Quick Facts on Helga
- German, Nordic
- Number of syllables:
- Ranking popularity:
The sacred one; Blessed, holy
Etymology & Historical Origin - Helga
Helga developed as the feminine equivalent of Helgi, an Old Norse masculine name from “heilagr” meaning “blessed, holy” or “the sacred one”. Helgi is a name borne from ancient Norse mythology in the form of a couple different heroes. Helgi Hjörvarðsson was the son of a Norwegian king, Hjörvarðr, and his fourth wife Sigrlinn, considered the most beautiful woman in all of Scandinavia. Because she was so lovely, various kings of the land had designs on the girl, but her father refused to betroth her to the many suitors. Another king attempted to take Sigrlinn by force after killing her father (king Sváfnir), but Hjörvarðr was able to rescue her from hiding and return with her to his own kingdom. Their son was born without a name. When this boy grew to be a man, he spotted the most beautiful Valkyrie named Sváfa riding her horse (in Norse mythology, the Valkyries were horseback handmaids of Odin who escorted the slain heroes to Valhalla). It was Sváfa who gave the young man the gift of a name; she called him Helgi (the sacred one). She also told Helgi where to find a magical sword to assist him in battle, as he intended to avenge his grandfather, king Sváfnir (his mother’s father) who had been killed by one of his mother’s former suitors. Helgi was successful in this quest and became renowned in the land. In honor of his heroic feats, Helgi was granted Sváfa’s hand in marriage by her father. As the story progresses, Helgi is killed in battle by the son of the king he had killed earlier (in Norse mythology, heroic men were always avenging the slaying of some family member). As Helgi lay dying on the battleground, he sent a messenger for Sváfa so that he could say his final good-byes to his true love. The end? Not quite. Helgi and Sváfa would be reborn as another hero (Helgi Hundingsbane) and another Valkyrie (Sigrún) so the saga continues… Helgi Hundingsbane avenged his father by slaying the Saxon king Hunding (hence his name Hunding’s bane). Impressed by his brave feats, a beautiful Valkyrie named Sigrún fell in love with Helgi and he with her. Unfortunately Sigrún had been betrothed to another man (Hothbrodd) so Helgi does what any good Norseman would do: he instigates an all-out war against his would-be rival and all of Sigrún’s family (for arranging the undesirable marriage in the first place). Helgi was victorious in battle; all of his opponents die. Only one family member survived, Sigrún’s brother Dagr, who must immediately pledge allegiance to Helgi. Helgi and Sigrún are free to marry now and they produce several sons. Happily ever after? Not quite. Remember, this is Norse mythology and someone is always avenging someone else. This time it’s Dagr who wants to kill Helgi (to avenge his own father). Odin, the Norse grand-poobah of all gods, lends Dagr a sword for the dirty deed and Helgi is at once slain. Grief-stricken Sigrún curses her brother for killing her beloved husband; Dagr is forced to flee into the woods where he lives off the flesh of dead, rotting animals for the rest of his life. In the meantime, Helgi retires in comfort to Vahalla (where all the slain heroes are sent after death in battle). Back on earth, Sigrún builds a burial mound in his honor where the two passionately rendezvous for one last time. So, in conclusion, this is where the name Helga comes from; it’s simply the female version of Helgi. Ancient and historic, the name has been primarily restricted to Nordic and German-speaking nations. Although Helga no longer shows up on the 21st century popularity charts of Sweden, Denmark or Norway, she is still in circulation in Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
Popularity of the Name Helga
Helga was brought to America by Scandinavian and German settlers in the 19th century. The name first appeared on the U.S. female naming charts in the late 1800s but never achieved any substantial usage. In fact, the name disappeared off the Top 1000 list way back in 1912 and has yet to return. Right now American parents are opting for the softer Latin language names over the typically harsher sounding Germanic or Nordic names. Helga is unfashionable right now, with the likes of Gudrun, Astrid, Mathilde or Wilma. These are all strong names. Helga is no flowery Isabella, Olivia or Sophia. This Germanic-Nordic dame doesn’t mess around. She’s strong and she knows it; and she makes no apologies. Case in point, cartoonist Dik Browne aptly chose the name Helga for his bossy-pants medieval Viking wife of Hägar in the comic strip “Hägar the Horrible” (1973-present). Classic stuff.
