Old Norse Gunnvǫr (f.)

Gunnvǫr is a common name throughout the Norse world. It is very frequent in Norway and Denmark where it is also found in place-names and in Sweden it is found in several runic inscriptions. In Landnámabók ‘The Book of Settlements’, a Gunnvǫr is the daughter of one of the settlers of Iceland. Additionally, it is found in early Lincolnshire documents (c. 1200) and occurs in Domesday book for Yorkshire. The name also occurs in an inscription on an eleventh-century sundial in St Bartholomew’s Church, Aldbrough, East Yorkshire, together with the male name Ulf. 

The second wife of Richard I is referred to as Gonnor/Gunnor/Gunwera in Norman sources and there are other bearers of the name in Normandy.

Gunnvǫr is a Old Norse compound name formed from Gunn- from  gunnr, guðr ‘battle’ and –vǫr, the feminine form corresponding to -varr  which is either derived from the adjective varr ‘aware’ or the noun *warjaʀ ‘protector’.


Old Norse Name


Anglicised Name




Features in Saga

Íslendingabók. Landnámabók, ed. Jakob Benediktsson. Íslenzk fornrit I. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 1968, chs 21, 35, 374.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


East_Yorkshire, female_name, inscription, personal-name

Further information


Lena Peterson, Nordiskt runnamnslexikon: Femte, reviderade utgåvan. Uppsala: Institutet för språk och folkminnen (2007), p. 94.

Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture

Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1968), pp. 118-119, 344, 351-352.

E.H. Lind, Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Uppsala: A.B. Lundequistska Bokhandel (1915), col. 424-426.