Elisabeth Okasha’s book Women’s Names in Old English details close to 300 female names from Anglo-Saxon England. Most names were chosen from two words, such as bregu (ruler), wif (woman) and cynn (family).
We’ve come up with our ten favourite girls’ names – if you are considering a different type of baby name, perhaps you will pick one of these!
Blaedswith (Blædswiþ) – from splendour and strong
Cwenhild – from woman and war
Cynewise – from family and wise
Eawynn – from river and joy
Leofgifu – from love and gift
Mildritha (Mildþryþ) – from kind and might
Sigeburg – from victory and dwelling
Sweterun – from sweet and mystery
Tate – means ‘to gladden’. This could also be a shortened form of the name Tatswiþ, which is a combination of glad and strong.
Wynflaed – from joy and beauty
Women’s Names in Old English was published in 2011 by Ashgate. Since no text exists from Anglo-Saxon England to explain why these people choose the names that they did, this study attempts looks at what made a female name in England over a thousand years ago. Click here to read the Introduction.