100 Popular Norwegian Last Names Or Surnames With Meanings

✔ Research-backed

Norway has a versatile naming pattern. Their names are unique and often connected to nature, which could make Norwegian surnames or last names a perfect fit for your baby.

In ancient times, Norwegian names comprised three parts – the given name, patronym, and address. But over the years, the Norwegian naming scheme has changed to feature-fixed surnames. As a result, some popular Norwegian surnames ended with “-sdatter” or “-sdotter” and “-ssen” or “-sson,” meaning “daughter of” or “son of,” and evolved through the generations (1).

In this post, we have compiled some Norwegian surnames or last names with their meanings so you can pick the best one for your baby.

In This Article

List Of Popular Norwegian Surnames Or Last Names

1. Aaberg

It means ‘on the hill by the river’ and it is a toponymic name denoting someone who lived at the so-called place.

2. Aaby

This is derived from a place called ‘Aaby’ or ‘Aby.’ It consists of the word ‘a’ that represents ‘river,’ and the Old Norse element ‘byr’ meaning ‘farm.’

3. Aakre

This is a toponymic name taken from any of the several places named ‘Akre.’ The word likely comes from the Old Norse element ‘akr’ meaning ‘plowed field.’

4. Aamodt

It refers to someone who lived in a place where two streams gather. This is derived from the Old Norwegian term ‘a’ meaning ‘river’ and the Norwegian word ‘mote’ meaning ‘meeting.’

5. Arud

It is a combination of the Old Norwegian word ‘a’ meaning ‘stream’ or ‘river’ and the Archaic Norwegian word ‘rud’ meaning ‘clearing.’

6. Aune

It reflects a farm name found in several places in Norway. The name originated from the Old Norse word ‘aun’ meaning a ‘wasteland.’

7. Bang

It is likely an Old Norwegian word for ‘terrace’ or ‘flat hill-top.’ It is a toponymic name for those who lived at a farm that lay on a terraced land or a flat hill-top.

8. Becken

This is a cognate of ‘Beck’ that is derived from Middle English word ‘bekke’ or Old Norse ‘bekkr,’ both referring to a ‘stream.’

9. Calland

It is from any of the many farmsteads named ‘Kalland’ or ‘Kaland’ in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘Kalfaland,’ which is a combination of ‘kalfr’ meaning ‘calf’ and ‘land’ for ‘land.’

10. Dahl

It is from Old Norse root word ‘Dalr’ which means ‘valley.’ It is a popular name for the Author Roald Dahl, who is known for popular children’s books, like ‘Henry Sugar’ and ‘Matilda.’

11. Dale

It comes from the Old Norse word ‘dali’ that itself is derived from the Old Norse word ‘dalr’ meaning a valley. The name refers to those who lived on a farm or a place within a valley.

12. Dammen

It likely comes from the name of a place called Drammen located in southeastern Norway. The name comes from the Norwegian word ‘dam’ meaning ‘pond.’

13. Dybdahl

This toponymic surname refers to someone from any of the several places by the name in Norway and Denmark. The name means ‘deep valley’ in Norwegian.

protip_icon Trivia
People hailing from Dybdahl often took up the name of the place as their surname. Its alternative spelling is ‘Dybdal.’

14. Ege

It is a variant of Eike, a village in southwestern Norway. The name of the places from the Old Norse word ‘eiki’ meaning ‘oak grove.’

15. Elden

This is a toponymic name taken from a name of a river or place. The name comes from the Old Norse word ‘eldr’ meaning ‘fire’ or ‘flame.’

16. Elstad

This is a toponymic name that comes from the name of several places by this name. The name is a combination of the male name ‘Eilifr’ or the female name ‘Eldfridr’ with the Old Norse word ‘stadr’ meaning ‘farmstead.’

17. Enberg

Enberg refers to a mountain

Image: IStock

It is derived from Old Norse elements ‘einir’ meaning ‘juniper’ and berg meaning ‘hill’ or ‘mountain.’ The name is thus a toponymic one.

18. Fadness

This surname comes from the name of place in Hordaland county of Norway. It contains the Norwegian words ‘ferga’ meaning ‘to ferry’ and ‘nes’ meaning ‘headland.’

19. Falla

It refers to a farm that was named so because it was likely a location for landsides. The name is derived from the Norwegian word ‘fall’ meaning ‘fall.’

