According to census details, in America alone, there are 11 million people claiming to have Scandinavian heritage only in the USA. If you too have Scandinavian ancestry, you might be inspired to give your child a name to reflect this. Read more about interesting Scandinavian names for your baby.
You can choose a traditional Scandi name that has descended from old Norse. Many of the Viking names are very beautiful, and translate without the special character letters. Or you might want to choose a more modern name for your baby, but with a Scandinavian twist on the spelling to hint at your heritage. Royal baby names are also popular in Norway, Denmark and Sweden, and perfect for a new baby.
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Popular modern names
Many of the popular modern names are used worldwide. Magnus, Alexander and Frederik are in the Danish top ten for boys, and Freja, Josefine and Ida are popular for girls. In Norway, you will find Filip, Jakob (pronounced ya-cob) and Oskar, as well as Ingrid, Maja and Linnea for girls. Axel and Elias are in the Swedish top ten for boys, and for girls you will find Ebba, Alva and Wilma. Names used for the Scandinavian royal family are also very popular. Royal baby boy names include Henrik, Nikolai, Sverre, Marius and Felix. Royal baby girl names include Leonore, Ewa, Nora and Margrethe.
Old Norse baby names
Baby names that have come from Old Norse are often used in Scandinavian countries – they are quite traditional. Where some of the names are a little more complex to say, or quite unusual, it is a good idea to pair these with simple, one-syllable middle names that are easy to pronounce, such as Kai, which comes from the Norse meaning warrior. Popular names for girls include Embla (meaning “Elm”), Gunhild (which is a combination of two words meaning “war” and “battle”), Alva (meaning “elf”) and Saga, which is the name of the goddess of storytelling. Popular Old Norse names for boys include Torsten (meaning “stone of Thor”), Gudmund (meaning “chieftain”), Sveinn (meaning “boy”), and of course the names of the Norse gods, including Odin and Thor.
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Viking baby names
The Vikings were a race of Germanic people who traveled to Scandinavia between 700-1100AD and made a base. The word “Viking” actually translates to “pirate raid” in the Old Norse language. Although many of the popular Viking names actually originate from Norse mythology, there are also many traditional Viking names that make wonderful baby names with beautiful meanings. Brenna, meaning “sword,” was popular in America in the 1990s. Dagny means “a new day has started,” Eda means “happy, wealthy and poetry,” and Frida, (meaning “woman of peace”), was of course made famous by Frida Kahlo. Popular Viking names for boys include Aren (meaning “eagle”), Bo (meaning “fair and beautiful”), Bjorn (meaning “bear”), and Kol (meaning “dark”).
If you have Scandinavian heritage, you might want to celebrate this by giving your new baby a name that comes from the countries of your ancestors. These unique names with poignant meanings have great character, and they are certainly names to be proud of.
Interesting Scandinavian Names For Your Baby, written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by Karoline Gore. Karoline is a freelance writer from Stoke on Trent in the UK who left the corporate grind when she started a family and has never looked back. She enjoys contributing to a range of online publications on the topics that are important to her.
Feature image (on top): Jonathan Borba / Unsplash