Let's talk about Norwegian baby names, and the meaning of the most popular once for the last years.
As you all know, the popularity of names are always in change. Many of the most popular names in today, were also popular more than a hundred years ago. This is the same in any country.
Here we will focus on Norwegian baby names, and mainly the most popular ones over the last years.
During the last 20 years it has been typical to only have one first name, but now we can see that two first names are coming back into favor.
A hundred years ago there was the custom of using combination names. When a Norwegian baby's name was decided, the parents often chose several names for their baby.
Three, four or even five names were not unusual, like Lars Kornelius Kristoffer, or Anna Petrine Fredrikke Antoinette.
The use of combining several names has a long tradition. The custom was to include the names of parents, grandparents, or relatives even further back in the family history.
When using many names, it was also quite common that one of the names would have some royal "connection", or the names were taken from the Bible.
The use of biblical names now seems to be over the height, and 22% of new born children in Norway in 2010, was given biblical names.
Almost 70% of the Norwegian population have last names related to farms. There are no other European countries where last names refer to names of farms like in Norway. (source: slekt.no)
Before 1800, the norm was to use one christening name, especially in the countryside. During the 1800's, it became more common for a person to have two or even more first names.
In addition to the first name, a person was identified through his or
her father’s name, like Knut Hansen. The name of this person’s father was Hans,
and the normal norm here would be Hansson (son of Hans).
But as Danish was the only form of writing, it was usually written "-sen", Hansen. For a girl, that would be Hansdatter (daughter of Hans).
During the late 1800’s, these names began to be used as last names. Also, the women got their "-sen" names. So Kari, daughter of Hans, became Kari Hansen.
17% of newborn babies had -sen names, while in the whole population this number is now as low as 21,4%.
Before the late 1800’s, it was common to have a third name for a person. This name was telling where you lived, the name of the place or village where you have had settled. If you lived in a place called Eide, your first name was Knut and your father's name was Lars, then your full name would probably be Knut Larssen Eide.
If you moved to a place called Fiksdal, then you would normally take the name Knut Fiksdal, or even a local names name for the part of Fiksdal where you settled.
In the towns, this was more unusual, and people moving to a town would most often keep their last name.
As many as 49,4% of Norwegian baby names today are including middle names, while 8,5% are gettingb their last name with a hyphen. In that way, the parents are able to bring on both parents names.
In the old tradition, the wife takes her husband's last name by marriage, but now it's more common for a woman to keep her maiden name. Then the children are given two last names: Both the mother's and the father's last name.
The use of names also differs for different parts of Norway.
In Oslo, there are a lot of new inhabitants from Muslim countries, and the number one name for newborn children in Oslo in 2013 was Mohammad.
Source:Ronald Toppe (toppe.org)
<- Read about Names of Braves
Looking for more?
For those of you who can read Norwegian language, here you can see the meaning of your name: