Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by osemnais, Jan 25, 2013.
Does anybody know the etymology of the name Sven?
Young man or young warrior from Old Norse.
Yup. It's an Old Swedish and modern Swedish and Danish variant (Svend is more common in Denmark) of the Old Norse sveinn meaning boy, lad, young man, free servant.
English boatswain is from the same root.
In archaic English it is often used to mean shepherd particularly in pastoral poetry. For example "Tell me ye swains that have conquered the fair". When we were at school we thought that this was really funny as the name of the writer of our mathematics textbook was Swain.
Svend (Da.) / svenn (No.) still means 'journeyman' (the degree above apprentice) in Danish and Norwegian.
Separate names with a comma.