Norwegian naming conventions

Naming Patterns

  • The first male child was usually named for the father’s father.
  • The second boy was named for the mother’s father.
  • The first female child was named for the mother’s mother.
  • The second girl was named for the father’s mother.
  • Additional children were often named for the parents’ grandparents.

How does naming work in Norway?

Norway. The most common Norwegian surnames were originally patronymic, commonly ending with the suffixes “-ssen”, “-sson”, “-sdatter”, “-sdotter” which is the genitive s plus the word sen or son for son or datter or dotter for daughter. The genitive s was often dropped; compare Hanssen and Hansen.

Why do Norwegians have two surnames?

They used a patronymic pattern in which children were named after their father. Hence, John Andersen = John, the son of Anders. And Mari Andersdatter = Mari, the daughter of Anders. Anders himself would be named Anders Olafsen = Anders, the son of Olaf.

How do Norwegian middle names work?

Middle Name: A middle name in Norway is either a patronym or an additional family name, for example the father’s family name if the last name is the mother’s family name. Additional given names not in daily use are not middle names in the Norwegian naming system (like in the USA), but are part of the given name(s).

How do Norse surnames work?

With the patronymic system, at least the first name of the previous generation was known. Historically, Danish and Norwegian patronymic surnames often ended with the suffix -sen for males and -datter for females, while Swedish patronymic surnames were more likely to end with -sson for males and -dotter for females.

Do Norwegian names end in SEN or son?

Generally speaking, Swedish surnames end in “son” and Danish and Norwegian surnames end in “sen.” My maiden name was Olson. Dad was 87.5 percent Swedish with a half-Danish grandmother thrown in to complete his Scandinavian heritage.

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