What’s in a Name?

Of the six main characters in Frozen, each of their names has an interpretation and/or an association of a similar sounding name in another language. Christianity is the largest religion in Norway, which is where the film takes place, as well as Denmark, which is south of Norway. This seems to come into play with names because the four human characters each have a name translated from or related to the said religion.

  • Anna means “full of grace.” This is actually very ironic because she is far more bubbly and gawky than graceful. It is also the Latin variant of Hannah.
  • Elsa means “God’s promise.” It is also a short form of Elizabeth within Scandinavia.
  • Kristoff means “bearing Christ.” It is also a short form and variant of Christopher, which is spelled “Kristoffer” in Scandinavia. This reference is made when Anna accidentally calls him “Christopher,” so he corrects her, “It’s Kristoff!”
  • Hans means “God is gracious.” It is also the Danish variant of John. This reference is made when Kristoff questions Anna about Hans, and she answers that his best friend’s name is “probably John.”

On the other hand, Olaf and Sven have names that are not associated with religion, but more so with their native country.

  • Olaf is Norse for “ancestor’s relic.” His name also provides a clue and reference to his purpose as a character of comic relief. If you enunciate the syllables of his name, it can sound like “oh laugh.”
  • Sven is Norse for “boy” or “lad.” His name may tie in to the fact that, as an animal, he is sometimes called “boy” as a nickname, which is what people call their pets (e.g., “boy” or “girl”) in short terms when not calling them by full names.

And always for fun, Hans, Kristoff, Anna, and Sven are named for author Hans Christian Andersen. Say the names quickly in sequence and hear the similarities.



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