Not about the sandwiches, this time
May 22, 2011 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Question about the Swedish surname Ander, inspired by the Henning Mankell novel The Fifth Woman (spoilers, I guess for those who really care about these kinds of things, but not really)

In this novel, the murderer has the surname Ander. Kurt Wallander, the main character, comments to himself, "Ander was an unusual surname. It figured in the history of Swedish crime, although he couldn't recall how." And then that thread is dropped.

I tried to google this name and its possible meaning, but haven't found anything, mostly because my searches tend to pull up the name "Anders."

Does anyone know if this line is a reference to a real person, and who it might be? Also, is there any significance to the fact that Wallander's last name contains "Ander"?
posted by Ideal Impulse to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Last guy executed in Sweden was named Ander.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:24 PM on May 22, 2011

Best answer: Johan Alfred Ander.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you! I'll be bringing this up in the next inevitable "How fast has your question been answered?" Meta thread.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 12:28 PM on May 22, 2011

I used "Ander" + "Swedish crime" as the search term.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:38 PM on May 22, 2011

Response by poster: Baffling--I did, too, and at least the first 8 pages of results contain nothing related to that story.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 12:45 PM on May 22, 2011

According to Statistics Sweden, 460 people in Sweden have Ander as their surname.

Several members of the Ander family (Google translated page) own a chain of regional and local newspapers.

There is no connection between the surnames Ander and Wallander, many Swedish surnames have the suffix "-ander".
posted by iviken at 2:44 AM on May 23, 2011

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