Humanities › History & Culture 50 Most Common Danish Last Names and Their Meanings Share Flipboard Email Print History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated January 27, 2019 Jensen, Nielsen, Hansen, Pedersen, Andersen, are you one of the millions of people sporting one of these top common last names from Denmark? The following list of the most commonly occurring Danish surnames includes details on each last name's origin and meaning. It's interesting to note that about 4.6% of all Danes living in Denmark today have the Jensen surname and about 1/3 of the entire population of Denmark carries one of the top 15 surnames from this list. The majority of Danish last names are based on patronymics, so the first surname on the list that doesn't end in -sen (son of) is Møller, all the way down at #19. Those which aren't patronymics derive mainly from nicknames, geographic features, or occupations. These common Danish last names are the most popular surnames in use in Denmark today, from a list compiled annually by Danmarks Statistik from the Central Person Register (CPR). Population numbers come from statistics published 1 January 2015. 01 of 50 JENSEN Soren Hald/Getty Images Population: 258,203Jensen is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Jens." Jensen is a short form of the Old French Jehan, one of several variations of Johannes or John. 02 of 50 NIELSEN Caiaimage/Robert Daly/Getty Images Population: 258,195A patronymic surname meaning "son of Niels." The given name Niels is the Danish version of the Greek given name Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), or Nicholas, meaning "victory of the people." 03 of 50 HANSEN Brandon Tabiolo/Getty Images Population: 216,007 This patronymic surname of Danish, Norwegian and Dutch origin means "son of Hans." The given name Hans is a German, Dutch and Scandinavian short form of Johannes, meaning "gift of God." 04 of 50 PEDERSEN Alex Iskanderian/EyeEm/Getty Images Population: 162,865A Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname meaning "son of Peder." The given name Peter means "stone or rock." See also the surname PETERSEN/PETERSON. 05 of 50 ANDERSEN Mikael Andersson/Getty Images Population: 159,085A Danish or Norwegian patronymic surname meaning "son of Anders," a given name which derives from the Greek name Ανδρέας (Andreas), similar to the English name Andrew, meaning "manly, masculine." 06 of 50 CHRISTENSEN cotesebastien/Getty Images Population: 119,161Another name of Danish or Norwegian origin based on patronymics, Christensen means "son of Christen," a common Danish variant of the given name Christian. 07 of 50 LARSEN Ulf Boettcher/LOOK-foto/Getty Images Population: 115,883A Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname meaning "son of Lars," a short form of the given name Laurentius, meaning "crowned with laurel." 08 of 50 SØRENSEN Holloway/Getty Images Population: 110,951This Scandinavian surname of Danish and Norwegian origin means "son of Soren," a given name derived from the Latin name Severus, meaning "stern." 09 of 50 RASMUSSEN Getty Images News Population: 94,535Also of Danish and Norwegian origin, the common last name Rasmussen or Rasmusen is a patronymic name meaning "son of Rasmus," short for "Erasmus." 10 of 50 JØRGENSEN Cultura RM Exclusive/Flynn Larsen/Getty Images Population: 88,269A name of Danish, Norwegian and German origin (Jörgensen), this common patronymic surname means "son of Jørgen," a Danish version of the Greek Γεώργιος (Geōrgios), or English name George, meaning "farmer or earth worker." 11 of 50 PETERSEN Population: 80,323With the "t" spelling, the last name Petersen may be of Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, or North German origin. It's a patronymic surname meaning "son of Peter." See also PEDERSEN. 12 of 50 MADSEN Population: 64,215A patronymic surname of Danish and Norwegian origin, meaning "son of Mads," a Danish pet form of the given name Mathias, or Matthew. 13 of 50 KRISTENSEN Population: 60.595This variant spelling of the common Danish surname CHRISTENSEN is a patronymic name meaning "son of Kristen." 14 of 50 OLSEN Population: 48,126This common patronymic name of Danish and Norwegian origin translates as "son of Ole," from the given names Ole, Olaf, or Olav. 15 of 50 THOMSEN Population: 39,223A Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Tom" or "son of Thomas," a given name derived from the Aramaic תום or Tôm, meaning "twin." 16 of 50 CHRISTIANSEN Population: 36,997A patronymic surname of Danish and Norwegian origin, meaning "son of Christian." While it is the 16th most common surname in Denmark, it is shared by less than 1% of the population. 17 of 50 POULSEN Population: 32,095A Danish patronymic surname that translates as "son of Poul," a Danish version of the given name Paul. Sometimes seen spelled as Paulsen, but much less common. 18 of 50 JOHANSEN Population: 31,151Another one of the surnames that derives from a variant of John, meaning "gift of God, this patronymic surname of Danish and Norwegian origin translates directly as "son of Johan." 19 of 50 MØLLER Population: 30,157The most common Danish surname that is not derived from patronymics, the Danish Møller is an occupational name for "miller." See also MILLER and ÖLLER. 