Fewer and fewer are given names which contain the letter ‘Å’

The Letter ÅThe Letter Å.Photo: Erik Johansen / NTB scanpix

This year we celebrate a hundred year centenary of Norwegian spelling revision, but the names spelled with a Nordic character are losing ground. It was a century ago that a royal decree made sure that the letter ‘Å’ replaced ‘Aa’ in Norwegian spelling.

Although the letter is to be found in many words, names containing the letter ‘Å’ have experienced an almost continuous decline for 90 years, it emerges from the name index compiled by Statistics Norway (SSB).

For both boys’ and girls’ names, it was during the period immediately after 1917 that names containing ‘Å’ reached a zenith.

For boys in particular, the names Håkon and Kåre were very popular, but also Pål, Bård and Åsmund were widely used. For girls, however, there is one name that stands out:

‘There are no other girls’ names with ‘Å’ that come close to the popularity of Åse says name expert, Jørgen Ouren of SSB, on the name that had its great heyday in the 1930s.

But for both boys and girls, names that contained ‘Å’ had already begun their long decline by the 1930s. Pål, Håvard and Håkon had a temporary upsurge in the 70s, but the downward trend persists to this day.

‘It’s probably to do with some parents being reluctant to give their child a name that is hard to pronounce in English’ thinks Jørgen Ouren.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today