Danish surnames are mostly derived from their father’ or grandfathers’ names. Such names are patronymic and most popular in Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. Many Danish surnames also come from other Scandinavian and German languages due to their proximity to Denmark and Germany. An interesting fact to note is that several surnames in this language are known to be indicative of occupation, lifestyle, aristocracy, and habitation. Read on for a list of the common Danish surnames.
Danish Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings
Agard is a farm-based habitational surname popular in Denmark. It finds its roots in Danish and Norwegian history and refers to a family that may have grown up on a farm near a stream.
Anderson is a patronymic surname, which is derived from the title “Anders.” Anders is a variant of Andrews, meaning “masculine.” The surname is extremely famous not only in Denmark but throughout the Nordic countries. The word translates to “son of Anders.”
This name originates from Germany. Many Danes adopted German surnames due to the closeness of the two countries. Anselm means protection or “divine helmet.” This title was used for someone at war and who is protected by God.
Arntzen is a patronymic name of Danish, Swedish, and German origin. The word is an amalgamation of two elements, “arn,” meaning eagle and “wald,” meaning rule. It refers to someone as powerful as an eagle.
Beck is a strong Danish surname linked to the name “Bach”. Bach finds its roots in Old Norse, England, and Germany. The name literally means “stream.”
In Old Norse, Bille finds its origins as a personal name. It is a powerful ornamental name meaning “axe.”
The Swedish-based surname is derived from the term “bo,” meaning farm. It is a toponymic surname, which ultimately comes from Old Norse. It could also be a derivative of “bode,” meaning dwelling.
This name has been recorded in Denmark since the 18th century. It is derived from the short form of the Slavic personal name Boris. It could also be a shortened form of the medieval name Liborius, who was the patron saint of the city of Paderborn.
It finds its roots in the German patronymic name Borchers. Borchers is a variant of the medieval personal name Burkhard, which is a combination of burg meaning “fort” or “castle” and “hard,” meaning “brave” or “strong.”
It is a toponymic name, which comes from “busk,” meaning “bush” in Danish.
The name means “son of Christen.” Christen comes from the word Christian.
Clausen is a Danish patronymic last name and means “child of Claus.” This name is likely a form of Nicholas, which means “victory of the people.”
The Danish surname is a toponymic surname that refers to Kolding, a fjord in Denmark. The name “Kolding” means “cold river.”
The Danish surname Collin is derived from Nicholas, which means “victory of the people.”
The Danish surname comes from the personal name Corse, which was a variant of Carsten, meaning “a follower of Christ.”
The name originates from an Old Norse word meaning “valley.” It is a popular toponymic name.
Dastrup is a toponymic name from any of the several villages and towns called Dastrup in Denmark.
Detlefsen is a patronymic name from Denmark and North Germany. It is derived from the personal name Ditlev or Detlef composed of the Middle Low German words, “theudo,” meaning “people” and “lef,” meaning “life.”
It is a toponymic name and a combination of the words “dig,” referring to a dike and “man.” The name likely referred to someone who lived near a dike.
Drewes is a variant of the Scottish or English personal name Drew. It is a patronymic title and is considered a vernacular form of Andreas, which comes from Greek and means “masculine.”
This name finds its roots in North Germany. It comes from the German name Egilhard, meaning “edge of a sword” or “brave and hardy.”
Egeberg Is a Norwegian and Danish toponymic surname derived from a place with the same name. “Ege” means “oak” and “berg” means “mountain” or “hill.”
Faaborg is a Danish toponymic last name from a place by the same name. It is an old port town situated on the Faaborg fjord.
The name Fisker refers to a fisherman in Danish. This surname is prevalent throughout the Nordic countries and Scandinavia.
This Danish occupational name comes from the Danish word “foged,” meaning “bailiff” or “sheriff.”
Frandsen is a Danish patronymic last name meaning “son of Frand.” It is a variant of the personal name Franz or Frans, which likely referred to a Frenchman.
This Danish patronymic name means “son of Frederik.” The name Frederik comes from German and means a “peaceful ruler.”
This Danish surname is likely a derivation of “gran,” which means “grain” in Danish. The name could have been an occupational one referring to a farmer.
It refers to the “son of Hans.” The name “Hans” is a short form of Johannes, meaning “a gift from God.”
The surname likely comes from the Middle High German word “haz” meaning “hatred.”
