So, why does this guy wander about with “Hell” as his middle name? Does he realize that his name has a rather particular meaning in English? Is he some kind of degenerate perverted Satan-worshipping maniac? Does he do this just to provoke us?
Well, the answers are in, and they are
- Because it is an old family name. My great grandfather was “forpakter” (kinda like a post-feudal-system serf, with extended rights) of the farm Søre Hell (“Southern Hell”) close to Stjørdal in Norway. Since the name “Bjørn Larsen” is a rather common one in Norway (there are close to 500 of us), I chose to use my grandmother’s maiden name as my middle name, as Norwegian name law allows me to do.
- Yes, I am pretty much aware of it, thank you. One of my problems is that foreigners tend to omit my middle name, causing even more of the “Bjørn Larsen”-related mixups that caused me to take a middle name in the first place. Sigh. Another problem is that the location Hell is pretty much unknown here where I live in south-western Norway, so locals tend to spell it “Helle” instead.
- No. Although I am an atheist, if that is sufficient to enrage you.
- Ahem. No. Not just. But it is kinda fun, though.
So, why is there a location in Norway named Hell? Actually, the name stems from the old Norse word “heller”, denoting a natural cave formed by a slab of lying rock. Such caves were natural places of dwelling and shelter in ancient times, and gave rise to the names of lots of places, most in the form “Helle”, “Helleren” or “Heller” and, in one notable exception, “Hell”.
So there you go. Dull dull dull.
Stavanger, Norway 2000-01-03, Bjørn Hell Larsen