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Swedish town names that ends with -red

Have you ever driven through southern Sweden and wondered why there are so many town names with the -red ending? Ullared is by far not the only one.

Town names that ends with -red are most common in Götaland, which is the southern part of Sweden. Pretty much anything south of Vänern – Sweden’s largest lake. The word red comes from an old Swedish word rydh or even older Norse “riudh”, which was a description for a clearing….an open area, such as used for cattle grazing or development near a forest. Some names go back to the viking era, but most of them are from the later half of the middle ages. Although the names are found all across southern Sweden, most of them are in the provinces of Halland, Småland, and Västergötland. It’s also common that the first part of the town name is the name of a person, such as in Ullared….an open area named by/after Ulla.

Image credit to Kultur i Natur

16 November, 2022