20 of 50 MORTENSEN Population: 29,401A Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname meaning "son of Morten." 21 of 50 KNUDSEN Population: 29,283This patronymic surname of Danish, Norwegian, and German origin means "son of Knud," a given name which derives from the Old Norse knútr meaning "knot." 22 of 50 JAKOBSEN Population: 28,163A Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname which translates as "son of Jacob." The "k" spelling of this surname is very slightly more common in Denmark. 23 of 50 JACOBSEN Population: 24,414A variant spelling of JAKOBSEN (#22). The "c" spelling is more common than the "k" in Norway and other parts of the world. 24 of 50 MIKKELSEN Population: 22,708"Son of Mikkel," or Michael, is the translation of this common surname of Danish and Norwegian origin. 25 of 50 OLESEN Population: 22,535A variant spelling of OLSEN (#14), this surname also means "son of Ole." 26 of 50 FREDERIKSEN Population: 20,235A Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Frederik." The Norwegian version of this last name is usually spelled FREDRIKSEN (without the "e"), while the common Swedish variant is FREDRIKSSON. 27 of 50 LAURSEN Population: 18,311A variation on LARSEN (#7), this Danish and Norwegian patronymic last name translates as "son of Laurs." 28 of 50 HENRIKSEN Population: 17,404Son of Henrik. A Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname derived from the given name, Henrik, a variant of Henry. 29 of 50 LUND Population: 17,268A common topographic surname of primarily Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, and English origins for someone who lived by a grove. From the word lund, meaning "grove," derived from the Old Norse lundr. 30 of 50 HOLM Population: 15,846Holm is most often a topographic last name of Northern English and Scandinavian origins meaning "small island," from the Old Norse word holmr. 31 of 50 SCHMIDT Population: 15,813A Danish and German occupational surname for blacksmith or metal worker. See also the English surname SMITH. 32 of 50 ERIKSEN Population: 14,928A Norwegian or Danish patronymic name from the personal or first name Erik, derived from the Old Norse Eiríkr, meaning "eternal ruler." 33 of 50 KRISTIANSEN Population: 13,933A patronymic surname of Danish and Norwegian origin, meaning "son of Kristian." 34 of 50 SIMONSEN Population: 13,165"Son of Simon," from the suffix -sen, meaning "son of" and the given name Simon, meaning "hearkening or listening."This last name may be of North German, Danish or Norwegian origin. 35 of 50 CLAUSEN Population: 12,977This Danish patronymic surname means "child of Claus." The given name Claus is a German form of the Greek Νικόλαος (Nikolaos), or Nicholas, meaning "victory of the people." 36 of 50 SVENDSEN Population: 11,686This Danish and Norwegian patronymic name means "son of Sven," a given name derived from the Old Norse Sveinn, originally a meaning "boy" or "servant." 37 of 50 ANDREASEN Population: 11,636"Son of Andreas," derived from the given name Andreas or Andrew, meaning "manly" or "masculine. Of Danish, Norwegian and North German origin. 38 of 50 IVERSEN Population: 10,564This Norwegian and Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Iver" derives from the given name Iver, meaning "archer." 39 of 50 ØSTERGAARD Population: 10,468This Danish habitational or topographical surname means "east of the farm" from the Danish øster, meaning "eastern" and gård, meaning farmstead." 40 of 50 JEPPESEN Population: 9,874A Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Jeppe," from the personal name Jeppe, a Danish form of Jacob, meaning "supplanter." 41 of 50 VESTERGAARD Population: 9,428This Danish topographical surname means "west of the farm," from the Danish vester, meaning "western" and gård, meaning farmstead." 42 of 50 NISSEN Population: 9,231A Danish patronymic surname which translates as "son of Nis," a Danish short form of the given name Nicholas, meaning "victory of the people." 43 of 50 LAURIDSEN Population: 9,202A Norwegian and Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Laurids," a Danish form of Laurentius, or Lawrence, meaning "from Laurentum" (a city near Rome) or "laurelled." 44 of 50 KJÆR Population: 9,086A topographical surname of Danish origin, meaning "carr" or "fen," marshy areas of low, wetland. 45 of 50 JESPERSEN Population: 8,944A Danish and North German patronymic surname from the given name Jesper, a Danish form of Jasper or Kasper, meaning "keeper of treasure." 46 of 50 MOGENSEN Population: 8,867This Danish and Norwegian patronymic name means "son of Mogens," a Danish form of the given name Magnus meaning "great." 47 of 50 NORGAARD Population: 8,831A Danish habitational surname meaning "north farm," from nord or "north" and gård or "farm." 48 of 50 JEPSEN Population: 8,590A Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Jep," a Danish form of the personal name Jacob, meaning "supplanter." 49 of 50 FRANDSEN Population: 8,502A Danish patronymic surname meaning "son of Frands," a Danish variant of the personal name Frans or Franz. From the Latin Franciscus, or Francis, which means "Frenchman." 50 of 50 SØNDERGAARD Population: 8,023A habitational surname meaning "southern farm," from the Danish sønder or "southern" and gård or "farm."