Paulsen is a Danish and Norwegian patronymic surname, from the given name Paul prefix, of Latin origin, itself derived from Paulus, meaning "small". There are over 200 varied spellings of the surname, including the English language version, Paulson. While Paulsen is a common surname, it is rare as a given name. People with the name Paulsen include:

  • August Paulsen (1871–1927), Danish American businessman
  • Axel Paulsen (1855–1938), Norwegian figure skater
  • Dave Paulsen, American basketball coach
  • David Paulsen, American television screenwriter and producer
  • Edvin Paulsen (1889–1963), Norwegian gymnast
  • Eric Paulsen, American anchorman
  • Frederik Paulsen Sr (born 1909), Medical Doctor and the founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals
  • Frederik Paulsen Jr (born 1950), established businessman, academic, philanthropist, explorer and son of the founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals
  • Fridtjof Paulsen (1895–1988), Norwegian speed skater
  • Friedrich Paulsen (1846–1908), German philosopher
  • Gary Paulsen (born 1939), American writer
  • Harald Paulsen (1895–1954), German actor
  • Harold Paulsen, American collegiate ice hockey player
  • Jan Paulsen (born 1935), President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
  • Kai Paulsen (1947–2002), Norwegian journalist
  • Kraig Paulsen, American State Representative in Iowa
  • Leif Otto Paulsen, Norwegian football midfielder
  • Lisa Paulsen, American CEO, President of the Entertainment Industry Foundation
  • Liv Paulsen (1925–2001), Norwegian sprinter and shot putter
  • Louis Paulsen (1833–1891), German chess player
  • Marianne Paulsen, Norwegian football defender
  • Marit Paulsen (born 1939), Swedish politician
  • Pat Paulsen (1927–1997), American comedian
  • Rob Paulsen (born 1956), American voice actor
  • Erik Paulsen (born 1965), US Representative from Minnesota
  • Tiffany Paulsen, Canadian politician

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