Brenda \b-ren-da, br(e)-nda\ as a girl's name is pronounced BREN-dah. It is of Old Norse origin, and the meaning of Brenda is "sword". Related to the English word "brand", meaning "to mark by burning". Until the 20th century, the name was used mainly in Scotland and Ireland. Its popularity in Gaelic-speaking countries has been influenced by its similarity to Brendan. Actress Brenda Vaccaro; comic strip heroine Brenda Starr.