Word/nameOld Norse
MeaningYoung man
young warrior
Other names
Variant form(s)Svend, Svein, Sveinn
Related namesStephen, Svenja (female form)

Sven (in Norwegian and Danish, also Svend and also in Norwegian most commonly Svein) is a Scandinavian first name which is also used in the Low Countries and German-speaking countries. The name itself is Old Norse for "young man" or "young warrior". The original spelling in Old Norse was sveinn (whence English swain, "servant boy"). Over the centuries, many northern European rulers have carried the name including Sweyn I of Denmark (Sven Gabelbart). An old legend relates the pagan king Blot-Sven ordered the execution of the Anglo-Saxon monk Saint Eskil.

In medieval Swedish, "sven" (or "sven av vapen" (sven of arms)) is a term for squire. The female equivalent, Svenja, though seemingly Dutch and Scandinavian, is not common anywhere outside of German-speaking countries. Sven can also be spelled with W, Swen, but is pronounced as Sven.

The Icelandic and Faroese version of Sven/Svend is Sveinn (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈsveitn̥]).

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