SweGGate Theme Geography: Names

Theme: Geography:  


 a *** SweGGate StarGuide *** ® 

Companion page to General SweGGate Dictionary.
Read about the Swedish Language here.

Many of the words here can be used either as prefix or suffix. Several can be used alone as well, e.g. berg.
Many words can be used both as a farm name and a village / town name. When a name refers to something connected with a house or farm but is used for a village or town then the name is often older than the town - it has grown larger.
Many names have a first part from a male given name and a second part denoting a house / home / meadow or "new land" (-red/-ryd/-rud), e.g. Svensrud = "the land that Sven cleared"

A possessive "s" is often inserted between a first part from a given name and the second part which tells what the person owned or had cleared. If the name ends in "s" then no extra "s" is inserted.
Many words can acquire an extra "a" or "e" at the end when used as names. This is often a dialectal definite form.

This article includes only purely Swedish names - not late loan-words. Many very common words are also not found here - consult your regular dictionary. 



Amerika There are actually about 20 places in Sweden named Amerika (Swedish spelling for America)
-arp Derived from torp: q.v.
Backa, -backa = slope. Def form: backen.
Berg, -berg = rock, rocky hill. Sometimes as -berga,
-bo, -bol = home / homestead. From old Nordic bolig = home.
-boda Bod means storehouse. Def form: boden. Often in plural: bodarna.
-borg = castle, fortress.
-bro = bridge. Def form: bron.
-brott = mine (metals, stone, chalk etc). Def form: brottet.
-bruk = mostly iron factory / smithy, sometimes other industry.
-bråten = cleared land (def form). cf -rud/ -red/ -ryd.
-by = village.
-bäck = stream. Def form: bäcken.
-dal = valley.
Fallet, -fall = (water) fall. Def form: fallet.
Fors, -fors = rapids (water). Def form: forsen. Sometimes -forsa.
-frid = peace, quiet. Mostly for houses / villas.
-gård = Farm. Def form: gården.
-gärde = Meadow. Def form: gärdet.
-hammar, -hamra Derived from hammare = hammer. Def form: hammaren. The town is often named after an iron industry (bruk) but sometimes using the meaning "steep mountainside" describing the nature. cf hamar
-hamn = harbour. Def form: hamnen.
-hed = moor, heath.
-hem = home. Def form: hemmet.
Exists in all northern European languages, Old English incl,  with similar meaning
Translation: Small forest, grove, also thick forest, sometimes wooded hill.
Common in names of villages and farms for obvious reasons, e.g. Lammhult, Misterhult, especially in southern Sweden (Götaland region).
-hus = house. Def form: huset. Plural def form: husen. Dialectal: husa.
-hög = heap, hillock. Def form: högen.
-jokk(i) Common in northern Sweden. Origin Same language = stream, rapid from Finnish = joki = river, stream..
-järvi Common in northern Sweden. Origin Finnish = lake.
-kas Derived from kas / kase / vårdkase which is a pile of wood used for signalling. Def form: kasen. In old times signalling with fires was organized in known positions.
-kull(en) = small hill. Def. form: kullen.
-kvarn = mill (flour).
-lid = slope. Def form -liden.
-lund = grove. Def form -lunden.
lycka In old times it was used to name a small farm field or meadow, always fenced off, often surrounded by forest. The word is derived from old word lyckt meaning locked (in this case referring to the fence around the field).
The old word still appears in names of farms and places, e.g. Gruvlyckan, Gunnarslycka.
The modern use of this word is happiness, good fortune (nouns).
-lösa Assumed to mean äng (meadow). Most common in Götaland (southern 1/3 of Sweden). Example: Mellösa.
-mo, -mon = sandy plain / heath. Def form: mon.
-mål, -måla Common mostly in Blekinge and Småland (mainly Kalmar län) province.
From måla = old verb = measure. Here refers to land leased for a limited time period (so the time is "measured").
May be derived from möta = meeting, to meet. Probably refers to an old meeting place.
-mölla = windmill. Dialectal in Skåne, Blekinge. From Danish. Def form: möllan.
Näs, -näs = peninsula. Def form: näset.
-orp Derived from torp: q.v.
-ro Means peace, quiet. Mostly as name of house / villa, seldom for village or town.
-red, -rud, -ryd Very common suffix. Derived from rödja, rydja = break / clear new land. Spelling differs in different parts of Sweden. Def. forms: -rudet, -rydet, -redet.
-rup Most common in southern counties like Skåne. Derived from torp: q.v.
-rönningen = new cleared land. (def form). cf -rud/ -red/ -ryd.
-sel The slow-running water between the falls in a river. Common in the hilly northern Sweden, both as prefix and suffix. Eg: Selånger, Mellansel.
-sjö = lake. Def form: -sjön.
-slätt = plane / flat surface - flatland. Def. form: -slätten
-stad = town, city. Def form: staden.
stom A farm belonging to or providing support for the parish priest. Def. form: stommen. Common name, usually only one in each parish. The name is still used but the meaning is lost to most people.
ström = stream (water).
Säter, -säter Small house /farm used in the summer time when the distance to the farm was too far to travel each day and the animals needed the new grazing land. Also -sätra. Fäbod means the same in Swedish but is rarely used as a farm name. Eng: similar to chalet.
-tjärn Small lake. Def form: -tjärnet or -tjärnen depending on dialect.
torp Small house on land owned by someone else. Eng: (sim) cottage, croft. . cf torpare
Middle ages: an isolated farm - as opposed to a farm in a village, often a newly created farm on public land.
16th century: taxation term: a farm too small to be tax registered by mantal but large enough to be taxed at all (often 1/4 of full farm tax). Do not confuse with backstuga (no indication of ownership).
Def. form: torpet.
-torp Derived from torp indicating that the origin has been a torp. Very often prefixed by a man's given name as name of a torp, e.g. Anderstorp (= the torp built / owned by Anders)
-träsk Marsh. Sometimes a lake.
tun (from old Nordic language) = fenced area, farm/village place. Same origin as English town.. Often used as suffix in names of larger villages or towns but then often spelled tuna as in Eskilstuna, Sigtuna
tvet "tvet" is a "separated piece of land" i.e. a larger farm has been divided into smaller ones, a process called "avstyckning". We have had several government regulated rearrangements of farm land in Sweden in the past few hundred years in addition to the naturally occurring when dividing inheritage. "tveten" is the definite form. The word is often used as a farm name and there are probably hundreds of farms named "Tveten" in Sweden.
Udden, -udde = peninsula. Def form: udden.
-vaara Common in northern Sweden. Origin Finnish = hill, mountain, usually forest-clad.
-vik = bay. Def form: -viken.
Ås, -ås = ridge. Df. form åsen.
-äng = meadow. Def form: -ängen.

Explanation by F Haeffner unless otherwise stated. Mail me your contribution or request.

To home page Home To home page

Geography Theme

To home page

  Facts Main
Last updated by F Hae 2005-05-29 22:29 © Fredrik Haeffner, 2001-5