Many people wonder if the name of the island is spelled Ven or Hven. The official spelling of the island of Hven is actually spelled Ven without the ”H”. However, this hasn’t always been the case. The island has had many names with many forms of spelling and pronunciation through history.
An island with many names
In the Danish census book from the 13th century the island was named “Hwaithsen”. However, the island was also named “Husethen”, “W”ethen”, “Hwrethen” and “Hwacheen” in other writings during the 13th century. The name “Hven” was first written down in the 17th century, but the island was still mentioned in many different forms during that time.
The Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu named it “Insula Hvæna sive Venusia” (the island of Hvæna or Venusia) on one of his maps of Hven from the 17th century. It took some time until the naming of the island was consistent. From the year 1860 to 1930s the spelling “Hven” was consistently used. After the 1930s the newer spelling “Ven” began to be more commonly used.
Today’s official spelling “Ven” comes from a spelling reform that was decided by the Swedish government in 1906, which among other things led to words that started with Hv- was changed to V- instead. Therefore, the Swedish spelling of the island was changed from Hven to Ven.
However, the spelling of the island’s name was still spelled Hven until 1959. Which was the year the island lost its status as an independent municipality and became a part of Landskrona municipality instead, after that the official spelling was changed to Ven. Something that wasn’t very popular among many islanders. Some islanders have since then been fighting to get the old spelling back as an official spelling, but the government has rejected their wishes.
So there you have it. The island’s name is officially spelled Ven in Sweden. In other countries such as Denmark the old spelling Hven is still more commonly used. No matter which form you like best, they are both correct, but Hven is actually more distinguishing.
If you are interested in more history of when read the article The history of Hven’s three harbours.
Source: Lantmäteriet’s historical map archive.