For being an area in the outskirts of Stockholm, there is oddly enough not that much written about Lappkärrsberget and its etymology. When diving into the existing research, it quickly became clear that there is no consensus within the research community about where the name comes from.
Among the diverging theories on the origins of the name there is a theory about hunting flags called “varglappar” used in the 17th century to round up the wolf pack and force them in the direction of the hunters. Djurgården were used as royal hunting grounds back then, and wolf hunts were common. Imaginative as they might seem, those flags are not likely to be the cause of the name according to most researchers we spoke to. Another theory claims the name stems from the patchy shape of the swamp Lappkärret (which by accident was transformed into a lake in the 1960s when the student housing was built). Yet another group of researchers and archaeologists claim the name comes from Sámi settlements in the area, which if it is the reason behind the name, would suggest a name change might be in order. “Lapp” is an older, derogatory name for Sámi people given by the Swedish speaking community, and continued use might for this reason be problematic. The earliest documented use of the name is in the late 1500s.
To date, no one knows for sure where the name Lappkärrsberget comes from. Throughout the project, we used these different theories as starting points for our own interdisciplinary research process. (References at bottom of post.)
Nordin, Jonas, M. et al, “Härdar och husgrunder: arkeologi i det samiska kulturlandskapet i Syd- och Mellansverige”, META, 2021, pp. 89-112.
Nordin, Jonas, M., “Samer i imperiets mitt: Samiskt liv i det tidigmoderna Stockholm – en glömd historia”, Tillfälliga stockholmare : människor och möten under 600 år, Götlind, Anna & Lamberg, Marko (eds.), Stockholmia förlag, Stockholm, 2017, pp. 45-71.
Tollin, Clas, Stockholm, Klara kloster och Kungsladugården: bebyggelseutvecklingen runt Mälarens utlopp från 900 till omkring 1600, med särskild hänsyn till förhållandena i Nationalstadsparken, Kungl. Vitterhets historie- och antikvitetsakademien, Stockholm, 2017, p. 68.