Cool Swedish boy names and their meanings

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

Most popular boy names overall
The top Swedish boy names in 2022
Swedish boy names and their meanings
Unusual Swedish boy names
Full list of Swedish boy names (A-Z)
How to pronounce Swedish boy names

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 boy names are very popular

We’ve looked at the most popular Swedish boys’ names right now, plus the most common Swedish boy 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, this is a good place to start.

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 girl names too.

Most popular Swedish boy names overall

If you’re looking for a truly classic Swedish boy name, check out the list below. Official stats show that these are the top ten boy names in Sweden overall:

  • Erik
  • Lars
  • Karl
  • Anders
  • Johan
  • Per
  • Carl
  • Nils
  • Mikael
  • Jan

Erik comes in first as Sweden’s most popular boys’ name across the entire population.

Fun fact: there are almost 300,000 men and boys called Erik in Sweden – that’s a lot of Eriks!

Top 10 Swedish boy names in 2022

One thing you might notice about the classic Swedish names above is that they are quite old-fashioned sounding, and perhaps more suited to a middle-aged Swede than a cute little newborn.

So what are people in Sweden calling their babies right now? Records from Sweden’s official statistics bureau show that these are the top 10 Swedish boy names right now: 

  • William
  • Liam
  • Noah
  • Hugo
  • Oliver
  • Lucas
  • Nils
  • Matteo
  • Valter
  • August

Almost 700 Swedish boys were given the name William in 2022, making it the most popular name for a newborn males.

The name August was a new entry into the top 10 in 2022, but it’s actually a very old Swedish name. The famous Swedish playwright August Strindberg was born way back in 1849!

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 Viking and Norse culture. 

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.

There are lots of cute Swedish names to choose from

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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”.

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.

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”.

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)

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.

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.

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!

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.

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)

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.

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.

Unusual Swedish boy names

Looking for a Swedish name for your little boy that’s really off the wall? Here are some of the most unusual names in Sweden, with fewer than 10 people nationwide registered with each name:

  • Baptist
  • Chewbacca
  • Edisson
  • Folker
  • Jonsi
  • Kristin
  • Megatron
  • Monke
  • Paulsson
  • Waldeck

Some of these might seem like joke names, but they are all genuine names we discovered on the official Swedish database of registered boy names.

As you can see, unlike Iceland, Sweden doesn’t have particularly strict rules about what you can call your baby boy.

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 Ziggy

How to pronounce Swedish boy names

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 some of the best Swedish boys’ names.

See also:
Swedish girl names
Danish boy names
Finnish boy names
Norwegian boy names

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