[ 3 syll. wi-no-na, win-ona ] The baby girl name Winona is pronounced in English as WihNOWNah †. Winona's language of origin is Dakota, and it is used largely in the English and Sioux languages. It is derived literally from the word winona which means 'first-born daughter'. The name was borne by a legendary Sioux princess and heroine. The Dakota commonly name a firstborn girl Winona, and a firstborn boy Chaska. The name appeared in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow epic poem The Song of Hiawatha (1855) as the mother of Hiawatha. The form Winona was first popularized by the H. L. Gordon poem Winona (1881). In recent times, the name has been made familiar by the actress Winona Ryder (1971-).
Forms of Winona include the English Vinona, the name Wanano, the English Wanona, the English Wenonah, the name Winnona, the name Winonah, the name Winonna, the name Wynnona, and the name Wynonah. Other forms of Winona include the variant spellings Wenona (English and Sioux), Wynona (English), and Wynonna (English).
Winona is unusual as a baby name for girls. Its usage peaked modestly in 1931 with 0.023% of baby girls being given the name Winona. Its ranking then was #407. The baby name has since substantially declined in popularity, and is used only on an infrequent scale now. Among all girl names in its group, Winona was nonetheless the most popular in 2012.
Baby names that sound like Winona include Wainanee, Wainaney, Wainani, Wainanie, Wainany, Wana'ao, Wanano, Wanona, Wenona, Wenonah, Whittaney, Whittany, Wimina, Winema, Winnona, Winonah, Winonna, Wynema, Wynemah, and Wynnona.
† Pronunciation for Winona: W as in "we (W.IY)" ; IH as in "it (IH.T)" ; N as in "knee (N.IY)" ; OW as in "oak (OW.K)" ; AH as in "mud (M.AH.D)"
A famous person named Winona is Actress, Winona Ryder, born Winona Laura Horowitz, 29 October 1971, Winona, Minnesota.