Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Soren

Kierkegaard
A sketch of Søren Kierkegaard by his cousin

Soren (American prn SOR-en) is a Danish and Norwegian boy's name that currently ranks at #656 in the U.S., #279 in France, but not high in Denmark or Norway (and may in fact be considered dated there). It is a variant of Severus, meaning "stern." The correct Danish/Norwegian spelling is Søren and pronounced SUU-ren, while Sören is the German and Swedish spelling and pronounced SIR-in. Severin is another variant found in France, Germany and Sweden - and is also the name of Saint Severin of Cologne. The female forms are Severina and Severa.

The most famous namesake is 19th century philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Søren Kierkegaard who is thought to be linked to existentialism. More recently there is an American fencer named Soren Thompson, former Danish footballer Soren Andersen, American inventor Soren Sorensen Adams and several others. New Zealand singer Anika Moa recently welcomed baby Soren Huia with partner Natasha.

In fiction the name can be found on characters in The Matrix Reloaded film, Charlie and Lola by Lauren Child, The Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky, and the Underworld film series.

There is also the Søren Gyldendal prize, which is a Danish literary award named for a bookstore owner born in 1742 who founded Denmark's largest publishing house.

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