Swedish Boy Names: A comprehensive guide

It is becoming increasingly common for Swedes to give their children foreign or unusual names, but there are still many distinctly Scandinavian names that are popular among all generations. Below you will find a list of the most common Swedish boy names and their origins.

Common Swedish Boy Names

1 Alex

Alex, being a short form of the name Alexander, has the same meaning as the longer version of the name – the meaning is derived from the ancient Greeks Aléxandros, meaning “protector”.

2 Anton

Anton, one of the most common boy names in Sweden, is derived from Latin Antonius. The name's popularity in Sweden is high both among older and younger generations.

3 Eskil

This name is derived from the Old Norse name Áskell or Ásketill. The meaning of this Old Norse name is roughly “divine cauldron”, with Ás meaning “divine” or “God” and ketill meaning “cauldron” or “helmet”.

4 Jan

Jan was originally used mostly in hyphenated names, ex. Jan-Erik or Jan-Olof, as a contraction of Johan. However, today it is commonly used as a standalone name in Sweden.

5 Karl

The direct meaning of Karl is “man” – the word karl is still used in the Swedish language today with the same meaning as the name. A common nickname for boys bearing this name is Kalle.

6 Kristian

Kristian is the Swedish version of the male name Christian, although both spellings are very common in Sweden. The name is derived from the Latin word Christianus meaning “follower of Christ”.

7 Lars

Lars is derived from Latin Laurentius. Boys with the name Lars often get nicknamed Lasse, which is also a standalone name in Sweden.

8 Magnus

This is a common male name in Swedish that originates from Latin Magnus. The name translates to “great”.

9 Mattias

Mattias is a biblical name which is very common in Sweden – other versions, like Mathias and Matias, are also found here.

10 Nils

This name is a shortened form of Latin Nicolaus. Other names derived from Nicolaus that are common in Sweden include Niklas, Klas and Clas. In Sweden, a nickname commonly given to those with the name Nils is Nisse.

11 Olle

Although Olle is commonly used as a nickname for someone with the name Olof, in Sweden it is actually more popular as a given name than the original name Olof is.

12 Pelle

Just like Olle, Pelle is also commonly used as a nickname for a few other names – like Per, Pär and Peter – but it is also popular as a name on its own.

13 Per

Per, also sometimes spelled Pär, is a shortened version of Petros, a common Greek name.

14 Rasmus

Rasmus is derived from Erasmos, meaning “beloved” in ancient Greek. This name also has high popularity in neighboring countries like Denmark and Norway.

15 Svante

Svante is a modern version of the name Svantepolk, which was a popular name in Sweden during the Medieval times.

16 Tobias

Tobias is a somewhat more common variant of the more traditional name Torbjörn. A common nickname used for males named Tobias is Tobbe.

17 Lars

As of 2022, Lars is the most common first name for men in Sweden. This popular name is derived from Lares. The meaning is thought to derive from Etruscan Lar translating to “Lord”, but it is also speculated to originate from Proto-Indo-European las meaning “Eager”.

Swedish Boy Names Rising In Popularity

18 Albin

The popular baby name Albin originates from Latin Albīnus, with the word Albus meaning “white” and a suffix.

19 Arvid

This given name has its origin in Old Norse Arnviðr has a meaning related to nature – the first part of the Old Norse word, arn means “eagle” while the second part, viðr, means “wood”.

20 Elias

The name Elias was in Sweden’s top 10 names of newborn baby boys in 2021. This name is the Swedish version of the biblical name Elijah, a Hebrew prophet in the New Testament.

21 Frans

Frans, derived from Latin Franciscus, has only lately started gaining popularity in Sweden. The meaning of name is from Latin and, as one could guess, roughly means “the french one”.

22 Hampus

Hampus started off as a nickname for those with the name Johannes, but is now a common name in Sweden on its own. It is more commonly found among younger generations in Sweden.

23 Hugo

The name Hugo originates from Frankish Hugi, meaning mind or spirit. The name Hugo is an upcoming name popularity-wise in Sweden; the average age of people with the name Hugo is just under 15 at the time of writing.

24 Ludvig

This Swedish equivalent of Lous or else Ludwig. Ludvig is rising in popularity over the last 10 years or so, and is today more popular than the alternative, German spelling Ludwig.

25 Mattis

Mattis, a medieval contraction of Mathias, is a biblical name that is quite popular in Sweden. It is not just a boy's name, but can also be used for a girl – then considered a contraction of the female name Matilda.

26 Otto

Otto is a German name that is not just commonly found in Sweden, but also popular in neighboring countries Denmark and Finland.

Traditional Swedish Boy Names

27 Agne

Agne is a name that is derived from Old Norse Agni. The female version of the name, Agnes, is significantly more common in Sweden than the male version Agne.

28 Allan

Allan is borrowed from the same English name and gained the most popularity in Sweden from the 1910s to the 1930s.

29 Björn

The name Björn means bear, and in modern Swedish the word is still the same. There are some variants of the name such as Torbjörn or Thorbjörn.

