Swedish boy names: all the most popular Swedish boys’ names in one place!

Looking for something unusual to call your newborn baby boy? Well, Swedish names are having a bit of a moment. Why not check out a few options that are currently popular in Sweden?

Do you like the sound of a Lars or a Lukas, an Erik or a Matteo? They’re all good names and may even conjure up the old Nordic stereotype of a strong, steady, tall, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Viking! But what do these names mean? And where do they come from?

Swedish names for boys are very popular
Pic: QuakerGirl22 (CC)

We’ve looked at the most popular Swedish boys’ names right now, plus the most common Swedish boys’ names of all-time, and found out the names’ origins and what they mean. So, if you’re thinking of a Nordic name for your son, check out our guide to Swedish baby names for boys. 

And if you don’t know your baby’s sex, or are looking for a Swedish baby name for your daughter, have a look at our guide to the most popular Swedish girls’ names too.

Most popular names for newborn Swedish boys

So what are people in Sweden calling their babies right now? We’ve ranked Swedish boys’ names by popularity, according to the 2020 figures from Sweden’s official statistics bureau. So, here are the top ten Swedish boys’ names for newborns. 

  1. Noah
  2. William
  3. Hugo
  4. Lucas
  5. Liam
  6. Oscar
  7. Oliver
  8. Matteo
  9. Elias
  10. Adam

What do Swedish boys’ names mean?

The origins of the most popular Swedish boys’ names come from a variety of sources, some from ancient Norse, some have biblical origins, some come from Latin or Greek roots and others derive from nature or traditional Nordic cultures. 

Many names have been adapted over the years from their original roots or adopted by other languages, so that they may end up with several different meanings in different languages.

So, we’ve done some research and picked the most commonly agreed origins and definitions, so that you know what each name means and where is comes from.

And, of course, if you choose one of these names for your baby, you’ll want to pronounce it in the authentic Swedish way. So, here’s a handy guide to how to pronounce the top ten Swedish boys’ names.

Noah 

Well, of course the inspiration for this name is the biblical Noah, who built an ark and saved two animals of each species from the flood. But did you know that it actually comes from the the Hebrew name Noach, which means “rest comfortably”? And that sounds to us like a pretty good aspiration for a baby!

William

A good powerful name, William means “strong-willed warrior” or “resolute protector”. It derives from the Old German Wilhelm, meaning “with gilded helmet” and was introduced into Britain by William the Conqueror.

Famous Williams include the Swedish Prince Wilhelm, Duke of Södermanland – though we suspect that the heir to the British throne Prince William would beat him in a best-known royal William competition! – and the US singer, Will.i.am.

Hugo

A corruption of the Latin name Hugh, Hugo means “intellect” or “intelligent”, though other sources suggest it’s from the Old German hugu, meaning “mind” or “heart”. Either way, it’s no wonder it’s such a popular choice of name in Sweden!

Lucas

The name Lucas, or Lukas as it’s commonly spelt in Sweden, comes from the Greek meaning “light”, “bright one” or “bringer of light”.

Liam

Liam is the Irish abbreviated version of the name William. Its increase in popularity throughout Europe and the US in recent years could be down to famous music industry Liams, Gallagher (from Oasis) and Payne (from One Direction), or possibly action-star film Liams, Neeson and Hemsworth.

Oscar

Although it sounds Scandinavian and has royal roots in the region, Oscar originally derives from Gaelic. It comes from the two Irish words os meaning “deer” and car, meaning “loved or friend”, so translates as a friend of the deer.

Oskar is a popular name for a boy in Sweden
King Oscar II of Sweden / Juliusjaa (CC)

Its popularity in Sweden may derive from King Oscar I of Sweden, godson of Napoleon Bonaparte, or perhaps from his son King Oscar II of Sweden. Either way, it’s a right royal name in Sweden with a regal heritage.

Oliver

There are two possible roots for the name Oliver. It could come from the Latin/Old French name Olivier, which means olive tree or grove. Alternatively, it could be a corruption of the Old Norse name Oleifr, commonly shortened to Leif or Olaf in Sweden, which means ancestor or descendent.

Matteo

Matteo is an Italian variation of the biblical Matthew, which means “gift of god” in Hebrew. A common variation in Sweden is Mats, as in the top Swedish tennis player Mats Wilander.

Elias

This popular Swedish boys’ name has biblical origins and is thought to be a corruption of the Hebrew name Elijah. It means “the lord is my god”.

Adam

You can’t chose a more suitable boy’s name than Adam – after all, it does derive from the Hebrew word for “man”. Its popularity in Sweden could be down to the most famous Adam of all, the biblical first man on earth, or maybe the US comedian Adam Sandler.

Most common boys’ names in Sweden overall

And if you’re looking for one of the more traditional Swedish names, check out the list below. It ranks the top ten boys’ names in Sweden overall, with Lars coming in first as Sweden’s most popular boys’ name across the entire population.

  1. Lars 
  2. Mikael
  3. Anders
  4. Johan 
  5. Erik 
  6. Per
  7. Peter
  8. Karl 
  9. Thomas
  10. Jan 

Lars

A good strong Swedish name, Lars means “God of thunder and lightening”. It derives from the Latin Laurentius, meaning “crowned by laurels” and “victor”.

Either way, Lars is not a name for shrinking violets! Swedish singer/songwriter Lars Winnerbäck may be an inspiration for the popularity of this name, or perhaps controversial Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier.