Helt is a German and Dutch variation of Held, which likely comes from Yiddish and means “a hero.”
The surname means the “son of Henrik.” Henrik is a variation of Henry, which comes from the German name Heimirich, meaning “home ruler.”
Hertz is a surname of German origin. It comes from the Middle High German word “herze,” meaning “heart.” The name likely referred to a brave or big-hearted person.
Hjort is a Danish and Swedish ornamental name derived from “hjort,” meaning “deer” or “stag.”
It is a Nordic surname that means “small island.” The name likely comes from Old Norse.
The surname means “son of Iver.” The name Iver comes from Old Norse, meaning “archer.”
It is a patronymic Norwegian and Danish surname meaning “son of Jakob.” Jakob comes from Jacob, which means “supplanter.”
It means “son of Jen.” The name Jen is a variation of John, which comes from Hebrew and means “God is gracious.”
It means “son of Jesper.” The name Jesper is a Scandinavian version of the Hebrew word “gizbar,” meaning “treasurer.”
It means the “son of John.” The name John comes from Hebrew and means “God is gracious.”
It means “son of Jorgen.” The name Jorgen is a Danish variant of George, which an occupational Greek name referring to a farmer.
Jurs is a vernacular variant of the name George, which comes from Greek and refers to a farmer.
Kaas is the Danish word for cheese. It is likely an occupational surname for someone who makes cheese.
Kaysen means “son of Kay.” The name Kay comes from the Old Norse word “kalfr,” meaning “calf.” The name was an occupational name for someone who reared cattle”.
This toponymic surname is a variation of the Danish word “kaer,” meaning “marsh.”
The surname means “son of Knud.” The name Knud comes from the Old Norse “knutr,” meaning “knot.”
The name has its origin in German. It comes from the German word “kragen,” meaning “collar.” The name may have been used as a nickname for someone who wore a dress with a distinctive collar, perhaps suggesting aristocracy.
This patronymic name means “son of Kristen.” The name Kristen is derived from Christian.
It means “son of Laurids.” The name Laurids is a variant of Laurits, which comes from Lawrence.
Lund is a toponymic surname referring to someone from Lund, Sweden. The name Lund comes from the Old Norse word “lundr,” meaning “grove.”
It is the Danish word for “happiness.” The name may have started as a nickname for a cheerful person.
It means “son of Mads.” The name Mads is a variation of the Hebrew name Matthew, which means “gift of God.”
It means “son of Mathias.” Mathias is a Scandinavian variation of Matthew.
Moller is an occupational surname that comes from the Middle High German word “muller,” meaning a “miller.”
The name means “son of Morten.” Morten is a variant of Martin, which is a Roman name referring to the Mars God.
It means “son of Niels.” Niels comes from the Greek name Nicholas, meaning “victory of the people.”
The patronymic Danish surname means “son of Nis.” Nis is the Danish short form of Nicholas.
The Danish last name is a combination of the word “nord,” meaning “north,” and “gard,” meaning “farmstead.”
Nyman is a fusion of the Danish words “ny,” meaning “new,” and “man,” meaning “man.” The name may have been a nickname for a foreigner or stranger.
It means “son of Ole.” The name Ole comes from Olaf, which comes from the Old Norse and means “descendant.”
It is a Danish surname that comes from the word “ost,” meaning “east.” This could have been a toponymic or ornamental name.
This unique surname is also a word in English. The word likely comes from Scottish and means “over the way” or “across the way.”
It is the Danish derivation of the Latin name Pascal, which comes from the Latin word Pascha, meaning Easter.
It means “son of Peder.” Peder comes from the Greek name Peter meaning “stone.”
Pelle is a Nordic variant of the Greek name Peter. Pelle is a common surname in several Nordic countries.
Pio is a short form of the Latin name Pius, which means “pious” or “devout.”
It means “son of Poul.” Poul is a variant of Paul, which comes from Latin and means “humble.”
It is derived from the word “kvist,” which means “twig” in Danish. The name may have started out as a nickname.
Randrup is a Danish family name and the name of several homesteads owned by them across Denmark.
It means “son of Rasmus.” Rasmus comes from the Greek name Erasmus, which means “beloved.”
It is a toponymic surname referring to someone originally from Ribe, a town in Denmark.
The name comes from the Old German word “hraban,” meaning “raven.” It is also the name of a place in Denmark.
