Name: Sunniva

Origin and Meaning of the Name Sunniva

  • Meaning:
    Sun gift
  • Origin:
  • Gender:
  • Pronunciation:
    (soo NEE vah)
  • Form of:
  • Rating:

Miscellaneous Info for Sunniva

  • Categories:
  • Used in:
    English, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries
  • Additional Info:
    A Scandinavian and Latinate form of the Old English Sunngifu. The name was extremely popular in Norway in the 12th century and is popular to this day.

    The name's popularity in Norway comes from the patron saint of Western Norway, St Sunniva. Sunniva was an Irish princess who fled when a pagan king wanted to marry her. She arrived at the Isle of Selja where she and her followers were accused of killing sheep. Sunniva prayed that God wouldn't allow her to be caught and rocks fell to protect her and her followers, trapping them in a cave. They later died in this cave however Sunniva's body was later found to have not decomposed and a monastery was founded in her honor.

    The pronunciation of this name comes in part from the original Saxon version of the name, although the sound of the U has changed from that in bull to that in boo and the final syllable has changed from -vu to -va.

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The name meaning of Sunniva and the name origin of Sunniva have been reviewed by our name experts.