Quick Facts on Brenda
- Irish, Nordic, Scottish
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
Characteristics of Brenda
Etymology & Historical Origin - Brenda
The female name Brenda has two possible origins. For one, Brenda is most commonly thought to be a modern female equivalent of the Old Norse name Brendr from the element “brand” which means ‘(flaming) sword’. Secondly, because the name was popularized in Ireland and Scotland, it is often associated with Brendan – a Gaelic name meaning ‘prince’. Although it seems more likely that Brenda came to Ireland and Scotland by way of Viking invaders and Scandinavian settlers. In either case, Brenda did not become popularized outside of Ireland and Scotland until the 20th century.
Popularity of the Name Brenda
The name Brenda has had a surprisingly successful ride on the American female naming charts. She first debuted back in 1925 and very quickly rose to prominence, landing a spot on the Top 100 list within 15 short years in 1939. She continued to brandish her ‘fiery sword’ for another 40 straight years. In fact, the name Brenda was a Top 25 most favored girl’s name in the United States for 20 years – her heyday coming in between the years 1946 and 1966. Brenda also has some pop culture significance. In 1940 the comic strip character Brenda Starr was created in Chicago, became syndicated nationwide and rose to great popularity in the 1950s. Beautiful, glamorous, adventurous and smart, Brenda Starr was a female newspaper reporter and modern woman of her times. The 1950s and early 60s were clearly the best years for this understated beauty when she lingered close to the Top 10 list of most commonly used girl names in America. Once the name fell from the Top 100 in 1977, Brenda has pretty much experienced a slow and steady decline. Even fictional character Brenda Walsh from the popular 1990s teenage drama series “Beverly Hills, 90210” could do nothing to revive her popularity. It seems that good old Brenda once lived by the ‘sword’ and now must die by her sword. Brenda is one of those mid-century names (like Linda, Donna, Sandra and Barbara). They are no longer considered “cool” by the standards of todays naming styles. For those parents who care less about the current trends, Brenda is a simple, sweet and feminine choice – but one with a subtle edge of power and strength.
Popularity of the Girl Name Brenda
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Brenda
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Brenda
Brenda Starr (Comic Strip) Brenda Starr is the “starr” of the comic strip created in 1940 by Dale Messick, called “Brenda Starr, Reporter”, who embodied glamour and reportorial savvy in a striking, red-haired package. Let’s repeat that date – 1940 – the dark ages in terms of role models for young girls, especially in the comics. Ms. Messick even changed her name from “Dalia” to “Dale” in an effort to maintain some androgeny in a blatantly anti-female environment. Nonetheless, although Brenda did make a break through the ceiling of prejudice and did manage to attain the rank of crack reporter, our girl (yes, girl) was just a teensy bit unreal. And we loved it. She was gorgeous and glamorous, she attracted adventure and romance wherever she went (and she went everywhere), and she always won at the end of the day. Her boyfriend, later to be her husband, later to be the father of her daughter, and much later to be her ex, was almost as glamorous as she – the black-eye-patched, handsome and dashing Basil St. John. The lovely Brenda was recently retired after over 70 years on the job, but not before she attained editorship, won numerous awards, had a feature film and a made-for-TV film based on her, got her own postage stamp, had a line of paper dolls created in her image, and starred in a comic book series. She was even banned in Boston for smoking a cigar. Not bad for a girl from the dark ages!
Popular Songs on Brenda
Brenda - a song by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Brenda X - a song by Poco
I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee) - a song by Marshall Crenshaw
Children's Books on the Baby Name Brenda
Brenda and Edward (Maryann Kovalski) - Kovalski introduces two lovable dogs that live happily together behind a French restaurant. One day, when Edward takes off for work without his dinner, Brenda follows him and gets lost. She takes a scary ride on the subway, then finds herself in a strange neighborhood, where she is discovered and adopted. Sadly, Brenda and Edward are separated for years, but hope lives on. Edward's sensitive nose leads him to his companion, and they are reunited in a tender ending. Recommended for ages 3-7.
Brenda Berman, Wedding Expert (Jane Breskin Zalben) - A contemporary, tongue-in-cheek look at a wedding that doesn’t go according to plan. Brenda Berman intends to have a starring role in her uncle’s wedding, but then he elopes. Recommended for ages 6-9.
Famous People Named Brenda
Famous People Named Brenda - Brenda Gail Webb (aka Crystal Gayle, country singer); Brenda Blethyn (English actress); Brenda Fricker (Irish actress); Brenda Lee (singer); Brenda Russell (singer-songwriter); Brenda Strong (actress); Brenda Venus (author)
Children of Famous People Named Brenda
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Brenda - Riddick Bowe (boxer); Colm Meaney (Irish actor)
Brenda - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Brenda - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Brenda.
Personality of the Girl Name Brenda
The number Eight personality has everything to do with power, wealth and abundance. Somehow, this personality has been blessed on the material plane, but their authoritative and problem-solving traits provide evidence that their good fortunes are not just the luck of the lottery. They are well earned. This is the personality of CEOs and high-ranking military personnel. Eights are intensely active, hard-driving individuals. Success is only meaningful to them after a job well-done. They are remarkable in their ability to see the larger picture right down to the smallest details, and organize a strategy around success. They then have the ability to direct a group around them toward any goal, and realize individual potential to get the most out of their team.
Variations of the Baby Name - Brenda