How Odd...

Odd is a particularly Norwegian name for boys. It stands to reason that it is not much used in English-speaking countries, but even in Denmark and Sweden it is not much used. The name has very old roots, however. It was used in name combinations for both males and females, probably as a symbolic protection, as names back then were supposed to be strong and protective. To the old Norsemen the word meant spear or any pointy end, and in modern Norwegian it is still understood as the sharp end of something.

Names featuring Odd include: Jorodd (m), Oddbjørg (f), Oddbjørn (m), Oddborg (f), Oddfrid (f), Oddgeir (m), Oddgrim (m) Oddhild (f), Oddlaug (f), Oddleiv, Oddrun (f), Oddvar (m), Oddveig (f), Oddvin (m), Torodd (m)

Many old Odd combinations have been kept in use, but Odd has also become a name on its own, as well as part of numerous new combinations. From the 1920s to the 1940s the name featured in the top 5 lists of the most popular names given to boys, and although it's slightly rarer today, it is still a common name.

Famous Odd people include Odd Nerdrum, an eccentric painter who probably loves every funny bit of his name, Odd Børretzen, an author, poet and speaking singer whose thoughts are odd and delightful, and Odd Einar Dørum, leader of the Norwegian Left party and current minister of justice of the country.

Odd can be a pretty difficult name to have outside of Norway, unless you don't mind being odd, of course.

One man by that name who had moved to America at a young age found it quite insufferable after some time, and after hearing one joke too many he exploded: Enough laughs about my odd name! When I die, my headstone shall be blank - nobody shall joke about my name again!

Sooner rather than later, the man died and his friends rembered his words with deep regret. They buried him and placed a totally blank headstone at his grave.

But whenever anyone walked past it, they would look at the empty headstone and say: "Hmm, that's odd!"