Scandinavian names: our top 100 coming from the north

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Scandinavian children’s names are popular with many parents. Especially melodic, timeless names make it onto the shortlist of young families. Whether you are looking for the perfect Scandinavian baby name or are simply interested in Nordic culture – below you will find our favourites, divided into several categories, so there’s something for every taste.

Which languages do Scandinavian names come from?

The list mainly contains first names from Swedish, Norwegian and Danish-speaking countries. However, Finnish names can also be found here and there. These usually differ in their sound, as Finnish belongs to the Finno-Ugric and not the Old Norse language family.

If you are currently preparing for the arrival of your baby, you may also be interested in our articles on furnishing the perfect Scandinavian nursery or matching Nordic-style baby clothes.

Popular Scandinavian names

Scandinavian Names - Top 100
Scandinavian names are popular with pregnant women.

Typical Scandinavian names as well as names with Nordic origins that are popular in Scandinavia fall into this category. Often names whose Northern European origins have been forgotten by many, such as Emma or Erik, are included.

  • Maria – the sea star
  • Emma – the great one
  • Ella – the radiant/beautiful one
  • Elsa – the one who worships God
  • Hedda – the fighter
  • Mille – the ambitious/imitator
  • Amalie – the capable/brave one
  • Mia – God’s gift
  • Erik – the autocrat
  • Elijah – “my God is Yahweh”
  • Lucas – the shining one
  • Johan – the blessed one
  • Alexander – the protector
  • Nohr – the narrow-minded
  • Ludvig – the famous warrior
  • Arvid – the strong eagle
  • Love – the famous fighter

It is clear that Scandinavia has become more international when it comes to naming. In addition, the linguistic affinity and cultural links within Europe, including through religion, are becoming clear. One example of this is the name Maria, the most common female first name in Sweden, which can also be found in a similar variant in almost all other European countries.

Scandinavian names for girls

Scandinavian names for girls
Scandinavian names for girls are timeless and elegant.

Here you will find a colourful mix of Scandinavian names for girls. Older and younger first names from different geographical origins are grouped together in one category:

  • Ebba – the strong/honourable
  • Jördis – goddess of the sword
  • Linnea – the mossy/gentle one
  • Smilla – the smiling/humming one
  • Alva – the fighting elf
  • Ida – the labourer/divine seer
  • Solveig – sun path
  • Alma – young woman/the hardworking one
  • Siri – the beautiful winner
  • Liv – the protecting/living one
  • Thea – God’s gift
  • Svea – the little Swede
  • Iben – the archer
  • Märta – the mistress
  • Nora – the shining one from the north
  • Juna – the desirable/flowering one
  • Nilla – stone/rock
  • Astrid – the star
  • Lykke – the happy one

Scandinavian names for boys

Scandinavian names for boys
Scandinavian names for boys are particularly common in northern Germany.

Here you will find a colourful mix of Scandinavian names for boys. Here, too, older and younger first names from different geographical origins are grouped together in one category:

  • Anders – the manly/brave one
  • Lasse – the laurel-wreathed one
  • Mats – gift from heaven
  • Aron – the enlightened one
  • Kjell – the cauldron/helmet
  • Arne – the ruler/eagle
  • Loke – form of Loki
  • Linus – the lamenter
  • Olle – the descendant of the great-grandson
  • Knut – the bold one
  • Svante – the strong one (from the people)
  • Frederik – the peaceful one
  • Jacob – the God-protected
  • Malte – the ruling protector
  • Alvin – the friend/flag of love
  • Leif – the descendant/heir
  • Vincent – the victorious one
  • Jonte – the merciful one
  • Bo – the dweller/fighter

Scandinavian unisex names

In this category you will find names that are used for all genders. However, which gender is associated with them depends on the country in question. Names that appear more frequently in the masculine form in Sweden may have a feminine connotation in Norway.

Furthermore, as with most other names, their use is often not limited to Scandinavia. First names from the Scandinavian languages sometimes also appear in Dutch or German, for example.

Scandinavian names unisex
  • Janne – gracious/kind
  • Jarven
  • Mare – sea
  • Marte – ruling
  • Helge – holy
  • Finn – finnish/blonde

Old Scandinavian names

Medieval Scandinavian names are particularly popular with fantasy fans. They often originate from so-called Old Norse sagas (Icelandic for story or tale), which were used to pass on ancestry and history to subsequent generations. Accordingly, the names of some well-known Vikings can also be found in this section.

However, these stories, which mainly originate from 13th century Iceland, quickly became mixed with mythological elements. As a result, this section contains first names with mythological or religious meanings as well as names that are rarely used today.

  • Thorid – beautiful, peaceful goddess
  • Gunnhild – the fighter
  • Frya – the woman/mistress
  • Gerda – the protector
  • Thordis – the spirit of Thor
  • Hildur – the fighter/strong woman
  • Sigurd – the victor/protector
  • Hakon – great son
  • Harald – the commander
  • Hjalmar – the helmeted warrior
  • Thorstein – stone of Thor
  • Ketil – the cauldron/helmet 75

Unusual Scandinavian names

Unusual Scandinavian names
Unusual Scandinavian names can offer an unusual alternative for naming.

Rare Scandinavian names often originate from Old Norse, especially from the Middle Ages. They are rarely used today and are therefore usually categorised as both unusual and old Scandinavian names.

  • Alfhild – the fighting elf
  • Tuva – tuft of grass
  • Salbjörg – protective hall
  • Gudmund – the one protected by God
  • Rasmine – the lovely one
  • Unn – the lover
  • Ása – the healer
  • Vala – the seer
  • Yorick – the farm labourer/farmer
  • Alfsigr – the victorious elf
  • Thor – Norse god of thunder
  • Sixten – the victory stone/victor
  • Ragnfried – lovely god
  • Rikard – the mighty/rich man
  • Ulfrik – mighty wolf
  • Nattfari – the sleepwalker

Scandinavian names with mythical meaning

Most older names have a meaning due to their origin in mythology or religion. We have therefore summarised some concise Scandinavian female and male names in this category.

  • Gitte – from the Celtic “briganti” (sublime, divine)
  • Saga – goddess of stories in Norse mythology
  • Eir – goddess of healing
  • Kaisa – pure/blissful
  • Päivi – day (from Finno-Ugric)
  • Odin – supreme god of Norse/Germanic mythology
  • Flos/Flosi – chieftain
  • Kjartan – (sea) warrior
  • Jukka – God is merciful
  • Eldur – fire (from Old Norse)

Overall, the Scandinavian linguistic and cultural area offers a wide range of name options. From common to unusual, lovers of Nordic languages will find a diverse selection of different options here. Whether it should be as unusual as Alfhild or Ulfrik or sound a little more familiar is of course up to you.

Baby equipment in Scandi style: checklist

Everything in view for your baby?

Is your little one on the way and you still need the right equipment? We’ve put together a short checklist with everything you need (in Scandinavian style, of course):

  1. Co-sleeper or cot
  2. Baby mattress
  3. Fitted sheet
  4. Baby blanket
  5. Changing unit
  6. Baby bathtub
  7. Pram
  8. Bodysuits
  9. Rompers
  10. Socks
  11. Bonnet
  12. Sleeping bag
  13. Burp cloths
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