Popularity of the Girl Name Helga
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Helga
Literary Characters of the Baby Name Helga
Helga We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Helga.
Popular Songs on Helga
Helga - a song by The Kinks
Madame Helga - a song by the Stereophonics
Children's Books on the Baby Name Helga
Helga Returns (Wendy Nystrom) - A James and Syvok Adventure. Kindle Edition. James’ second adventure begins with a footprint. He once again calls out to his Icelandic magical friends, Syvok and Matthias, to discover what it means. He will find Helga, the troll who left the footprint. James follows Helga to Yamas, the troll village. Will they be left on a glacier or will they save the Guardian Troll from danger? Will Syvok and Matthias reach James in time to save him when the earth tremors? Recommended for ages uncertain.
Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp (Helga Weiss) - The remarkable diary of a young girl who survived the Holocaust. In 1939, Helga Weiss was a young Jewish schoolgirl in Prague. Along with some 45,000 Jews living in the city, Helga’s family endured the first wave of the Nazi invasion: her father was denied work; she was forbidden from attending regular school. As Helga witnessed the increasing Nazi brutality, she began documenting her experiences in a diary. In 1941, Helga and her parents were sent to the concentration camp of Terezín. There, Helga continued to write with astonishing insight about her daily life: the squalid living quarters, the cruel rationing of food, and the executions—as well as the moments of joy and hope that persisted in even the worst conditions. In 1944, Helga and her family were sent to Auschwitz. Before she left, Helga’s uncle, who worked in the Terezín records department, hid her diary and drawings in a brick wall. Miraculously, he was able to reclaim them for her after the war. Of the 15,000 children brought to Terezín and later deported to Auschwitz, only 100 survived. Helga was one of them. Reconstructed from her original notebooks, the diary is presented here in its entirety. Helga's Diary stands as a vivid and utterly unique historical document. 16 color paintings; 12 photographs. Recommended for ages 13+
Helga's Dowry: A Troll Love Story (Tomie dePaola) - Helga, a troll, must somehow acquire a dowry with which to marry or, by the god Odin’s command, be doomed to wander the earth forever. “Richly colored pictures capture the droll humor of [Helga’s] clever, determined fight to garner impressive riches.” says Booklist. Recommended for ages 5-8.
Helga, the Hippopotamouse (Elaine Fantle Shimberg) - A delightful three chapter book about Helga, a shy character who is part Hippo and part Mouse. She has no idea why this is, but tries to find others who will accept her for who she is, not what she looks like. The illustrations are classic Sandy Seeley Walling, colorful and whimsical. A great read for ages 4-8.
Famous People Named Helga
Famous People Named Helga - Helga Niessen Masthoff (West German tennis player); Helga Radtke (East German track and field athlete); Helga Frier (Danish actress)
Children of Famous People Named Helga
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Helga - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Helga.
Helga - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures
Helga - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Helga.
Personality of the Girl Name Helga
Romance is the hallmark of the Six personality. They exude nurturing, loving, and caring energy. Sixes are in love with the idea of love in its idealized form - and with their magnetic personalities, they easily draw people toward them. Like the number Two personality, they seek balance and harmony in their life and the world at large. They are conscientious and service-oriented, and a champion for the underdog. These personalities naturally attract money and are usually surrounded by lovely material objects - but their human relationships are always primary. They thrive in giving back to others rather than being motivated by their own desires. This is when they achieve great things. Sixes are natural teachers, ministers and counselors.
Variations of the Baby Name - Helga