Swedish Name Generator
Writing a script? Have a Swedish character who you just can't find the right name for? Make a realistic name with our Swedish name generator!
About Swedish Names
The naming system used in Sweden is relatively similar to other neighbouring Scandinavian countries like Norway and Denmark. Up until the nineteenth century, patronymic surnames were commonly used, with the father's surname being passed down to his children (and thus the family name would change if the mother remarried), and this would be shown by using the suffix '–sson' (as in Karlsson, or 'the son of Karl'). Genuine surnames were actually first used by priests and nobles back in the fifteenth century – the name would be preceded by the title Herr (meaning 'Sir') and would often be in Latin, German or Greek as well as Swedish (for example – Lars Petersson would be translated into Latin as Laurentius Petri).
Surnames also came from the Swedish allotment system, where soldiers would be supported with a small allotment of land donated by farmers, and the soldiers would be sometimes be given names that either described their character (like Modig, meaning 'brave', or Snygg, meaning 'handsome') or their weapons (like Sabel, meaning 'sabre', or Sköld, meaning 'shield'). These names would often remain with the cottage rather than the soldier, meaning the name would be passed to the cottage's next inhabitant.
This system of surnames lasted until the nineteenth century, as the patronymic '–sson' names were altered to permanent family names, while the middle classes also started to adopt family names in order to mimic the families of the Swedish gentry. Around this time, a habit for combining two elements from either nature of a place of birth also became common, leading to names such as Lindgren ('linden branch') and Åkerlund ('field grove').
Swedish names came under more direct control thanks to the 1901 Name Ordinance, a law which underwent many revisions over the following decades, and which became the Names Act in 1963 (which was updated again in 1982). Under this law, the name of a child has to be submitted for approval to the Swedish Tax Agency within three months of their birth, and was initially created to prevent parents from non-noble families giving their children names from Swedish nobility. This level of control has led to a large amount of controversy and some protests, including a 1996 couple who attempted to give their child the name 'Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116' (supposedly a reference to an obscure French literary trope) in order to protest a naming-related fine, while in 2007 the Swedish Tax Authority also prevented a couple from naming their child after the rock band Metallica.
Let us know if you find our Scandinavian names useful for your writing projects!