20. Fehn

It is derived from a place called Fen in Norway. The name likely comes from the Old Norse word ‘Favin,’ where the first element ‘vin’ means ‘meadow.’ The first element is of unknown origin.

21. Fiske

It is derived from Old Norse elements ‘fiskr’ meaning ‘fish’ and ‘vin’ meaning ‘meadow.’ It denotes someone from a farm with the name or could be an occupational name for a fisherman.

22. Flaa

It originated from Old Norse elements ‘fla’ meaning ‘plain’ or ‘terrace.’ It is a toponymic name referring to someone who lived on a farm of that name.

23. Fure

It refers to ‘pine’ or ‘fir’ in Norwegian and denotes someone who lived along a farmstead of that name.

24. Gaarder

It is a toponymic surname for someone from any of the several places of this name in Norway.  The name comes from the word ‘Garder’ that comes from the Old Norse word ‘gard’ meaning ‘farm.’

25. Gill

It comes from the names of the several farmsteads in Norway. The name ‘Gill’ comes from the word ‘Gil,’ which is derived from Old Norse and means ‘ravine.’

26. Granberg

This is derived from Old Norse elements gran meaning ‘spruce’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘hill’ or ‘mountain.’ This surname is likely a toponymic one.

27. Greseth

It comes from the names of a few farmsteads located in Norway. The name is from the Old Norse word ‘grjot’ meaning ‘stone’ and ‘setr’ meaning ‘farmstead.’

28. Grimsrud

This surname is derived from the Old Norse personal name ‘Grimr’ meaning ‘man with a helmet or mask’ and ‘rud’ meaning ‘field.’

29. Grinde

It is a toponymic name for someone from a Norwegian village of the same name. The name is taken from the Old Norse element ‘grind’ meaning ‘gate.’

30. Gronlund

It is a combination of the Norwegian words ‘gronn’ meaning ‘green’ and ‘lund’ meaning ‘grove.’

31. Groven

It comes from the Old Norse element ‘grof’ meaning ‘hollow’ or ‘pit.’ It is likely a toponymic name for someone who came from a farmstead of the same name.

32. Gulseth

It is derived from the Old Norse personal name ‘Guli’ meaning a ‘farmstead.’ Gulseth is also the name of a suburd in Skien, a city in Norway.

33. Hagen

This last name is either derived from the Old Norse element ‘Hagi’ or Old Dutch ‘Hago,’ both referring to ‘pasture’ or an ‘enclosure.’

protip_icon Trivia
Derived from the Irish surname Dáithí Ó hÓgáin, this last name also means ‘youthful one.’

34. Hall

It refers to a hall. The name was adopted by those who lived or worked in a hall or a manor, a house of a medieval noble.

35. Haugen

It is a toponymic name and comes from the Old Norse element ‘haugr’ meaning a ‘hill.’

36. Horn

This is derived from the Germanic word ‘horn’ meaning a ‘horn.’ It refers to a family line whose profession was to carve objects out of a horn, or who those played a horn.

37. Hove

Hove, Norwegian surnames

Image: IStock

It is from the Old Norse element ‘hof’ meaning a ‘place of worship.’ The name was quite commonly given to farmsteads.

38. Hoye

The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘haugr’ meaning a ‘mound’ or ‘hill.’ This name was likely of those who lived on farmsteads of the same name.

39. Ihle

This surname is derived from the Old Norse word ‘ila’ meaning ‘spring’ or ‘well.’

40. Island

It is of uncertain origin and is believed to be a combination of the Norwegian words ‘is’ meaning ‘ice’ and ‘land’ meaning ‘land.’

41. Jahr

It is a toponymic name for someone from the place called ‘Jar’ in Norway. The name is derived from the root word ‘jadarr’ of Old Norse origin meaning ‘rim’ or ‘edge.’

42. Jordahl

This surname is derived from the Old Norse elements ‘Hjo’ meaning ‘the shining river’ and ‘dalr’ meaning ‘valley.’

43. Kalberg

It denotes a farm name that is derived from the Norwegian words ‘kald’ meaning ‘cold’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain.’

44. Kampen

It is a toponymic name referring to someone from the city of Kampen in Norway. The name comes from the Norwegian element ‘kamp’ meaning ‘boulder’ or ‘round.’

45. Kile

This surname is derived from Old Norse word ‘kill’ meaning ‘wedge’ or ‘narrow bay’ or ‘inlet.’

