. "lion battle"
  • Luilda (loo-EEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"beloved battle"
  • Matilda (mah-TIL-dah, English, Scandinavian)--"battle strength"
  • Merilda (meh-REEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"famous battle"
  • Mirielda (meer-ee-EL-dah, [archaic] English)--form of Muriel
  • Norhilde (nohr-HIL-deh, German)--"north battle"
  • Orielda (oh-ree-EL-dah, [archaic] English)--origin unknown, poss. "without battle"
  • Otilda (oh-TIL-dah, Swedish)--"battle wealth" or a form of Ottilia
  • Quenilda (kwayn-EEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"queen battle"
  • Ragnhilda (rahng-HIL-dah, Scandinavian)--"battle advisor". Other forms include Raginilda (archaic English), Reinhilde (archaic French), & Reynilda (archaic English).
  • Rikilda (ree-KEEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"brave battle". Other forms include Richilda & Richelda.
  • Romilda (roh-MEEL-dah, Italian)--"famous battle"
  • Rosilda (roh-SEEL-dah, Italian)--poss. "horse battle" or a form of Rose
  • Runilda (roo-NEEL-dah, [archaic] English)--"secret battle". Other forms include Ronilda & Runhilde (German).
  • Seilda (seh-IL-dah, [archaic] English)--"sea battle"
  • Sonnhilde (son-HIL-deh, German)--"sun battle"
  • Swanhilda (svahn-HIL-dah, German)--"swan battle". Other forms include Sunilda, Svanhilda, & Swanilda (archaic English)
  • Sygnilde (sing-NIL-deh, Norwegian)--"battle victory" or a combination of Signy & Hilde. Other forms include Søgnilde
  • Torilde (toh-RIL-deh, Norwegian)--"Thor's battle". Other forms include Durilda (archaic English), Torhilda & Turilde.
  • Ursilda (oor-SEEL-dah, [archaic] German)--origin unknown

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