The continuity of Viking Age names in Denmark ‒ 18th-century evidence of long-lasting survivors

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In Denmark the old Nordic names used since the Viking Age are estimated to represent only 5–10% of the names by the end of the Middle Ages (i.e. 1536 in Denmark). The oldest Danish census with the total population’s names from 1787 along with the so-called Jessen Reports from the 1740s, which contain reports of uncommon personal names around the country, provide insight into the diversity and continuity of Nordic names that still existed, but were hidden under a thick layer of extremely frequent Christian names. This is the period before the so-called Nordic Name Renaissance, that with the national romanticism in the 1800s, resumed many Nordic names – often in a(n) (adapted) Norse form – e.g., Gunhild, Gyda, and Helge vs. Danish Gundel, Gye, and Helle. In this study, name examples are examined in the two 1700s sources to illuminate the geographical distribution and the linguistic as well as the social variation of the remains of the Viking Age name system that was still used in Denmark in early modern times.
TidsskriftOnoma: Journal of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences
Sider (fra-til)167-184
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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