46. Kise

It is a toponymic name derived from Old Norse word ‘Kisi’ meaning ‘gravel.’

47. Kjos

This is a derivative of Old Norse word ‘kjoss’ meaning ‘narrow valley’ or ‘narrow bay.’ The name is a toponymic one since it is also the name of a place in Norway.

48. Klepp

It is a toponymic name derived from ‘kleppr’ of Old Norse origin meaning ‘cliff’ or ‘bluff.’ Klepp is the name of several locations in Norway.

49. Kleve

A toponymic name derived from the Old Norse word ‘kleif’ meaning ‘cliff.’

50. Kolden

It is derived from the Old Norse word ‘kollr’ meaning ‘rounded mountain top.’ It is also the name of a place in Norway.

51. Korsmo

The name is a combination of the Old Norwegian words ‘korz’ meaning ‘crossroads’ and ‘mo’ meaning ‘sandy meadow.’ It is also the name of a place in Norway.

52. Kvam

It is derived from the Old Norse word ‘hvammr’ meaning ‘small valley.’

53. Landvik

It is a toponymic name that comes from the name of a town in Norway. The name is derived from the Norwegian language and means ‘land inlet.’

54. Losnedahl

Losnedahl means a valley

Image: IStock

It is derived from the Norwegian elements ‘Losna,’ which is the name of several places in Norway, and ‘dahl’ meaning ‘valley.’

55. Lund

It refers to a person who lived along a grove of trees. The name is derived from Old Norse word ‘lundr’ meaning ‘grove.’

56. Manger

This surname refers to someone who came from a place called Manger in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse elements ‘mar’ meaning ‘seagull’ and ‘angr’ meaning a ‘fiord or an inlet.’

57. Malmin

It is from the Old Norse elements ‘malmr’ meaning ‘sand’ or ‘gravel’ and ‘heimr’ meaning ‘farmstead’ or ‘homestead.’

58. Morken

It is derived from Old Norse word ‘mork’ meaning ‘wood.’ It is a toponymic name and the name of several places.

59. Naas

It is derived from Old Norse word ‘nos’ meaning ‘nose,’ and refers to a nose-like formation of the landscape.

60. Narum

This surname is derived from the Old Norse elements ‘nor’ meaning ‘narrow passage’ and ‘heimr’ meaning ‘home.’

61. Nerby

It is a toponymic name for someone from the several places of the name in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘Nedribyr,’ which means ‘the lowest farm.’

62. Ness

This surname is from the Norwegian word ‘nes’ meaning ‘headland’ and denotes a person who lived at a headland or promontory.

63. Odden

It is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘oddi’ meaning ‘headland.’

64. Okland

It is a toponymic surname for those who hailed from Okland or Aukland. The name is a combination of the Norwegian words ‘auka’ meaning ‘increased’ and ‘land’ meaning ‘land.’

65. Omdahl

This toponymic name is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘Almdalr’ meaning ‘elm valley.’

66. Ottum

The name comes from the Otta river. The name ‘Otta’ comes from Old Norse and means ‘to frighten.’ The name is likely a toponymic one.

67. Oyen

It is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. This surname originates from the Norwegian word ‘oy’ meaning an ‘island.’

68. Pollen

It is from the Old Norse root word ‘pollr’ meaning ‘pond’ or ‘small bay.’

69. Ranum

It is a variant of the surnames ‘Ranheimr’ or ‘Randheimr’. These names are a combination of the Norwegian elements ‘rani’ means ‘nose’ and ‘heimr’ means ‘home.’

70. Rike

It is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘riki’ meaning ‘rule’ or ‘power.’

71. Rinde

This surname denotes to ancestors who hailed from the farms named with the word ‘rind’ meaning ‘ridge’ or ‘bank’ in Norwegian.

72. Rosdahl

This refers to a farm name and is derived from the Old Norse elements ‘rud’ meaning ‘clearing’ and ‘dahl’ meaning ‘valley.’

73. Selland

It is the name of several farms in Norway. The name comes from the Old Norse elements ‘selja’ meaning ‘willow’ and ‘land’ for ‘farm’ or ‘land.’

74. Skagen

The name comes from the Old Norse word ‘skagi’ meaning ‘headland.’ It is a toponymic name referring to someone who lived at a farmstead located at a headland or promontory.