Lars is a favourite boys name in Sweden
Swedish singer/songwriter Lars Winnerbäck / FrankieF (CC)

Mikael

The Swedish version of Micheal, this name derives from Hebrew and means “looks like god”. Inspirational sporty Mikaels include Swedish tennis player Mikael Tillström and Swedish footballer Mikael Nilsson. Less inspirational, perhaps, is the superstrong father of the vampire race, Mikael in the popular books and TV series The Vampire Diaries.

Anders

If you want your boy to grow up macho and masculine, why not call him Anders, which means “strong and manly”? It’s the Swedish version of the Greek Andreas or the English Andrew.

It’s been one of the most popular names in Sweden for centuries and gave rise to the surname Andersson, meaning son of Anders, becoming one of Sweden’s most common surnames.

Johan

The Swedish version of John and with Hebrew origins, Johan means “god is gracious”. Almost certainly the best-known Johans are the composers Johan Sebastian Bach and Johan Strauss.

Johan is one of the top Swedish names for boys
Swedish footballer Johan Elamander / Flickr (CC)

However, there’s no shortage of sporty Johans to inspire you too, including Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff, Swedish footballer Johan Elamander and Swedish ice-hockey player Johan Franzén. There’s no doubt that a boy called Johan will share his name with a talented bunch of men!

Erik

A short, strong Scandinavia name, Erik means “eternal ruler”. Unsurprisingly, it was the name given to several Swedish kings and princes in the past, including Erik the Victorious, Erik the Holy, and the unappealing Erik XIV, known as “the butcher king”, Sweden’s maddest and cruellest king ever. Perhaps more inspirational was the intrepid Icelandic explorer Erik the Red, who discovered Greenland.

Per

The Swedish version of Peter, Per (pronounced pair) comes from the Greek petros, meaning rock or stone.

Peter

Also popular in Sweden, Peter has several variant spellings including Petter and Peder. Famous namesakes include Swedish footballers, Peter Andersson and Petter Augustsson, and the Swedish rapper Petter.

Peter, Per and Petter are all popular Swedish boys names.
Swedish rapper Petter / Camilla Cherry (CC)

Karl

A Swedish variant of the name Charles, Karl is of Germanic origins and means “free man”. Probably the best-known Karls are both German – philosopher and social scientist Karl Marx, and the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Thomas

The name Thomas (sometime also spelt Tomas in Sweden) comes from Hebrew origins and means “twin”. Two. Of the most famous people named Thomas are American – the inventor of the lightbulb Thomas Edison and US president Thomas Jefferson.

Jan

A diminutive of the name Johann. Sweden’s most popular current Jan is probably Jan Andersson, coach of the national football team, who got the Swedes through to the final 16 of the 2021 Euros competition.

Other popular Swedish boys’ names (A–Z)

And if none of the above names grab you, here’s a full list of the top 200 Swedish boys’ names in alphabetical order – from Adam to Yngve!

Adam 
Adrian 
Ahmad
Ahmed 
Åke 
Albert 
Albin 
Alexander
Alf 
Alfred 
Ali 
Allan 
Anders 
André 
Andreas
Anton 
Arne 
Arvid 
August
Axel 
Bengt 
Benjamin 
Benny 
Bernt 
Bertil 
Birger 
Björn 
Bo 
Börje
Bror 
Carl 
Charlie 
Christer 
Christian
Christoffer 
Claes
Conny 
Dan 
Daniel 
David 
Dennis 
Edvin 
Einar
Elias 
Elliot 
Emanuel
Emil 
Eric 
Erik
Ernst 
Evert 
Felix 
Filip 
Folke
Frank 
Fredrik
Gabriel 
Georg
Göran 
Gösta 
Göte 
Gunnar 
Gustaf 
Gustav 
Håkan 
Hampus 
Hans
Harald 
Harry 
Henrik 
Henry 
Hugo 
Ibrahim
Inge 
Ingemar 
Ingvar 
Isak 
Ivan 
Ivar 
Jacob 
Jakob
Jan 
Jens 
Jesper 
Jimmy
Joakim 
Joel 
Johan 
Johannes 
John 
Johnny 
Jonas
Jonathan 
Jonny 
Jörgen
Josef 
Karl 
Kenneth 
Kent 
Kevin 
Kim 
Kjell 
Klas 
Knut 
Krister 
Kristian
Kristoffer 
Kurt 
Lars 
Leif 
Lennart 
Leo 
Liam
Linus
Lucas 
Ludvig 
Lukas 
Magnus
Marcus 
Markus 
Martin 
Mathias
Mats 
Mattias 
Max 
Michael 
Mikael 
Mohamed
Mohammad 
Mohammed 
Morgan
Nicklas 
Niclas 
Niklas 
Nils 
Noah 
Ola 
Oliver 
Olle 
Olof 
Olov
Oscar
Oskar 
Otto 
Ove 
Pär 
Patrik 
Paul 
Per 
Peter 
Petter
Philip 
Pontus 
Ragnar
Rasmus 
Richard 
Rickard 
Rikard 
Robert 
Robin 
Roger
Roland 
Rolf
Ronny 
Rune 
Samuel 
Sebastian 
Sigvard 
Simon 
Sixten 
Sören 
Staffan 
Stefan 
Sten 
Stig 
Sture 
Sune 
Sven
Tage 
Theodor 
Thomas 
Tim 
Tobias
Tomas 
Tommy 
Tony 
Torbjörn
Tore 
Torsten
Ulf 
Urban
Valdemar 
Valter
Victor 
Viktor 
Vilhelm
Vincent 
Wilhelm
William 
Yngve 

See also:
Our guide to Swedish girls’ names
Stockholm for kids
Family-friendly hotels in Stockholm

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