Smilla

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Female Female Name

Usage

Denmark Danish
Sweden Swedish
Norway Norwegian
Finland Finnish

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Origin and Meaning

Short form of Smillaaraq [1] [2]

Smilla is a name invented by the Danish author Peter Høeg. It is the name of the main character in his novel Frøken Smillas fornemmelse for sne (1992; English: Smilla's sense of snow).

Here is a quote from the book where he describes the origin of the name:

Det år, jeg blev født, rejste min mor til Vestgrønland, og derfra havde hun kvindenavnet Millaaraq med hjem. Fordi det mindede Moritz om det danske mild, der ikke fandtes i ordbogen over hans og min mors kærlighedsforhold, fordi han ønskede at underkaste alt grønlandsk en transformation, der kunne gøre det europæisk og bekendt, og fordi jeg efter sigende skal have leet til ham - spædbarnets ubegrænsede tillid, der kommer af, at det endnu ikke véd hvad der venter - så enedes de om Smillaaraq, som af det slid, som tiden underkaster os alle, forkortedes til Smilla.

So Smilla's Greenlandic mother Ane had heard the name Millaaraq in West Greenland. The name reminded Smilla's Danish father Moritz of the Danish word mild (Danish mild, pron. MEEL(D), = 'mild'), and because his little daughter had smiled to him (Danish smile, pron. SMEE-leh, = 'to smile', they changed the name to Smillaaraq. The short form of that is Smilla.

The original Greenlandic meaning of the name Millaaraq is not given in the book. According to the Greenlandic site Oqaasileriffik [1] the correct spelling of the name is Miillaaraq (one more i), and it could be related to the word millalaarpoq, which means 'humming (of an insect)', which makes Miillaaraq mean something like 'little humming one'.

Related Names

Miillaaraq
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Greenlandic
Millaaraq
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Greenlandic
Smilla
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Danish Finish Norwegian Swedish
Smillaaraq
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Frequency of occurance as female nameFrequency of occurance as male name
Danish Greenlandic

Grammar

Denmark - Danish
Nominative: Smilla
Genitive: Smillas
Finland - Finnish
Nominative: Smilla
Genitive: Smillan
Partitive: Smillaa
Norway - Norwegian
Nominative: Smilla
Genitive: Smillas
Sweden - Swedish
Nominative: Smilla
Genitive: Smillas

Further Information

Earliest Documented Usage

Strongest Period of Usage

Statistics

Name Count per Country (What's this?)

Please turn your device to landscape orientation for better view of statistics tables and graphs.
Country
Commonness
Commonness
Total Female ♀ Male ♂
as
main
name#
also
middle
name&
as
main
name#
also
middle
name&
as
main
name#
also
middle
name&
Sweden Sweden[3]
1442 1711 1442 1711 0 0
Denmark Denmark[4]
1419
n.a.
1419
n.a.
0
n.a.
Norway Norway[5]
44
n.a.
44
n.a.
0
n.a.
Finland Finland[6]
n.a.
38
n.a.
38 0 0
Greenland Greenland[7]
6 8
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
Iceland Iceland[8]
1 1
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
n.a.
  #: count of main first name only
  &: count of both main and additional first names
Name counts are approximate as statistics normally is not published
for names given to less than 3 or 5 persons per country.

 

Recent Statistics Trend

Name statistics for Smilla (f) Sources: [3][4][5][6]


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Eva Brylla: Förnamn i Sverige (2004)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gulbrand Alhaug: 10 001 navn - Norsk fornavnleksikon (2011)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Statistiska Centralbyrån, National statistics office of Sweden, http://www.scb.se/
  4. 4.0 4.1 Danmarks Statistik, National statistics office of Denmark, http://www.dst.dk
  5. 5.0 5.1 Statistisk Sentralbyrå, National statistics office of Norway, http://www.ssb.no
  6. 6.0 6.1 Väestörekisterikeskus, National Population Register Centre of Finland, http://www.vrk.fi
  7. Grønlands Statistik, Statistics office of Greenland, http://www.stat.gl/
  8. Hagstofa Íslands, National statistics office of Iceland, http://www.hagstofan.is/