75. Skjeggestad

It is a toponymic name and refers to someone from a place of the same name in Norway. The name is a combination of the Norwegian words ‘skjegg’ meaning ‘beard’ and ‘stad’ meaning ‘place’ or ‘town.’

76. Solberg

This refers to a name of place. The name is taken from the Old Norse elements ‘sol’ meaning ‘sun’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain.’

77. Stenberg

It has a Scandinavian origin and is composed of the words ‘sten’ meaning ‘stone’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain.’

78. Stien

It is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The surname is derived from the Norwegian element ‘stig’ meaning a ‘trail’ or ‘path.’

79. Storstrand

Storstrand, Norwegian last names

Image: IStock

It is a combination of the Norwegian words ‘stor’ meaning ‘big’ and ‘strand’ meaning ‘beach.’ It is a toponymic name and refers to someone from any of the several farmsteads of its name in Norway.

80. Sund

It is the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The name is taken from the Old Norse word ‘sund’ meaning ‘strait.’

81. Tanberg

It is derived from any of the farms in eastern Norway. The name comes from the Old Norse element ‘thorn’ meaning ‘thorn bush’ and ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain.’

82. Tanck

It is a short form of a personal name ‘Thankmar’ of German origin and likely means ‘famous for his spirit.’

83. Tande

It comes from the name ‘Tandar,’ denoting any of the farms with the same name in Norway. The name comes from the Old Norse word ‘tonn’ meaning ‘tooth.’

84. Teig

It refers to someone who hailed from regions with this name in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse word ‘teigr’ meaning ‘strip of land.’

85. Tenold

It is derived from the Old Norse word ‘Tunhvall,’ which is a combination of the Old Norse words ‘tun’ meaning ‘enclosure’ and ‘hvall’ meaning a ‘small hill’ or ‘rise.’ The name is a toponymic one and is the name of a few farmsteads in Norway.

86. Ulberg

It denotes a family line who adopted the name from the Old Norse elements ‘ulfr’ for ‘wolf’ and ‘berg’ for ‘mountain.’

87. Ulven

It refers to any of the several regions named Ulven in Norway. The name is derived from the Old Norse elements ‘ulfr’ meaning ‘wolf’ or ‘alfr’ meaning ‘gravel’ and ‘vin’ for ‘meadow.’

88. Ure

It is derived from a place in the Hordaland county of Norway. The name is taken from the Old Norse word ‘urd’ meaning ‘rock-strewn slope’ and ‘vin’ meaning ‘meadow.’

89. Urness

This surname is a combination of  the Old Norse words ‘urd’ meaning ‘scree’ and ‘nes’ meaning ‘headland.’ It is a toponymic name referring to someone from such a region.

90. Valen

It comes from the Old Norse word ‘vadill’ that refers to a ‘ford,’ which are shallow waters. The name denotes those who lived in any of the places with the name in Norway.

91. Valle

It comes from the Old Norse word ‘vollr’ meaning ‘field’ or ‘meadow.’ It refers to someone hailing from any of the places with this name in Norway.

92. Velde

It is a habitational name taken from ‘Velle’ that is derived from Old Norse ‘vollr’ meaning ‘meadow’ or ‘field.’

93. Velten

It refers to any of the several farms in the Hedmark county of Norway. The name comes from the Norwegian word ‘Velte’ meaning ‘log pile.’

94. Vik

It comes from Old Norse and indicates a small bay or water inlet. The name is toponymic one and refers to someone who hailed from any of the several farms with this name in Sweden and Norway.

95. Waag

The name comes from the word ‘Vag’ that comes from the Old Norse word ‘vagr’ meaning a creek or a bay. The name denotes someone who lived in a creek or bay, mainly in the Nordland county of Norway.

96.  Wahl

It comes from the name of several farmsteads in Norway. The name comes from the Old Norse word ‘vadill’ meaning ‘shallows’ or ‘ford.’

97. Wang

Wang refers to a grassy slope

Image: IStock

This is taken from Old High German word ‘wang’ or Old Norse word ‘vangr’ meaning ‘meadow’ or ‘grassy slope.’

protip_icon Trivia
Wang is also a common surname in China. The Chinese surname refers to ‘king.’

98. Watland

This habitational name is derived from Old Norse word ‘Vazland’ meaning water and land. It refers to several farms of this name in Norway.

