Monday, 17 August 2015


My family did not know, but they named me WAR.

My first or given name is derived from the name of one of the Valkyries. It is a name that was common in the Scandinavian Viking age. It was given to women who fought with the men.
The name does not include any meaning of strategy, planning, sophistication or forgiveness. It is not a name for shield-maidens; it just means WAR.

The name is interpreted as the name of a fighting woman.

That interpretation is lost on today's Scandinavians as Norse mythology has been suppressed by imported Christianity. In English however, the interpretation is still clear.

You see, I share the basic name form with my grandfather's sister.
She moved to New York in 1936.
She promptly changed her name to Kristina.
It can not have been easy to be a model and a beautician with the name Gunn Thomson.

Living abroad, with non-Scandinavians, I too struggle with my name. In most countries it is a completely pointless combination of sounds, only collected to be my personal identifier.
I have given up on pronunciation, spelling and even its use to distinguish that I am a woman (which I do not mind at all actually). But I will not change my name.

I am WAR and ye shall hear me ROAR (in fits of giggles on the floor).

Does your name have a meaning?


  1. I am the ewe. Hebrew. I understand the meaning more now than I did as a child. I like the meaning of names. Your name is very good and I would not think of changing it either.

    1. Ewe, the beginning off all thing new, again and again... Nice, that is a nice meaning to carry with you, eternal beginnings.

  2. My name is John and John is me. I think at times it must mean rotund simpleton other times just rotund. ;)

    1. You have so many great namesakes, you can draw inspiration from a lot of great people. I am envious. My favourite: John Donne. Or Lennon. Or Grey.