Lawanda is a combination of Wanda and the prefix La-. Wanda originates in Germanic languages and means "from the Vandal tribe". The Vandals were people of Slavic origin living in eastern Germany. There was a story about Princess Wanda who lived among the Vandals. This legend became very popular in Poland and consequently the name became popular too. In the English-speaking world it was popularized in the 19th century by Ouida and her novel Wanda.