Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I say Maibritt, you say Maybrit

Maybritt and Maybrit are modern spellings of the Nordic name Majbritt, pronounced MY-brit. It is largely used in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, in that order. The girl's name can be traced back to at least 1893. It is now a bit dated, as its heyday was between 1950 and 1980. Maybrit, Majbrit, Maibritt, Maibrit, Majbritta, Majbritte, and -th endings such as Maibrith have also been used. The 'maj' element of the name comes from Maja (and ultimately from Maria, whose meaning is contested) and can also mean May (the month), while 'britt' comes from Britta, from the Celtic name Brighid (prn: BREED), meaning "exalted one." Brighid/Bridget was a goddess in Irish mythology. The takeaway for meaning is "exalted woman."

May-Britt Moser is a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist who was a Nobel laureate. Majbritt Morrison was the victim of racial violence that initiated the 1958 Notting Hill race riots. She later wrote Jungle West 11. Maibritt Saerens is a Danish actress. Maybrit Illner is a German journalist, and her name is pronounced MY-brit.

Other combination names with Maj or Britt exist, including Majken/Maiken, Annbritt/Britanna, and Ellabritt.

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