99. Westby

It refers to several farms of this name in Norway. It is a derivative of the word ‘Vestbyr,’ which is a combination of the Old Norse words ‘vestr’ meaning ‘west’ and ‘byr’ meaning ‘settlement.’

100. Westrum

This is from any of the farms in Norway named ‘Vestrom’ or ‘Vestrum.’ The name is derived from the Old Norse words ‘vestr’ meaning ‘west’ and ‘heimr’ meaning ‘homestead.’

Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When did Norwegians start using last names?

It is believed that most Norwegians started using a last name in the 1900s. But the official law was passed in the year 1923 by the Norwegian parliament, requiring all Norwegians to use an official last name (2).

2. Can I change my surname in Norway?

Yes, you may change your surname in Norway by contacting the Norwegian Population Register.

3. Do Norwegians have two last names?

Norwegians have a predominant patronymic based on the father’s name. However, after 1850, the trend of taking a permanent surname took hold and by 1900, most of Norway had adopted the practice of using a permanent family name as a surname. They usually use the farm name or residence name as their surname (3).

4. What is the stereotypical Norwegian last name?

Surnames like Olsen, Hansen, Johansen, Berg, and Hagen are some of the stereotypical last names (4).

5. What do Norwegian last names often signify or represent?

Norwegian last names usually represent nature and the environment around them. Occupations and place names also may transform into Norwegian last names. Some people may use characteristic names too.

6. How are Norwegian last names passed down through generations?

The patronymic is used based on the father’s given name. In addition, a permanent family name is used as a surname (3). For example, if a man named Anders had a son Jon and they lived on Dal farm, the son’s name would be Jon Anderssen Dal. If Jon had a son named Knut and they lived in Li, the son’s name would be Knut Jonson Li.

7. Are there any famous or notable individuals with Norwegian last names?

Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Knut Hamsun; bestselling author, Jo Nesbø; ABBA lead singer, Anni-Frid Lyngstad; actor Bjørn Sundquist; and Olympic triple gold-medallist, Hjalmar Andersen are some of the famous individuals with Norwegian last names.

8. How do Norwegian last names differ from last names in other Scandinavian countries?

Other Scandinavian countries like Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden follow a similar pattern of naming as Norway. Their surnames are patronymic and they might adopt a place name as a surname.

Naming their baby is a huge milestone that excites every parent. However, with the myriad options available, most parents are confused about which first name and last name to choose. If you adore different traditions and customs, try Norwegian surnames, which are unique and provide a fascinating glimpse of the country’s rich culture and geography. With this extensive list of Norwegian surnames or last names provided, we hope to ease your burden of choosing the perfect name. These names are meaningful and may wonderfully enhance your child’s personality.

Infographic: Types Of Norwegian Last Names Or Surnames

Norway is a beautiful Scandinavian country surrounded by mountains, water bodies, and other natural scenic elements. Therefore, you can find Norwegian surnames indicating rivers, valleys, and mountains. Also, their rich culture and heritage are reflected in their surnames. Let’s look at the infographic below to learn about the types of Norwegian surnames.

origin of norwegian last names and their examples (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Traditional Norwegian last names include the given name, patronym, and address.
  • They provide insights into Norway’s ancestry, occupations, geography, and heritage.
  • Common suffixes include ‘-sdatter’ or ‘-sdotter’ and ‘-ssen’ or ‘-sson,’ signifying ‘daughter of’ or ‘son of.’
  • These surnames also reflect elements of nature, such as Pollen, meaning ‘small bay’, and Aamodt, indicating a place where two streams meet.

Norwegian surnames or last names_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/MomJunction Design Team


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Norway.
    http://files.lib.byu.edu/family-history-library/research-outlines/Scandinavia/Norway.pdf
  2. Norwegian surnames in America.
    https://www.norsknamnelag.no/Personnamn/Norwegian%20surnames%20in%20America.html#:~:text=During%20the%201800s%20%2C%20most%20Norwegians,daughter)%20as%20in%20Anna%20Larsdatter.
  3. Norway Personal Names
    https://www.familysearch.org/en/wiki/Norway_Personal_Names
  4. Norwegian Names
    https://www.norwaydna.no/gedcoms-and-genealogy/norwegian-names-en/
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Shikha is a writer-turned-editor at MomJunction, with over seven years of experience in the field of content. Having done a certification in Relationship Coaching, her core interest lies in writing articles that guide couples through their courtship to marriage and parenthood.

Read full bio of Shikha Thakur