Old Norse Grímr (m.)

The Old Norse male name Grímr is common across the Scandinavian world, including the Viking diaspora. It is very common in English place-names, though some of these might rather represent an Old English mythological name associated with Woden, and there are other possibilities. For this reason, not all the hybrid names traditionally referred to as ‘Grimston hybrids’ necessarily have an Old Norse element and it is better to refer to them as Toton-hybrids. However, where the name is compounded with an Old Norse element such as -by (as in Grimsby), it is likely that it represents the Old Norse personal name.

In Old Norse, Grímr is related to the word gríma ‘mask’ and mythological texts relate that is one of the god Óðinn’s by-names, deriving from his penchant for travelling about in disguise. It is also a common element in compound personal names, such as Þorgrímr. The father of the eponymous hero of Egils saga was called Skalla-Grímr ‘Bald-Grim’.

Old Norse Name


Anglicised Name




Features in Saga

Íslendingabók. Landnámabók, ed. Jakob Benediktsson. Íslenzk fornrit I. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 1968, throughout.

Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar, ed. Sigurður Nordal. Íslenzk fornrit II. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 1933, throughout.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


male_name, mythology, Norse_mythology, Odin, personal-name

Further information

This object is related to Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Find out about Grimsby, Lincolnshire.


Kenneth Cameron, A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (1998), p. 54.

Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire V, English Place-Name Society Volume LXXIII (1997), pp. 46-48.

Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire IV, English Place-Name Society Volume LXXI (1995), pp. 22, 47.

John Insley, Scandinavian Personal Names in Norfolk. Uppsala: Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi LXII (1994), pp. 144-148.

Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1968), pp. 105-107.

E.H. Lind. Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Supplementband. Oslo: Jacob Dybwads Bokhandel  (1931), col. 306-314.

E.H. Lind, Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Uppsala: A.B. Lundequistska Bokhandel (1915), col. 359-361.