Sunday, October 21, 2012


With names like Brittany/Britney having seen their day and Britton currently on the rise, a possible variation to it all could be Britannia. The thought process behind me profiling this name came from watching the show Quints By Surprise, and one of their quints in called Britton. Long story short, I ended up coming across Britannia as an alternative with a slightly frillier sound, thanks to having more syllables.

Britannia (pronounced: brit-AN-ee-ah or brih-TAN-yah) is of Latin background and means ‘from Brittany or Great Britain’. A pretty self explanatory meaning if I do say so myself but in truth it is quite the patriotic name and in this year of Diamond Jubilees and Olympic Games, the spotlight is on Britain so if you were going to use the name at any time this would have been the perfect year (not saying that you can’t use it any other time, you can).

The name has been around since Ancient times and is not only an Ancient term for Great Britain but also a female personification of the island. The Roman Empire conquered an empire they deemed to be called Britannia (roughly cutting off south of Scotland). It was in the 2nd century that the name was given to Roman Britannia as a personified Goddess who was armed with a shield, trident and centurion’s helmet. She is a symbol of British Imperial power and strength and is seen on British coinage.

The world is now naming kids after other Goddesses from around the world and while you may or may not be British, the idea of strength and power is a good thing to rally behind your daughter. One of the most famous uses of the name Britannia is in the patriotic song, ‘Rule Britannia!’ from 1740. I may not live in Britain but I do know the song, especially since my history teacher loved to sing it when we learnt about British naval battles when studying WWI. The words come from the poem of the same name by James Thomson.   

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

The name is also commonly used is the naming of naval ships in England, with many called HMS Britannia and was well as a naval training college. Many companies use the name, there was a luxury car made in 1983 and an airline in 1952. The first steam engine liner in 1840 was called RMS Britannia and it is also a popular pub name with 82 of them in the UK (last recorded in 2011).

Alternatives to Britannia are Brittania, Britania and Brittanya though you might also like Brittani or Brittana as well. Really, it just all depends on how many letter ‘T’ and ‘N’ you want to put in.

The name definitely fits into my love of names with numerous syllables and there are a plethora of nicknames that come to mind as well including Britton, Britt, Tanya, Nia and Annie. The Brittania spelling was given to 8 girls in US last year though I prefer the original spelling and I think it is an alternative name to other names on the charts that would definitely be a unique and rare name for your daughter. 

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoy your blog. Can you please get in touch with me at Nameberry? Thanks!


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