Osborn, Espen, Asbjørn


Osborn and Asbjørn are both composed of the Norse elements áss (god) & bjǫrn (bear), essentially meaning “divine bear.” Osborn is the modern Anglo-Saxon equivalent of Osbeorn, the latter of which was prevalent in Anglo-Saxon England and survived into the Norman period as Osbern, later developing into the common English patronymic surnames of Osbourne & Osbourn. Its Scandinavian equivalents still survive today in the forms of Esben (Danish), Espen (Danish, Norwegian) and still Asbjørn (Norwegian); and Asbjörn & Esbjörn (Swedish).

Osbeorn was borne by the son of Siward of Northumbria (circ. 11th-century CE) and one of the fallen of the Battle of the Seven Sleepers in Scotland. It was also borne by Osbern de Crépon (circ. 11th-century CE), one of the stewards of the Duke of Normandy. There are several other famous Anglophone personages who bear it as a surname and forename.

Asbjørn appeared in the Norwegian Top 100 Male Names between between 1945 & 1967, it peaked at #35 in 1946-7, while Espen appeared in the Top 100 in Norway between 1957-2004, peaking at #8 in 1982.

The designated name-day for Asbjörn is May 10th in Sweden.

General Scandinavian diminutive forms used in all Norse countries are Ebbe, Bjarne & Bjarni.

Short forms in English include Oz(z), Ozzie & Ozzy.

Other forms include:

  • Osbeorn (Anglo-Saxon)
  • Esbern (Danish, Faroese)
  • Asbjørn (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Esben, Espen (Danish, Norwegian)
  • Ausburn (English)
  • Osbourn (English)
  • Osbern (French, archaic)
  • Auber (French, archaic)
  • Ásbjörn (Icelandic)
  • Osberno (Italian)
  • Sberno (Italian)
  • Ásbjǫrn (Old Norse)
  • Asbjörn/Esbjörn (Swedish)

Sources

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s