Saltsjöqvarn, 79 & Park and Nockebyn: Names and name trends in a growing Stockholm

By Staffan Nyström

In: Ortnamnssällskapets i Uppsala årsskrift 2019


The population of the Stockholm region is growing rapidly. Since the turn of the millennium, the city of Stockholm alone has gained over 200,000 new inhabitants. As a consequence, the infrastructure and physical layout of the city are being affected by new or altered streets, roads, squares, parks, buildings, residential areas, shopping centres, stations and so on. This in turn creates a need for new or changed place-names. Streets, blocks etc. in Stockholm are given official names on the basis of proposals from the city’s Name Drafting Committee – a group of experts – and decisions by its elected policymaking bodies. Official name givers are required to comply with the provisions of the Historic Environment Act concerning ‘good place-name practice’. In parallel with this regulated process, however, many unofficial names are also coined, for example by property developers, companies, estate agents and a variety of commercial interests. Such names sometimes compete with the official ones, while at other times they are given to things that do not, or should not even, have an official name. In this article, the author comments on a number of names and naming trends reflecting official, but above all unofficial, naming in Stockholm today. The three names in the title are examples of three such trends: names with archaic spellings, English names, and nostalgic, rural-sounding names.