Old Swedish Names – Male & Female

Classic Swedish names - old and traditional names in Sweden

Traditional Swedish names

Are you looking for old Swedish names? For name inspiration for a new-born baby, a dog or, if you are a working for IKEA, the name for a new product-line? I collected 50 old-fashioned Swedish first names, 25 male names and 25 female names that are established in Sweden, and I have encountered at some point during my time in Sweden.

Name-culture shock in Sweden

Several years ago, I moved to Sweden and, of course, I tried to learn the Swedish language – with underwhelming success, since most Swedes point out where I’m from as soon as I say “Hej!” (my pronunciation is really that bad :D ). But not only language is a new thing to learn and get used to when moving to a new country, but also, well, names. I was expecting name variations, for example you find Mikael in Sweden, instead of Michael. But some names … I had never heard of and in some conversations I had to ask twice for their spelling.

Börje. Does that sound like a name to you? For me it didn’t either. First when someone told me that it’s a common first name in Sweden, I understood that the popular store in Tingsryd, Småland, called Börjes, was actually named after the founder’s first name. The name Birger has nothing to do with Burger. And who would have thought that Swedes call some men “Brother” (Bror) or “Day” (Dag).

Even more confusing: some pronunciations: for example, guess how Kjell is pronounced correctly …
… it sounds almost like “Shell”. Weird, right? Well, welcome to a new country with new cultural quirks and sometimes funny sounding names. ;)

Book about Sweden - How to be Swedish

Swedish names:
Top 10 currently popular names for boys & girls, common given names and last names, here

25 typical Swedish male names

Are you looking for a unique name for a baby boy? Here is a list with traditional Swedish names that might be very rare in your home country. These classic male names are common in Sweden and either of Swedish or wider Scandinavian/Nordic/Norse origin:
(In alphabetical order)

  • Åke
  • Algot
  • Arvid
  • Bengt
  • Birger
  • Bo
  • Börje
  • Bror
  • Dag
  • Gösta
  • Hampus
  • Hjalmar
  • Håkan
  • Ingmar
  • Kjell
  • Leif
  • Lennart
  • Love
  • Melker
  • Måns
  • Olle
  • Pelle
  • Pontus
  • Sixten
  • Örjan

25 typical Swedish female names

If you are looking for name inspiration for a girl, here a list with 25 common female names in Sweden which are probably rather unique in your country. These classic female names are common in Sweden and either of Swedish or wider Scandinavian/Nordic/Norse origin:
(In alphabetical order)

  • Anneli
  • Astrid
  • Elin
  • Elsa
  • Göta
  • Gun
  • Gunilla
  • Gurli
  • Hilda
  • Inger
  • Kajsa
  • Linnéa
  • Lovisa
  • Malin
  • Märta
  • Pernilla
  • Signe
  • Sigrid
  • Solveig
  • Siv
  • Stina
  • Svea
  • Tonje
  • Tove
  • Ylva

Bonus name: Kerstin (its correct pronunciation might surprise you, it’s Sheshteen)

More about Swedish names

More about Sweden

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