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See also: brenda



Possibly from Old Norse brandr (sword); by folk etymology seen as a feminine form of Brendan.[1] Its use as a nickname for Queen Elizabeth II originated in Private Eye in reaction to a perceived attempt by the royals to appear less distant and upper class.[2]


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name.
    • 1821 Walter Scott: The Pirate: Chapter III:
      We have already mentioned Minna and Brenda, the daughters of Magnus Troil. Their mother had been dead for many years, and they were now two beautiful girls
    • 1997 Joy Fielding: Missing Pieces: page 85
      'Brandi's father owns a number of radio stations across the country.' He smiled. 'Beware of women whose first names are potable.'
      'I'll keep it in mind.'
      'Actually, her real name is Brenda. She was named after Brenda Marshall, who was an actress in the forties. Apparently, my father-in-law was a huge fan.'
  2. (Britain, humorous) Queen Elizabeth II.
    • 1977, “Loyal News”, in Private Eye, number 393-418, page 23:
      There is a widespread belief that Brenda plays no part in politics. This is not entirely true. For instance, she has very strong feelings on Rhodesia.
    • 1993 August 10, Jonathan Beasley Murray, “Re: Royal Family's last name?”, in soc.culture.british, Usenet[1]:
      Windsor, I was always led to believe. But--as with license plates--they don't ever have to use it. Brenda just signs herself Elizabeth R (Regina).
    • 2002 February 13, Heretic, “Re: Old Gin Slugger is dead.”, in uk.current-events.n-ireland, Usenet[2]:
      That is something that can never be removed entirely from anyone, the cold aloofness that is seen in the royal family is something that has been bred into them, but it doesn't take away their humanity at all. You only had to see the pictures of Brenda visiting the homeless hostel to know that she was bottling back tears.
    • 2002 November 6, Tom, “Re: "Be careful, Paul..."”, in uk.politics.misc, Usenet[3]:
      The problem isn't just Brenda, it is that there will never be agreement on what to replace her with. viz. the House of Lords debacle, the Australian Republican referendum.
  3. A rural municipality in Manitoba.


  1. ^ Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges: A Concise Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press.2001.
  2. ^ 1997, October 5, Andrew Sullivan, "God Help the Queen", The New York Times.