Bluetooth ~ Blåtand ~ Names

These two guys have nothing to do with this post 🙂

Harald Blåtand [Bluetooth in English] was a medieval, Danish king. He also gave name to the bluetooth technology when two guys at Ericsson developed it.

In Sweden, they had funnier family names in old times, like Blåtand, Ladulås [meaning barn pad-lock!] and so on.

At some point it changed and they went for patronyms. If a guy named Karl got a son, the son’s name became Karlsson [Karl’s son]. This is deeply rooted and has been going on for such a long time that now, about every third Swede has a name ending with -son. Sweden has close to 10 million citizens, so it’s a small country. According to Statistics Sweden  there were 261,922 Johansson on 31st of December 2009. Johansson is supposedly the most common name in Sweden. Imagine all the others … Andersson, Karlsson, Svensson and so on. I’ve heard that Maria is the most common girls name so for a girl named Maria Johansson it would be difficult to stick out from the crowd 🙂 Edit: It isn’t Maria — it’s Alice

Many people try to be a little different, so they spell it with one S … I’ve even seen extremes like Johanzon.

In older times it was the rule that a daughter got the name Karlsdotter but that isn’t common now and the names don’t change anymore when a child is born. If the couple isn’t married, the child gets the mother’s family name unless the couple don’t do anything about it.

It’s rather easy to change name but there are certain rules and regulations around that. That wasn’t the case in the early 1900’s apparently because in that case my father’s name would have been Solomonson. That wasn’t the case, but I won’t go into that here.

If you have a -son name like for example Johansson you can apply for a change. Most commonly the whole family change at the same time, but not necessarily… you can do it all by yourself. You can go for a name that has been in the family recently — for example your grandma’s maiden name or so. Had I wanted to change my family name, I could have gone for my great grandma’s name Hoeckert. That’s very unusual, but now I live in North America and my son-name isn’t all that common … me and Scarlett LOL. OR you can make up a brand new name for yourself!  They even help you with it, if you can’t dream up something, but then you have to go to Swedish Patent & Registration Office. If you like eagles and water you could perhaps go for Örnsjö — Eagle Lake! If it’s available, that is.

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11 thoughts on “Bluetooth ~ Blåtand ~ Names”

  1. Makes genealogy a bit of a challenge!!! My great grandmother was a Jonsdotter. Willie’s great grandfather was Larsson.

    1. I guess it does … but they say that geneaology is easy there .. I don’t know. Should have taken back my father’s ‘real’ name, but now it would get too complicated..

      1. It is easy in Sweden because of the good record the churches all kept. But the family trees that are in half circles…………!!!! Those give me a headache. I did a whole family of mine from one. Once you get the hang of it not so bad. just getting to that point is awful!!!

        1. I’ve never done it so I wouldn’t understand the part about half circle. They have excellent archives [S.V.A.R.], but I hate the idea that I’d have to pay so much for something that’s paid for with tax payers money.

  2. More fascinating stuff from you Rebekah!
    In Scotland when a woman marries, she tags her married name onto her maiden name, but as the generations grow, it can get very messy! When I was born I was given my first name, my grandmother’s maiden name and her married name – then my dad’s surname! It was the bane of my life at school, having to write all those names.
    Interesting post!

    1. Wow … yeah, that must get really messy in the long run! Had no idea they did that in Scotland. Many women keep their maiden name and add on their married name. Back home, we had one who divorced, but kept her name as married, re-married and added that name!!

    1. One would think so, but surprisingly enough, Sweden’s ideal if you’re into genealogy. The Church records are extremely well kept and you can easily trace your ancestors back to 1600-something. So I hear … I’ve never been into that.

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