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Surname Alf - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'A'

Alf: What does the surname Alf mean?

The last name Alf is of Scandinavian origin and is widely used in Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. The word itself derives from Old Norse "alfr," meaning "elf" or "magical being." This was often used in personal names during the Viking Age and later in Scandinavian folklore to reflect connections with the supernatural. As a surname, it might have begun as a nickname for someone thought to possess supernatural qualities or skills. Alternatively, it could have been bestowed as a first name due to ancient family beliefs or traditions about elves or in honor of the mythological beings, and eventually became a surname. Please note that meanings can vary across cultures and geographical regions, therefore there may be different interpretations.

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Alf: Where does the name Alf come from?

The last name Alf is a popular Scandinavian (specifically Norwegian) surname and is thus most common today in countries with a high population of Norwegian-descended people, such as Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. It is also common in larger Scandinavian diaspora countries, such as the United States (with the highest number of Norway-born emigrants of any country), Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The alphaDictionary website states that the surname Alf is derived from the Old Norse first name Alf, a form of Áli, meaning “Descendant of Olaf”. Olaf is a very common name in Scandinavia. The Old Norse Olaf was adapted to the Middle English version of Áli and also Aluf. In the modern Norwegian language, Olaf is still in use and is written as Olav.

Alf is also a surname that is common in parts of Africa, such as Egypt and Sudan, as well as countries such as India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. It is believed that the surname in these countries originated in Scandinavia, too.

In the United States, the last name Alf is most prevalent in Wisconsin. The Social Security Administration’s death records report that in 2018 Alf was the 7,128th most popular last name in the United States. According to Statistics Norway, Alf was the 1843rd most popular last name in Norway in 2017, with 5,013 individuals bearing the surname at the time.

Variations of the surname Alf

The surname Alf is of German origin and originates from the medieval German given name "Alf" or "Adelf". It is derived from the Old German name Aedelfried, meaning "noble peace". Variants of the surname Alf include Aalfs, Ales, Alls, Ahlfs, Olfs and Ulfs. All of these surnames are derived from the same Old German name Aedelfried.

The surname Alf is spelled within various European countries in a vast number of ways, such as, Aelf, Aelffen, Alffen, Awf, Oelv, Aalffas, Oloffson, Alfson, Alfsen, Oelffson and Alfon. Similarly, in America a variety of different spellings exist such as Off, Offen, Oppen, Ophalen, Ealf and Aelph.

The variations of the surname Alf also extend to surnames with the same origin such as Elff, Elf, Uhlf, Hullf, Ahl, Auleff, Ahlsn, Alfke, Oelfke and Uhlfelder. Other surnames of the same origin include Halff, Alfes, Aulff, Alffa, Aulfa, Aalfe, Aulf, Ahlf, Halv, Oelff and Halffman.

The origin of the name Alf can be traced to the 12th Century in the Maine and Westphalia districts of the Lower Saxony region in Germany. It is still found today amongst German and Dutch immigrants in America.

Famous people with the name Alf

  • Matt Alf, professional rugby coach.
  • Bent Holm Alf, Danish actor and theatre director.
  • Kirsten Alf, Danish TV presenter and radio host.
  • Niels Alf Larsen, Danish industrial designer.
  • Ib Alf Thomsen, Danish long-distance runner.
  • Max von Alf, Austrian-born German actor.
  • Thomas Neumann Alf, German combustion physicist.
  • Jessica Alf, Swedish model.
  • Amber Alf, American beauty entrepreneur.
  • Joe Alf, Canadian actor.
  • Willy Alf, Swedish painter.
  • Andrea Alf, Spanish musician.
  • Bruce Alf, professional golfer.
  • Mikkel Alf, Danish football player.
  • Mark Alf, British musician.
  • Kristoffer Alf, Norwegian football player.
  • Gigi Alf, Brazilian fashion designer.
  • John Alf, Norwegian artist.
  • Sofia Alf, Mexican actor and singer.
  • Ane Marie Alf, Danish actress.

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