Meaning & History
Of unknown origin and meaning. Current theories include a direct adoption of Icelandic bjarmi "loom, gleam of light" and a derivation from bjarmar, the Old Norse name for a branch of Finno-Ugric peoples called Permians in English (formerly also Bjarmians). Their territory, Bjarmaland, was mentioned in Norse sagas since the Viking Age and in geographical accounts until the 16th century. It is assumed that the tribal name is related to Finnish perämaa "far-away land" and Hungarian perem "edge; verge".