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100 popular Norse names and their meanings

Old Norse mythology is rich with drama and action, making it the perfect source to inspire your baby’s name.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Feb 29, 2024

Norse baby names

If you are stuck for where to start looking for the latest baby names, you might want to think outside the box. Rather than starting with popular choices, and narrowing down from there, it could be useful to take a different approach.

Baby names of Norse origin have exciting heroic associations and all the drama of Vikings and battles in toe. If you’re not mad about the history, you should know that Norse names are the origin for many popular and modern Scandinavian names today, such as Erling, made famous by the footballer, Erling Haaland! Other modern baby boy and baby girl names inspired by the Vikings include Sven, Loki and even Erika.

A baby name inspired by Norse mythology will set yours apart from the rest, offering your child a set of heroic mythology to draw from whenever he or she needs it.

When we think of Norse names, of course most of us think of Vikings, but these names are associated with gentler things too, such as: Kåre, meaning ‘curly-haired’ or Karmen, meaning ‘song’.

So, whether you want to foster a warrior spirit in your little one, or you are simply curious about what makes a good Nordic name, this is the list for you! Here’s our guide to the top 100 Norse baby names for you.

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Where do Nordic names come from?

Much of our interaction with Viking names comes from the discovery of runic inscriptions. A few foreign sources also mention the names of the Vikings, and many of these names are specific to Scandinavia. We know more male names than female names because traditionally men were the ones exploring further afield.

What are popular Norse names?

The most popular Norse baby names are Freya for girls and Odin for boys. Coincidentally (or not) in Old Norse mythology they are husband and wife.

Norse boy names for babies

  1. Agmundr - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘respectful protector’.

  2. Agnarr - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘edge of sword’.

  3. Áki - of Old Norse origin, a diminutive of  ‘Anur’, meaning ‘father’.

  4. Áleifr - the Old Norse form of Olaf, meaning ‘father’ or ‘ancestor’.

  5. Åge - meaning ‘ancestor’

  6. Alf - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘elf’. A viking twist on Alfie?

  7. Arne - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘eagle’.

  8. Ashby - originally a place name, taken from Old Norse, and meaning 'ash tree farm'.

  9. Bjǫrn - the Old Norse form of Björn, meaning ‘bear’.

  10. Bo - from the Old Norse ‘búa’ meaning ‘to live’ or ‘dwell’, and is taken to mean ‘householder’.

  11. Carlson - meaning ‘free settlement’ or ‘son of Karl’.

  12. Colby - of English origin, taken from the word ‘coal town’ in Old Norse.

  13. Dagr - in Norse mythology, Dagr was the personification of a day. Perfect for a little one who brightens up your days!

  14. Erik - the name of several Scandinavian kings, ‘Erik’ means ‘absolute ruler’

  15. Finnr - the Old Norse form of Finn, meaning ‘fair’, ‘white’.

  16. Frode - a popular name in Scandinavia, meaning ‘wise’ and ‘clever’.

  17. Gareth - of Welsh origin, this one means ‘enclosure’ in Norse.

  18. Gorm - a combination of Old Norse origins.  Taken from the word ‘guð/góðr’, meaning ‘god’ or ‘good’, in tandem with Old Norse ‘þyrma’ meaning ‘to show mercy/to honour’. ‘Gorm’ means ‘he who worships God’.

  19. Gunnarr - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘bold warrior’.

  20. Halfdan - meaning ‘the half Danish’.

  21. Hans - meaning ‘God is gracious’. Famous namesakes include Hans Christian Anderson, of fairytale-writing renown. A great name for anyone who wants to inspire their child with the gift of words!

