Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “war warrior.”
Eng (GUN-ner); Swe (GOON-nahr)
The name is composed of the Old Norse elements, gunnr (war) and arr (warrior).
The name was borne a legendary 5th-century Burgundish king. His exploits appear in the ancient Germanic poetic text Nibelungelied and the Medieval poem Walthurius.
In the Nibelungelied he is mentioned as the King of Worms, the husband of Brunhild and the brother of Kriemhild, whom Siegfried comes to woo.
In some tales, he was betrayed by Attila the hun and murdered by him.
The same character later appears in JRR Tolkien’s epic poem based on Norse legend, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.
Gunnar did not appear in the U.S. top 1000 till 1991 coming in as the 705th most popular male names, as of 2009, he was the 551st most popular male name.
Other forms of the name include:
- Gūðhere (Anglo-Saxon)
- Gondicari (Catalan)
- Vintíř (Czech)
- Gunder (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
- Gunnar (Danish/English/Estonian/Norwegian/Swedish)
- Gunner (English/Norwegian/Swedish)
- Gundur (Faroese)
- Kunkku (Finnish)
- Kunnari (Finnish)
- Kunto (Finnish)
- Gondicaire (French)
- Gundohar (Frisian/Dutch)
- Gundahar (German: archaic)
- Günter/Günther (German/Hungarian)
- Gunther (German)
- Gunter (German/Polish/Spanish)
- Gundicaro (Italian)
- Gundaharius (Late Latin)
- Gunnarr (Old Norse)
- Gunnár (Sami)
- Gundo (Swedish)
- Gunnerius (Swedish: archaic)
The name was also borne by a medieval Czech saint.
The designated name-days are January 8 (Estonia); January 9 (Sweden) and October 9 (Germany).