Old Norse Gerðr (f.)

The name Gerðr was found in Iceland in the tenth century, but only possibly found in Norway in place-names. It is also found in one Danish place-name. It is is the first element in the place-name Garriston, North Yorkshire and in Getheston, a field name, in Monk Bretton, West Yorkshire.

Gerðr is from the Primitive Scandinavian garðiōʀ. Perhaps it is the female equivalent of the Old Norse male personal name Garðr from Old Norse garðr ‘yard, enclosure’, but used in the older sense of ‘protection’. Gerðr occasionally appears as a form of the male personal name, Giarðarr. Many female names, such as Þorgerðr are formed with -gerðr as the second element.

Gerðr also appears in Old Norse mythology as the name of the giantess with whom the god Freyr falls in love.



Old Norse Name


Anglicised Name




Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


female_name, mythology, Norse_mythology, North_Yorkshire, personal-name, West_Yorkshire

Further information

This object is related to Garriston, North Yorkshire.
Find out about Garriston, North Yorkshire.


Judith Jesch, ‘Scandinavian women’s names in English place-names’, in A Commodity of Good Names. Essays in honour of Margaret Gelling, ed. O. J. Padel and David N. Parsons. Donington: Shaun Tyas (2008), pp. 154-162.

Carole Hough, ‘Women in English place-names’, in ‘Lastworda Betst’. Essays in memory of Christine E. Fell with her unpublished writings, ed. Carole Hough and Kathryn A. Lowe. Donington: Shaun Tyas (2002), pp. 41-106.

Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1968), pp. 100, 343.

E.H. Lind, Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Uppsala: A.B. Lundequistska Bokhandel (1915), col. 327.