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Rolf is a male given name and a surname. It originates in the Germanic name Hrolf, itself a contraction of Hrodwulf (Rudolf), a conjunction of the stem words hrod ("renown") + wulf ("wolf"). The Old Norse cognate is Hrólfr.

The oldest evidence of the use of the name Rolf in Sweden is an inscription from the 11th century on a runestone in Forsheda, Småland. The name also appears in Orkneyinga saga, where a scion of the jarls of Orkney, Gånge-Rolf, is said to be identical to the viking Rollo who captured Normandy in 911. Rolf is a first name or part of a double name in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Finland and Denmark,[1] and to a lesser extent in Iceland.

In Europe the name Rolf is most popular in Sweden where, as of December 31, 2012, there were 54,737 people with Rolf as their first name or part of a double name. At the same time there were 511 people in Sweden with Rolf as their last name. As a given name, Rolf reached its peak in popularity in the decade of the 1960s.[2]

The name day for Rolf in both Norway and Sweden is August 27.[1] The Day for Rolf on the Finnish-Swedish calendar is March 6.

An alternate but less common variation of Rolf in Norway is Rolv.

Notable Rolfs or Hrolfs include:

Given names[edit]


  • Ernst Rolf (1891–1932), Swedish actor and singer.
  • Tom Rolf (1931–2014), Swedish-born American film editor, son of Ernst Rolf.
  • Ida P. Rolf (1896–1979), American biochemist and founder of Rolfing, a holistic health discipline

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

  • ROLF, a list of acronyms