Danish Names


This weeks installation of Scandinavian names, we shall focus on the names of the Danes.

Denmark is made up of approximately 5.4 million people and the official language is Danish, a Northern Germanic language closely related to Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch and English.

The top 10 names of Denmark for 2009 are:

Female

Freja

Emma

Ida

Lærke

Caroline

Anna

Laura

Sofie

Isabella

Sarah

Male

Lucas

Mikkel

Emil

William

Oliver

Magnus

Victor

Noah

Frederik

Mathias

Many of the above names are strikingly similar to the names in the American and British charts. The trend for both males and females tend to be classics.

Some of the below names are quite up and coming in Denmark, Isalina and Ofelia for example, others are quite traditional and may be considered a bit bland by some Danes, Johanna & Katrine.

Below is a selection of Danish names that might make cool alternatives to names currently popular in the United States.

Instead of Abigail=========Abbelone/Abelone

Instead of Emma=========Emma-Sofie

Fiona================Fenja

Instead of Sophia or Anna===Annasophie

Instead of Isabella=========Isalina

Instead of Jasmine========Rasmine

Instead of Cameron for a girl==Kamma

Instead of Mia or Maya=====Annemaja

Instead of Morgan for a girl===Rigmor

Instead of Reese==========Rise

Instead of William========Villum

Like the other Scandinavian countries, the Danes also have a fondness for double names and smush names. Below is a list of Danish double and smush names that would work well in an English-speaking society.

Combos and Smushes

  • Anneline
  • Annemie
  • Claramilla
  • Elsemarie
  • Ingelise
  • Lisabell
  • Malou
  • Mettelise

Male

  • Carl-Emil
  • Claus-Jørgen
  • Hans-Jørgen
  • Hansmorten
  • Mads-Emil
  • Mads-Peter

Looking for a unique and interesting name that is not made up. Below is a list of some fairly traditional Danish names that would work well in English

Names Compatible in English

  • Berit
  • Dagny
  • Herla
  • Hillevi
  • Inga
  • Jetta
  • Johanna
  • Katrine
  • Liva
  • Milla
  • Ofelia
  • Rie
  • Sorine
  • Tala
  • Tenna
  • Vita

Males

  • Andreas
  • Cort
  • Esben
  • Flemming
  • Frederik
  • Hagen
  • Holger
  • Jerrik
  • Kai
  • Kell
  • Mingus
  • Mogens
  • Preben
  • Rasmus
  • Rune
  • Soren
  • Steen
  • Tage
  • Tarben/Torben
  • Vitus

Looking for a nature name but perhaps don’t want anything too obvious? Or perhaps you are of Danish heritage and are just looking for a cool Danish name. Below is a list of some up and coming nature/word names used in Denmark. The number of bearers with those names in Denmark are in parenthesis.

Nature/Word Names

Female

  • Bellis (name of a flower)-12
  • Chili (chillie)-209
  • Cirkeline (circle)-189
  • Figen (fig)-35
  • Hyben (rosehip)-3
  • Lærke (lark) LAIR-keh
  • Lykke (happy)
  • Mejse (titmouse) MAY-seh-104
  • Mynte (mint)-85
  • Nellike (clove)-1 NELL-ee-ke
  • Nynne (hum)-874
  • Persille (parsley)-3
  • Pil (willow)-207
  • Silke (silk)
  • Solsikke (sunflower)-1 SOL-sik-ke
  • Terne (tern; sea swallow)-16
  • Vibe (lapwing)-485

Male

  • Anker (anchor)-actually an Old Norse name that may have a different etymology but coincides with the modern Danish word for anchor-1538
  • Baldrian (valerian)-10
  • Birk (birch)
  • Falk (falcon)-47
  • Lue (flames)-4
  • Sejer (victory)-103
  • Skov (forest)-4
  • Svend (sojourner)-21395
  • Tjørn (thorn)-3
  • Ulv (wolf)

And finally, here are the Danish equivalents to common English given names

Female

  • Clara=Claire
  • Elisabet=Elizabeth
  • Emilie=Emily
  • Johanne-Jane
  • Karen/Katrine=Catherine/Katherine
  • Kirstine=Christina
  • Marie=Mary
  • Rosa=Rose
  • Sofie=Sophia

Male

  • Andreas=Andrew
  • Anton=Anthony
  • Carl=Charles
  • Christoffer=Christopher
  • Edvard=Edward
  • Gregers=Gregory
  • Henrik=Henry
  • Jesper=Jasper
  • Johannes=John
  • Lasse=Lawrence
  • Mads=Matthew
  • Mikkel=Michael
  • Nicklas=Nicholas
  • Philip=Phillip

Sources

  1. http://www.navnesnak.dk/default.asp?id=3
  2. http://www.dst.dk/Statistik/Navne.aspx
  3. http://mitbarnsnavn.dk/navnemaskinen?kategorier[]=ikoner&kategorier[]=royale&kategorier[]=nordisk&side=1
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8 thoughts on “Danish Names

  1. This is wonderful. Tage is a fascinating name. Is it one or two syllables? I am not very familiar with Danish names and pronunciation.

    • “Tage” is two syllables and if you are an English speaker the pronouncing of the “g” will probably disappoint you.

      • Tage is also used in Swedish and Norwegian and it is a completely different pronunciation from the Danish. I know it is pronounced TAW-ge in Swedish.

  2. I enjoyed this – and what a project!

    There is one name that I think is given a wrong explanation. It is “Cirkeline” it’s the name of a cartoon figure from around 1970. It’s a very small girl living in a matchbox with two mice as friends.

    I believe the name to be a combination of “Cirkel” (means circle, referring to the shape of her head) and “Line” (besides being a feminine name/name ending by itself it also comes close to “linie” which means line).

    If you are curious make an image search.

    • Thank you for pointing that out. I think when I wrote this way back, I ended up putting the Dilbert comics as an explanation by accident. I plan on making a separate entry for Cirkeline sometime in the future, so please check back later for I will have a more thorough history of the name. 🙂

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