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Surname Þorkell - Meaning and Origin

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Þorkell: What does the surname Þorkell mean?

The last name "Þorkell" is of Norse origin. Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements from about the 7th to the 15th centuries. In a Norse context, Þorkell is a personal name rather than a last name, derived from the Old Norse Þórkell, which signifies to 'Thor's kettle' or 'Thor's cauldron'. Here, 'Thor' refers to the Norse god of thunder, while 'kettle' or 'cauldron' symbolizes a tool used in rituals. Therefore, the name Þorkell can be interpreted as a ritual tool of Thor or someone dedicated to Thor. Today this name is quite popular in countries with strong Norse or Scandinavian ties, including Iceland and Denmark.

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Þorkell: Where does the name Þorkell come from?

The last name Þorkell is most commonly associated with Iceland. Icelandic naming conventions follow a patronymic system, such that last names are a combination of the father’s first name and the suffix “son” for a son or “dottir” for a daughter. Therefore, the last name Þorkell would indicate a person whose father’s first name is Þorkell.

In Iceland, the last name Þorkell is still quite common. As of 2017, it ranked somewhere around the 18th most common surname in the country. It is estimated that anywhere between seven and eight thousand people living in Iceland today carry that name, or some variation of it.

Outside of Iceland, the last name is much less common. However, it can be found in other Scandinavian countries, particularly the Faroe Islands and Sweden. In the United States, it is somewhat rare, though there are some individuals with this last name, primarily in the new England region.

As a result of movements over time, it is likely that people with the last name Þorkell, or some variation of it, can be found living in places around the world today. Still, the geographic concentration of this name is primarily in Iceland and other Nordic countries.

Variations of the surname Þorkell

The Icelandic surname Þorkell can take on several variants, spellings, and related surnames that all hold the same origin. Generally, the variants in spelling are simply variations of the vowel structure and emphasis; Þorkell, Thorkell, and Thórkell are the most common.

The English spelling of the surname is usually Thorkel, Thorkelson, or Thorkelle. The Norwegian spelling would be Torkel, Torkil, or Torkill. In Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, the common spellings are Torgil, Torkel, and Torkelson. In Denmark, the surname is referred to as Thorkil or Thorkild.

Other related surnames with similar origins are Þórisson and Tómasson. As far as other surnames related to Þorkell, the most common include Thor, Tore, Tor, Thorsen, Torstensen, and Thorsson, as well as Thorbjørn, Thórsson, and Tórsson. These surnames all have ties to Þorkell and hold a common patriarchal root.

Generally, the surnames Þorkell, Thorkell, Þórisson, Tómasson, Thorkelson, Thórsson, Tórsson, Thor, Thorkil, Tor, Thorstensen, Tore, Torgil, Thorsson, Thorbjørn, Torkel, and Torkelson are all variants, spellings, and related surnames to Þorkell. The common origin of these names is Norse, and they could have originated in Iceland or been brough by Scandinavians to other regions.

Famous people with the name Þorkell

  • Guðmundur Þorkell Jónsson, an Icelandic author and playwright.
  • Friðrik Þorkell Sigurðsson, the leader of Píratar, an Icelandic political party.
  • Haraldur Þorkell Jónsson, a prominent Icelandic classical composer.
  • Gísli Þorkell Friðriksson, a former Icelandic Prime Minister and leader of the Independence Party.
  • Kjartan Þorkelsson, an Icelandic singer and songwriter.
  • Jóhann Þorkell Leósson, a former Icelandic footballer.
  • Þorkell Atlason, a member of the Icelandic Parliament from the Social Democratic Alliance.
  • Þórður Þorkell Jónsson, a Icelandic columnist and journalist.
  • Jakob Þorkell Sigurðsson, an Icelandic Businessman and Entrepreneur.
  • Ragnar Þorkell Stefánsson, a former Icelandic Olympic swimmer.

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