It is a toponymic name for someone from Salling, a peninsula in Northern Europe and a part of Denmark.
It is the Scandinavian version of Alexander, which comes from Greek and means the “defender of men.”
It comes from the Middle High German word “smit,” meaning a “smith” or “metalworker.” It is an occupational surname.
Schou comes from the Danish word “skov,” meaning “forest” or “woods.” The name is a toponymic one and originally would have referred to someone who lived by a forest.
It means “son of Simon.” The name Simon comes from Hebrew and means “he has heard.”
Skov is the Danish word for “forest.” It is a toponymic surname.
It means “son of Soenk.” The name Soenk likely comes from the Middle High German word “soen,” meaning “son.”
This Danish surname is a combination of the word “sonder,” meaning “to the south,” and “gaard,” meaning “farmstead.” It is a toponymic name for someone from a farm located to the south.
It means “son of Soren.” The name Soren traces its roots to the Roman name Severus, which comes from Latin and means “stern.”
The name is a fusion of the Danish word “stor,” meaning “large” and “Johann,” meaning “John.” The name likely referred to a taller John or older John among various Johns. John comes from Hebrew and means “God is gracious.”
Strand is a toponymic surname and comes from the Old Norse word “strond,” meaning “beach” or “seashore.”
It means “son of Svend.” Svend comes from the Old Norse word “sveinn,” meaning “boy.”
Sylvest is a Danish variant of Sylvester, which comes from the Latin word “silva,” meaning “forest.” It is a toponymic surname.
It refers to a homestead owned by a family or person named “Tha.” The name is likely a toponymic one, and is also spelled as Thagaard.
It means “son of Thom.” Thom comes from Thomas, which comes from Aramaic and means “twins.”
It is a toponymic surname referring to someone who lived by a thorn bush or a hedge. The word “thorn” comes from Old Norse.
Thorup is the Old Scandinavian word for a group of houses. Several settlement or hamlet names ended with the name Thorup or Thorpe. The surname may have been toponymic or occupational, referring to someone who made houses.
The name is a toponymic one and refers to someone originally from Tranebjerg in Denmark.
Ursin is a Danish variant of the Roman name Ursinus, which comes from the Latin word “ursus,” meaning a “bear.”
Vang comes from the Old Norse word “vangr,” meaning a “grassy slope” or a “meadow.” It is a toponymic surname.
It is a contraction of Sylvester, which comes from the Latin word “silva,” meaning “forest.” It is a Danish toponymic surname.
It is a combination of the name Vester and “gard,” meaning “farmstead.” The toponymic Danish surname originally referred to a farmstead owned by a person or family named Vester.
It is a Swedish and Danish variant of the name Winter, which comes from English and refers to the winter season.
Wivell is a toponymic surname referring to someone from the Danish town of Vivild.
It is a variant of the name Wolf, which comes from English and refers to the animal wolf. The Danish surname may have originally been a nickname or an ornamental title.
The toponymic surname likely refers to someone from the place called Work in Scotland.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. How have Danish surnames changed over time?
Danish surnames have undergone huge changes; nowadays, anyone can request to adopt their great, great grandparents’ family name as their own, including middle names. People can also share a surname with their significant other without getting married and can also drop their last name and use their middle name instead.
2. What is the significance of adding “sen” or “datter” to a Danish surname?
The significance is that adding ”sen” is for the name of the son and ”datter” is for the daughters. A few well-known examples of surnames having the suffix ‘sen’ include Jepsen, Jenssen, Hendriksen, Petersen, Johannessen, and Davidsen.
3. Are there any famous people with Danish surnames?
Famous persons with Danish surnames include Jim Jensen, a football player, Bridgette Andersen, an actress and Peter Blegvad a musician.
This collection of 100 Danish surnames includes those that are commonly heard and hold interesting meanings. To know about a country’s people, learn about their background first. And what better way to do that than learning about their last names that give a glimpse into their background. So if you want to know about the beautiful country’s cultural background, occupational history, and the origin of the people and their ancestors, this list can be an ideal way to start.
Infographic: Famous People With Danish Surnames
Denmark is a beautiful country with a diverse culture reflected in its surnames. But did you know many of your favorite celebrities belong to or trace their ancestry to this picturesque country? If you didn’t, this infographic would surprise you! So save it and gather with your friends as you unfurl this list of famous figures and their Danish origins.
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