  22. Harald - from the Old Norse word ‘arr’, meaning army, ‘Harald’ means ‘lord’ and ‘ruler’.

  23. Hjalmar - of Old Norse origin, meaning 'helmeted warrior'.

  24. Khristopher - meaning bearer of Christ.

  25. Kåre - derived from the Old Norse name ‘Kári’, meaning ‘curly’, ‘curved’, Kåre means ‘with curly hair’.

  26. Lamont - is of Nordic origin, meaning ‘law man’, ‘lawyer’, ‘mountain’ or ‘world’.

  27. Larson - meaning ‘son of Lars’ or ‘crowned with laurel’.

  28. Latham - derived from the Old Norse ‘Kollungr’ meaning ‘dark,’ and referring to someone with a dark or swarthy complexion.

  29. Leif - made famous by the Nordic explorer Leif Ericsson, who reached North America sometime in the 11th century. Leif means ‘heir’ or ‘descendant’.

  30. Loki - one of the most popular names of Old Norse origin, this one finds its namesake in the Norse God: Loki,  the trickster, making this a great choice for someone who enjoys a bit of mischief now and then!

  31. Manni - of Danish origin, meaning jewel, it is drawn from the Old Norse word for ‘man’.

  32. Njal - meaning ‘champion’.

  33. Odin - one of the most famous names from Norse mythology. Odin was the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death.

  34. Olaf - an historic name of recent popularity because of an adorable snowman in Frozen - this one means ‘ancestor’ or ‘descendant’.

  35. Osgood - a good Nordic name is unusual, and this one certainly ploughs its own furrow. In Norse the meaning of the name ‘Osgood’ is: A divine Goth.

  36. Ødger - a Viking era name, meaning ‘wealth’ and ‘spear’.

  37. Rafe - a lovely Norse boy name, meaning ‘counsel of the wolf’. Unique and eye-catching!

  38. Roar - of Norse origin, meaning ‘fighter of praise’.

  39. Rune - from the Old Norse word ‘rún’, meaning ‘secret’.

  40. Skarde - from the Old Norse: ‘Skarði’, meaning: ‘notch’ or ‘hack’.

  41. Sten - derives from a literal translation of Peter into the North Germanic languages, and means ‘stone’.

  42. Sune - meaning ‘son’. Sunny for short?

  43. Svend - of Norse origin, meaning ‘young’.

  44. Thor - this one speaks for itself really. In Norse mythology, Thor is the son of Odin and wields the divine hammer, mjölnir. Thor is thunderously popular, a beloved member of the Avengers. Thor means ‘thunder’.

  45. Toke - a popular name in Scandinavia, meaning ‘helmet’.

  46. Torsten -  a compound of  Þór (Thor) and steinn ‘stone’, meaning ‘stone of Thor’. Lovers of the Marvel universe, this one’s for you!

  47. Toseland - a combination of Old Norse and Old English origins, it is the Old Norse personal name Toli, plus the Old English ‘lund’, from the Old Norse "ludr", grove or copse. Therefore ‘Toseland’ means ‘Toli’s grove’.

  48. Troels - derived from Old Norse Þórgísl composed of Þór-, the name of the god of thunder, and gísl ‘arrow, arrow-shaft’.

  49. Trygve - derived from the Old Norse tryggr, meaning ‘true’, ‘trustworthy’.

  50. Ulf - of Old Norse origin, another one syllable punchy choice. This means ‘wolf’.

Norse girl names for babies

  1. Aelfsi - of Norse origin, meaning ‘one who is like an elf or nymph’. For a name that feels like it’s jumped off the pages of an old legend!

  2. Alvilda -  of Norse origin, meaning 'battle of elves'.

  3. Anitra - of Scandinavian origin, meaning ‘grace’.

  4. Anitra - popular in the 80s, meaning ‘grace’. The 80s are making a comeback at the moment…

  5. Ari - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘eagle’.

  6. Åse - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘goddess’.

  7. Astrid - a popular Norse girl name, it comes from the Old Norse word ‘Ástríðr’, meaning ‘divinely beautiful’.

  8. Birget - a variant of the Westernized ‘Bridget’, this means a ‘protecting woman’.

  9. Bodil - derived from Old Norse ‘bót’ meaning ‘bettering’, ‘help’, and ‘hildr’ meaning ‘battle’ or ‘fight’. This one for the little girl who never gives up the fight.