30 Gunnar

The common Swedish name Gunnar originates from Old Norse gunnr translating to “fight”. Gunnarsson (Gunnar + Son) is a common surname, being in the top 50 surnames in Sweden.

31 Göran

Göran originates from Middle Low German Jurian. This particular spelling of the name, starting with a G, is common in Sweden but not often found elsewhere.

32 Hans

Hans is a variant of the biblical name Johannes. For those with the name Hans, Hasse is a very commonly used nickname in Sweden. Hansson (Hans + son) is also one of the most common surnames in Sweden.

33 Helge

Helge is based on the Old Norse Helgi, from heiligr, meaning “happy” or “lucky”). Helgi has later been reinterpreted to be a form of the adjective heilagr, translating to “holy”.

34 Håkan

Håkan comes from Old Norse Hákon, and the meaning of the name is undecided with several interpretations. This is an old-school name that pretty much exists exclusively in Sweden.

35 Ingemar

Ingemar, also sometimes but less commonly spelled Ingmar, is derived from Old Norse Ingimarr ingi from the god of Ing/Yngvi and marr from mærr, translating to “famous”.

36 Ingvar

This name is the equivalent of English Ivor and originates from Old Norse Yngvarr.

37 Kaj

Kaj is a name that spread to Sweden from Denmark, likely originating from the Roman name Caius. The Scandinavian equivalent of the German name Kai.

38 Kjell

Kjell is a name that originates from Old Norse Ketill, which is a word meaning “cauldron” or “helmet.” This name is sometimes part of a compound name – for example in Eskil, which also originates from Ketill, combined with another name. Kjell has been around in Sweden for a while, with the first recorded usage being in the mid-1500s.

39 Kurt

The name Kurt is a contraction of Konrad, and has been in usage in Sweden since the 1600s. The name Kondrad stems from a combination of kōniz, meaning “bold” or “brave” plus rēdaz, translating to “counsel”.

40 Leif

Leif is a name that originates from Leifr and has been used in Norway since the Middle Ages – it started gaining popularity in Sweden around the later 1800s. The meaning of Leif is “inheritor”.

41 Ove

This Swedish male name has been taken from Denmark and has been around in Sweden since the Middle Ages. It stems from Old Danish Aghi, which is speculated to be a short-form of Germanic agh, “blade” or old Norse agi meaning “awe”. The name has a connection to the German name Uwe. It also relates to the name Åke.

42 Ragnar

Ragnar is a name originating from German Rainer. The first part of the name is pulled from regin, meaning “counsell” and the second part, herr, meaning “army”.

43 Rolf

The name Rolf comes from Old Norse Hrólfr, consisting of the words hróðr, meaning “fame” and ulfr meaning “wolf”. The English version of the name is Rudolph. Rolf is not the only common Swedish name with the meaning “wolf” – Ulf is another example.

44 Rune

Rune is a name that is declining in popularity – the average age of men named Rune in Sweden is about 73 years old at the time of writing. The name is derived from Proto-Germanic Rūnô, with the meaning “counselor”.

45 Stig

This name is found in all Nordic countries, first in Denmark and introduced to Sweden during the late 1860s. Stig, being derived from Old Norse Stígr, comes from the verb stíga, which means “to step”.

Stig in modern Swedish is not only a name but has two meanings – one being the verb “to step” and the other a noun meaning “path”.

46 Sture

The name Sture became famous in history through an important family living during medieval times. Sture was most commonly given as a name during the 1900s. The meaning of the name Sture is thought to be from the verb stura, “to sulk”, and annotates someone who is stubborn.

47 Sven

Sven originates from Old Norse sveinn, translating to “boy”.

48 Sören

Sören, an old common Swedish name, originates from the Latin word Severinus with the meaning “serious” or “grave”.

49 Torbjörn / Thorbjörn

This name is a simple one in meaning – it is a combination of the name Thor or Tor compounded with the Swedish word björn, meaning “bear”. Björn is also a name on its own in Sweden.

50 Tord

The name Tord, alternatively but less commonly spelled Thord, is derived from a combination of Old Norse Thor and the word fridr, meaning “peace”,

51 Torsten

Like Torbjörn, Torsten and Tord, this name is a compound name adding Tor upon another word. The latter part of the name, sten, is derived from stein meaning “stone” – and it also directly translates to “stone” in modern Swedish.

52 Ulf

The name Ulf is derived from Old Norse Ulv and translates to “wolf”. For other Swedish names inspired by wildlife, see also Björn, Torbjörn and Rolf.

53 Åke

Åke is a classically Swedish name that almost only is used in Sweden, although a few different variants exist in other Scandinavian countries – like the Danish Åge or Aage.

Conclusion

This concludes our guide to Swedish male names! There are a lot of unique names in Sweden that you usually find only in the Nordic countries, as well as names derived from other countries with a Swedish twist. Hopefully, this guide has given you a hint of what Swedish names you might encounter in Sweden.