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Ragnar (Old Norse Ragnarr) is a masculine Germanic given name, composed of the Old Norse elements ragin- "counsel" and hari- "army".

Origin and variations[edit]

The Proto-Germanic forms of the compounds are "ragina" (counsel) and "harjaz" or "hariz" (army). The Old High German form is Raginheri, Reginheri, which gave rise to the modern German form Rainer, the French variant Rainier and the Italian variant Ranieri. The Old English form is "Rægenhere" (attested for example in the name of the son of king Rædwald of East-Anglia). The name also existed among the Franks as "Ragnahar" (recorded as Ragnachar in the book "History of the Franks" by Gregory of Tours).

History of usage[edit]

The name is on record since the 9th century, both in Scandinavia and in the Frankish empire; the form Raginari is recorded in a Vandalic (5th or 6th century) graffito in Carthage.[1]

The name was variously latinized as Raganarius, Reginarius, Ragenarius, Raginerus, Ragnerus, Reginherus. The Scandinavian patronymic form is Ragnarsson.

In the modern period, the name was rarely given before the 1880s. It enjoyed a revival in the late 19th and early 20th century, in connection with national romanticism in Scandinavia. The name is now current as Ragnar in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and The Faroe Islands and as Ragner in Denmark. A hypocoristic form used in Sweden is Ragge. The name's popularity in Norway peaked during the 1920s and 1930s, during which time it was given to more than 0.7% of newly born boys, but it has declined ever since the late 1930s, falling below the fraction of 0.1% of given names in the 1970s. The Norwegian statistics office reports 4,652 Norwegian men with the given name in 2015.[2]

In Iceland, the name remains popular, recorded at rank 21 (given to 0.76% of newly born boys) as of 2014. The Icelandic statistics office recorded 1,286 Icelandic men (0.2%) with the given name as of November 2005.[3]

Given name[edit]

See All pages with titles beginning with Ragnar.



Fictional characters[edit]


  1. ^ CIL viii, 22655. Christian Courtois, Les Vandales et l'Afrique (1955), p. 384.
  2. ^ Statistisk sentralbyrå (ssb.no)
  3. ^ Statistics Iceland.

See also[edit]