Gender: Masculine
Origin: Old Norse
Meaning: “ancestor’s descendant.”

The name is derived from the Old Norse Áleifr, which is composed of the elements, anu meaning, “ancestor” and leifr meaning, “heir; descendant.”

The name was extremely common throughout Scandinavia in the early Middle Ages, and its popularity was sparked due to the fame of King Olaf II, who was canonized a saint. He is believed to be responsible for Norway’s conversion to Christianity. He is still regarded as a sort of national folk hero and is considered the patron saint of Norway.

The name was borne by a few other Norwegian kings.

Currently, its offshoot of Ola, is the 65th most popular male name in Norway, (2009). His other forms are ranked as follows:

  • Olav # 77 (Norway, 2009)
  • Ole # 33 (Norway, 2009)
  • Olle # 35 (Sweden, 2009)

Other forms of the name include:

  • Olaf (Danish/German/Polish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Olai/Olaj (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Olau (Danish)
  • Olav (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Oluf (Danish)
  • Lávus (Faroese)
  • Ólavur (Faroese)
  • Olev (Estonian)
  • Olavi (Finnish/Estonian)
  • Olli (Finnish)
  • Oola (Finnish)
  • Uolevi (Finnish)
  • Ólafur (Icelandic)
  • Óli (Icelandic)
  • Amhlaoibh (Irish-Gaelic)
  • Olaus/Olavus (Latin)
  • Olafs/Olavs (Latvian)
  • Ulafs (Latvian)
  • Ola (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Olavius/Olavus (Norwegian)
  • Ole (Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Áleifr/Óláfr (Old Norse)
  • Olavo (Portuguese)
  • Olá (Sami)
  • Olen (Sami)
  • Olet (Sami)
  • Ovlá/Ovllá (Sami)
  • Ovlin (Sami)
  • Amhlaidh (Scots-Gaelic)
  • Aulay (Scottish)
  • Olagus (Swedish)
  • Olle (Swedish)
  • Olof (Swedish)
  • Olov (Swedish)

Feminine forms include:

  • Olava (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Olea (Danish/Norwegian)
  • Oluffa/Olufine (Danish/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Óluva (Faroese)
  • Óla (Icelandic)
  • Ólafía (Icelandic)
  • Ólafína (Icelandic)
  • Ólavía (Icelandic)
  • Lava (Norwegian)
  • Lavine (Norwegian)
  • Olafine (Norwegian)
  • Olave (Norwegian)
  • Olavia (Norwegian)
  • Olavine/Olevine (Norwegian)
  • Olemine (Norwegian)
  • Oletta/Olette (Norwegian)
  • Olia (Norwegian)
  • Olsine (Norwegian)
  • Olávia (Portuguese)
  • Olova/Oluva (Swedish)

Common Finnish diminutives are Laaku, Lavi, Olkki, Olkku, Uokke and Uokki.

The designated name-days are February 15 and July 29.


  1. http://www.behindthename.com/name/olaf
  2. http://www.nordicnames.de/wiki/Olaf_m
  3. http://www.scb.se/
  4. http://www.dst.dk/Statistik/Navne.aspx
  5. http://www.ssb.no/navn/

5 thoughts on “Olaf

  1. Aulay, Olia, and Olemine are really intriguing!

    The Portuguese feminine form is Olávia. It features in the Portuguese classic book “The Maias”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s