Old Norse Hrafn (m.)

The Old Norse male name Hrafn is found throughout Scandinavia, but is particularly common in Iceland. It means ‘raven’ and belongs to a common group of male names which refer to animals, such as Arn ‘eagle’, Björn ‘bear’, Ulfr ‘wolf’. It is frequently compounded in personal names with other elements, as seen in the Old Norse personal name Hrafnkell, and others.

When found in place-names, it is possible that it represents either the Old Norse common noun hrafn ‘raven’ or the Old English common noun hræfn ‘raven’, rather than a personal name. It may also represent a possible Old English personal name HræfnHrafn is seen in the first element of the minor place name Ranskill in the Bassetlaw Wapentake of Nottinghamshire.

Old Norse Name


Anglicised Name




Features in Saga

Borgfirðinga sǫgur, eds Sigurður Nordal and Guðni Jónsson. Íslenzk fornrit III. Reykjavík: Hið íslenzka fornritafélag, 1938, chs 1,5, 9-13.


Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


bird, male_name, personal-name

Further information

This object is related to Ranskill, Nottinghamshire.
Find out about Ranskill, Nottinghamshire.


Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1968), pp. 210-212.

J.E.B. Gover, Allen Mawer and F.M. Stenton, The Place-Names of Nottinghamshire. English Place-Name Society Volume XVII (1940), p. 305.

E.H. Lind. Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Supplementband. Oslo: Jacob Dybwads Bokhandel  (1931), col. 443-449.

E. H. Lind, Norsk-isländska dopnamn ock fingerade namn från medeltiden. Uppsala: A.B. Lundequistska Bokhandel (1915), col.564-566.