Monday, October 31, 2011


Today's name: Zelda (which I thought would be perfect to post today since it is a little witchy, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out just a few months ago)

Pronunciation: ZEHL-dah

Potential nicknames: Zell, Zellie, Ellie, or maybe even Zsa-Zsa or ZiZi

Origin: (1) The German diminutive of Griselda/Grizelda, meaning "dark battle" or "grey battle maiden," but can also come from a word for stone or gravel. (2) Yiddish cognate of German name Salida, meaning "joy" or "luck." (3) Old English variant of Selda, meaning "companion."

Popularity: Zelda first appeared on the SSA charts in 1880 when records of names first started being kept by the Social Security Administration, and it ranked at #834. It worked its way up to #379 in 1911, then worked its way back down to #997 in 1967, where it was last seen. When the first Zelda video game came out there were a handful of babies each year between 1985 and 1991 presumably named for her, but no more than 22 baby girls in one year. Read more about it here. In 2010 there were 69 baby girls named Zelda, zero or less than five babies named Selda, 7 girls named Gricelda, 15 Grisel, 59 Griselda, 5 Griselle, 5 Grissel and zero or less than five Grizelda. In 2011 there were 80 baby girls named Zelda.

Fun fact: (1) Robin Williams and his daughter were featured in the latest Zelda video game commercial because he named his daughter Zelda, after the video game princess. (2) The Zelda in the video game, however, got her name from F. Scott Fitzgerald's wife Zelda, a Jazz Age/Roaring 20's icon and celebrity "flapper," who was a sophisticated and beautiful artist/writer, but was said to have mental issues. (3) "The Patient Griselda" is a well-known folkloric story about a patient and obedient woman, who endures emotionally painful incidents at the whim of her husband or fiancee, depending on which version you're reading. She has been written about by Boccaccio, Chaucer, Marie de France and others. It is interesting to note that while Zelda Fitzgerald became a feminist icon after her death, Griselda was the true "Angel of the Household," a Victorian term meaning "an obedient wife who knows her place." (4) This person is not as well-known but I thought it was interesting enough to mention: Griselda Blanco was a female drug lord for the Medellin Cartel. (5) Due to the video game association, and the connection to Zelda Spellman from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the name Selda may be more to your liking. Zelda is actually the variant of Selda, not the other way around. And doesn't Zelda seem like the perfect twin or sibling name for Stella, or maybe Phoebe? I think so.



  1. Zelda is amazing! I dislike the video game association though :( However, similar sounding Zella is my absolute #1 nickname for Hazel!

    Love your blog btw! Found you on nameberry forum (I'm blue89 there) - mind if I blogroll you? :)

  2. Yes, I will blogroll you too!
    Hope to see you on nameberry!