Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fenris and Leander

For something a little different, I thought I'd share a birth announcement I saw in Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' newspaper today. It's such a cool and funky way to announce a birth - it definitely hints at the fun personality that the family that chose Fenris Leander for their son must have!

Both Fenris and Leander are animal related names. Fenris is a Norse name, from the mythological giant wolf who is also known as Fenrir. The eldest child of Loki, it was prophesied that he and his family would one day be responsible for the destruction of the world. The Norse gods commissioned a magic chain be made and chained him to a rock, the legend being that on the day of Ragnarok (the end of the world) he will break his chains and take revenge against the gods.

Fenris has only charted in the U.S as a first name in the last two years (2011 & 2012). It's been popularly used in games though, appearing as an elven warrior in 'Dragon Age' and as the homeworld of the Space Wolf Space Marines in 'World of Warcraft' just to name a couple. There is also a Commander Fenris in the 'Star Wars' world - he's an officer in the Rebel Alliance. Something tells me this may have been the inspiration for the birth notice.

Leander (pronounced lee-AN-der) is a Greek name meaning 'lion man'. He also has a mythological connection - legend is that he would swim across the Hellespont to visit his beloved, a priestess of Venus named Hero. Alas, he drowned on one of his swims when overpowered by a storm, which incited Hero to fling herself in the water too.

Unlike Fenris, Leander has seen steady use as a name in the U.S and has charted every year (except one) since 1880, peaking at #326 in 1882. He;s particularly popular in Norway. You'll see this name on warships, towns and cities, a steam locomotive and even an ape on 'Planet of the Apes'. He's a seventh century Spanish saint, a young detective on TV show 'The Wire', a character in video game 'Red Dead Redemption' and many more things.

Admittedly, my previous impressions of these names were that Fenris is cool but hard to wear, and Leander felt a little "soft" for a boy (mainly because it reminds me of the flower oleander and occasionally charts as a girls name too). But I'm adoring them together! This combination flows wonderfully and has just enough fierce edge, but not too much. The wolf and the lion together is quite a powerful image, and 'The Wolf and the Lion' is actually the title of an episode of 'Game of Thrones' if you're a fan of the TV show. Fenris Leander is spunky and cool and rich with meaning.

Welcome to the world, Fenris Leander!

Photo Courtesy of Kimberly G Photography


  1. Hello Brooke!
    I've been meaning to write to you since I first saw this post! I'm Fenris Leander's mummy, and both his dad and I was absolutely thrilled when someone sent us the link to this post! We both love it so much, as do our friends and family that we've shared this with! You have done an amazing job in researching the name we chose for our little boy, there are even things you've written about that we had no idea about! The Star Wars reference being one of them! It just happends to be that his dad is a big Star Wars fan and little Fenris already owns a lot of Darth Vader stuff! (His dad even dressed up as Darth Vader while still being in the hospital) I don't know if you already figured it out, but I'm norwegian, which might explain a bit of why we chose this name for our son :) Again, I just have to say that we both love this blogpost so much, I hope it's okay that I print it out and keep it in his babybook for when he gets older! :)

    Patricia (

    1. Hi Patricia,

      Thanks for commenting! I'm honoured you like my post enough to keep it for Fenris to see when he's older, and glad that I could find some information that comes as a nice surprise. Congratulations on his birth :)



    2. Patricia, oddly enough I have a Fenris too! He was born in June 2014. I'm so glad to see positive feedback on the name...most people haven't heard of it (but it's the States so what do you expect...) but seem to like it. We call our little guy Fen sometimes. :) Love the combo with Leander.