  10. Daggi - meaning 'a maid'.

  11. Diss - of Norse origin. This one is Perfect for little ones with a lot of character, Diss means ‘one who is spirited’.

  12. Eilert - a popular Scandinavian choice, meaning ‘edge of a sword’, getting lots of Viking energy  from this one.

  13. Embla - a plant-inspired Norse name, meaning ‘elm’.

  14. Estrid - on a similar note, meaning ‘god’ and ‘beautiful’.

  15. Eula - with Scandinavian and Greek origins, meaning “well-spoken”.

  16. Freya - one of the most famous baby names inspired by Norse mythology, Freya Goddess of love and beauty and wife of Odin. A great choice with plenty of history to back it up!

  17. Frida - a great Viking name. It derives from the Old Norse name ‘Fríða’, meaning ‘beautiful’, ‘beloved’.

  18. Gerrie - in Norse, this means ‘the one who rules with the mighty spear’. Getting lots of Viking vibes from this one!

  19. Helga - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘holy’ or ‘blessed’.

  20. Hjordis - meaning 'sword goddess'.

  21. Hilda - This derivative of Brunhild relates to the Visigothic legend, literally meaning ‘fighter’.

  22. Ingrid - a highly popular name in Scandinavia, derived from Old Norse. It means ‘beautiful’. A classic choice for the next Ingrid Bergman!

  23. Kareena - considered a novel alternative to the more popular ‘Katherine’, ‘Kareena’ means ‘pure’.

  24. Karmen - meaning ‘song’.

  25. Kristyn - meaning ‘follower of Christ’.

  26. Lidwin - meaning ‘people’s friend’.

  27. Linea - of Scandinavian origin, meaning ‘linden tree’.

  28. Liv - derived from the Old Norse ‘hlíf’, which means ‘shelter’ or ‘protection’.

  29. Meya - a Scandinavian diminutive of Maria, it means ‘beloved’.

  30. Mia - meaning ‘bittersweet’

  31. Randi - originally meaning ‘God-loveable’ in Old Norse. Randi can be used for boys and girls. For more gender neutral baby names see our list of 100 unisex names.

  32. Rayna - is a unique girl’s choice that has roots in several languages and cultures. In Scandinavian languages it usually means ‘queen’.

  33. Revna - of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘raven’.

  34. Sif - we like what this one has going on with the monosyllable, giving it an element of androgyny that is super trendy these days. Sif means ‘wife’ and ‘bride’.

  35. Sifa - taken from the Norse God of the Harvest, famous for her golden hair and meaning ‘bride’.

  36. Signe - derived from the Old Norse word for ‘victorious’, Signe means, you guessed it! ‘the one who is victorious’.

  37. Sigrid - currently being made popular by the singer, Sigrid, but always feeling cool somehow. This one means ‘victorious horsewoman’.

  38. Silia - a variation of Silja, meaning ‘blind one’.

  39. Siriana - of Old Norse origin meaning ‘beautiful victory’, this unique name will foster competitive spirit!

  40. Solveig - a popular choice of Old Norse origin, meaning ‘daughter of the sun’.

  41. Thurid - of Nordic origin and meaning ​​’beautiful thunder’.

  42. Thyra - of Norse origin, and meaning ‘follower of Thor’.

  43. Tora - of Norse origin, meaning ‘goddess’.

  44. Tove - a beautiful name made famous by author Tove Janson of Moomins fame, this classic choice means ‘dove’.

  45. Trine - a Scandinavian diminutive of Katherine, meaning ‘pure’.

  46. Ulfhild - straight from the Viking era, meaning ‘wolf’ or ‘battle’.

  47. Ulrika - a feminine form of Ulric, a ninth-century saint's name, ‘Ulrika’ means ‘wealthy ruler’.

  48. Ursala - meaning ‘bear’.

  49. Vivica - of Scandinavian origin, meaning ‘war fortress’.

  50. Yrsa - meaning ‘wild’ or ‘she bear’, plenty of Viking spirit in this one!