Trygve, Trygg

  • Gender: Masculine
  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: “trusty; true; safe;
  • Nor (TRIG-veh); (TRIGG)

pictured: Trygve Lie

Whatever your personal political views, many were a bit baffled when former Republican VP candidate and former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, chose the name Trig for her youngest son. When I first heard the name, I knew I heard the name somewhere before, but I couldn’t remember where. I racked my brain, then I suddenly remembered where. In college, I was a Scandinavian Studies major, I concentrated in Viking Mythology and Scandinavian languages. As a result, I ended up living in Sweden. That is where I remembered hearing the name. I remember meeting a few Norwegian fellows named Trygve and an older Swedish man named Trygg. Sarah Palin claimed herself that her son’s name was Old Norse for “true.” She is not entirely wrong, though the spelling she chose is wrong. Trygg is derived from the Old Norse tryggr meaning “trusty; true or safe.” Trygve itself is just another form of the name, though a more popular version in Norway. The name appears in the Heimskringla, as the name of Tryggve Olafsson (d.963), a ruthless viking who was known for ravaging the spoils and countryside of Ireland and Scotland. He himself eventually met a bloody death when he was killed by Harald Greyhide.

Trygve, Tryggve and Tryggvi have also been borne by the following: Tryggve Anderson, a Norwegian author and story teller (1866-1920). Tryggve Gran, a Norwegian explorer, aviator and author (1889-1980). Trygve Lie (1896-1968) the first elected general of the United Nations. Tryggvi Þórhallsson, prime minister of Iceland (1889-1935). As for the name Trygg itself, it doesn’t seem to have been as popular, although, it seems to be a common surname in Sweden, derived from a patronymic. It is also the name of a popular comic book series: Trygg the Sorcerer, and a type of torpedo boat constructed by the Norwegian navy in the early 20th-century. Other forms of both names include Trygge (that extra e is pronounced); the Finnish Rykve, the Faroese Trygvi, the Icelandic Tryggvi and the Swedish/Norwegian Tryggve. There are a few Icelandic feminine forms: Tryggva and Tryggvína.

Its name day in Norway is September 9th. Trygve is still a relatively common name in Norway. According to the Central Bureau of Norwegian Stastics, approximately 6,086 men bore the name Trygve as of 2008. To hear how Trygve is pronounced in Norwegian, you can go here:

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