Ørsted is a Danish word with several different meanings:

The places

Ørsted is the name of several Danish villages, none of which are much known beyond their local areas.

The people

It is also the name of at least one Danish family, possibly several. Almost certainly named after one or more of those villages.

Some of the people named Ørsted have earned international fame. Most of all Hans Christian Ørsted, who would easily qualify for a list of Great Danes. He was not only arguably the greatest Danish scientist, but also in a much wider context a giant in Danish cultural history.

Also worthy of mentioning are jazz musician Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and bicycle track racer Hans-Henrik Ørsted.

I do not know for certain whether any of said people are related.

The measuring unit

Ørsted, or Oersted, is a unit for magnetizing field. (This is to my best knowledge the only example of Ørsted and Oersted being interchangeable words.)

The thingy

Lastly, Ørsted is the name of Denmark's first satellite, named after Hans Christian Ørsted.


There are three problems for foreigners in this Danish name:

  • The vowel sound in the beginning. Very much like German ö or French œ. Or the English er sound.
  • The r. It should be pronounced, not mute.
  • The d. Ideally this should be the Danish "soft" d which is very much the same as the English th in "with". But a "hard" d will do.

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