Where did baby name Bryndis come from in 1957?

Bryndís Schram, Miss Iceland 1957
Bryndís Schram

The unusual name Bryndis was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1957:

  • 1959: unlisted
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: 5 baby girls named Bryndis [debut]
  • 1956: unlisted
  • 1955: unlisted

Where did it come from?

Icelandic beauty queen Bryndís (pronounced BRIHN-dees) Schram.

A month after being crowned Miss Iceland in June of 1957, Bryndís traveled to Long Beach, California, to compete in the Miss Universe contest.

She didn’t win the title — she didn’t even place in the top 15 — but her name was mentioned in the U.S. newspapers, and this was enough to influence a handful of expectant parents to name their baby girls Bryndis. (It even gave the Brenda-variant Brynda a small boost that year.)

The Icelandic name Bryndís can be traced back to a pair of Old Norse words meaning “armor” and “goddess.”

What are your thoughts on this name?

P.S. Bryndís Schram’s father Björgvin and brother Ellert were both notable Icelandic soccer players, incidentally.


Image: Clipping from the Japanese-American newspaper Shin Nichi-bei (17 Jul. 1957)

[Latest update: Jul. 2024]

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