Of relatively recent origin and uncertain etymology. It is first recorded in the 19th century. It may be a shortened form of Belinda, an adoption of Spanish linda ‘pretty’, or a Latinate derivative of any of various other Germanic female names ending in -lind meaning ‘weak, tender, soft’. It was popular in the 20th century, especially in the 1950s.
English and Scottish: 1. mainly a topographic name for someone who lived in or by a wood or a metonymic occupational name for a woodcutter or forester, from Middle English wode ‘wood’ (Old English wudu). 2. nickname for a mad, eccentric, or violent person, from Middle English wōd ‘mad’, ‘frenzied’ (Old English wād), as in Adam le Wode, Worcestershire 1221.