Nordic Last Names – Scandinavian Nordic Difference

Nordic Last Names – What is the difference between Scandinavian and Nordic Countries?


Now, this can be all very confusing. When do you use Scandinavia and when do you use Nordic? What’s the difference between them? Are Scandinavian last names also Nordic surnames?

Well, in simple terms, the Nordic countries are made up of the 3 Scandinavian countries; Sweden, Norway and Denmark, as well as Iceland and Finland. This means Scandinavia encompasses Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and Nordic countries include these with an additional few. Do you get it now?

So, when we talk about Nordic last names, we are talking about a mixture of all of these countries. Now, we have covered Danish last names, Finnish last names, Icelandic last names and Swedish last names, which you can check out in your own time.

Therefore, this article will be a mix of the most popular last names of these countries. Read on to see which are the most common Nordic last names!

Nordic Last Names Nordic Flags
Nordic Last Names


Nordic Last Names and Their Meanings

We have separated these Nordic surnames according to country. You can scroll down to whichever Nordic country last names you would like to find out, with their meanings.


12 Common Danish Surnames

Jensen – Son of Jens.

Nielsen – A patronymic surname meaning “son of Niels.”

Hansen – Son of Hans (Gift of God)

Pedersen/Peteresen – Son of Peter (Stone or Rock)

Andersen – Son of Anders, derived from Andrew meaning “manly”.

Chritensen/Kristensen – Son of Christen (Variation of Christian)

Larsen/Laursen – Son of Lars (Lars is short for Laurentius, which means “Crowned with laurel”)

Sorensen – Son of Soren, meaning “stern”.

Rasmussen – Son of Rasmus.

Jorgensen – Son of Jorgen. Jorgen is the Danish variation of the English name George.

Madsen – Son of Mads.

Olsen/Olesen – Son of Ole.


12 Most Popular Swedish Surnames














10 Common Finnish Surnames

Virtanen – Small stream

Ruoho – Grass

Lehtonen – Small grove or forest

Halla – Frost

Ahonen – Small glade

Kanerva – Heather

Mäkinen – Small hill

Nieminen – Small peninsula

Järvinen – Small lake

Heikkinen – Home ruler


These are just some of the many Nordic surnames out there. In total, the Nordic region is made up of a population of around 25 million people! You can imagine how diverse and varied Nordic surnames must be.

You can check out the full articles on each of these Nordic countries on our website.

If you enjoyed this article, you can read more of our articles below.

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