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Choosing Norwegian Baby Names for Boys and Girls

Michele Meleen
Contributor: Ella Rain
Baby Viking

Parents searching for an unusual name for their new arrival may want to consider Norwegian baby girl and boy names. These options offer appealing historical and symbolic meaning along with beautiful-sounding designations. Selecting Norse names for infants involves considering the sound of the name as well as the rich history of the Norwegian names.

Baby Names for Boys and Girls From Norway

There are many sources of inspiration for Norwegian baby names. Start with the meaning then look for pronunciation and spelling variations to see if the name can work for your child.

Norwegian Baby Girl Names

Nordic baby girl names often have strong sounds and meanings.

Baby Girl Names Meaning
Agnes Pure
Ågot Good
Alfhild Elf battle
Astra Star
Aud Prosperous
Beate Blessed
Bergitta Strength
Berit Bright
Borghild Wife of Sigmund
Camilla Noble
Danica Morning star
Disa Active spirit
Dorte A vision
Ebba Wild boar
Eira Mercy; Norse Goddess of healing
Elsa Promise
Erna Brisk
Evy To live
Freya Noble lady; Goddess of love, beauty, war, & death
Frida Peaceful
Gjertrud Strong spear
Gudrun Divine wisdom
Gunnhild Battle maid
Haldis Stone spirit
Hanne Gracious
Hilde Battle stronghold
Hjørdis Sword goddess
Ingeborg Protection, help
Ingrid Beautiful
Ingvill Might, power
Jensina God's grace
Jorun "Stallion" and "to love"
Kaia Hen
Karen Pure
Kari Pure
Lene Torch
Lisbet Oath
Liv Protection
Maja Good mother, 3rd most popular in Norway in 2017
Malena From Magdalia
Malin From Magdalia
Maren Of the sea
Nanna Daring
Nora Honor, 2nd most popular in Norway in 2017
Oda Wealth or fortune
Øydis Island goddess
Olava Ancestor's descendant
Pernille From a rural area
Petra Ancient city
Ragnhild Battle counsel
Randi Beautiful advice
Reidun Billowing home
Runa Secret lore
Sigfrid Beautiful victory
Siv Bride; Thor's wife in Norse mythology
Sofie Wisdom, top girl name in Norway in 2017
Solfrid Beautiful sun
Synne Sun gift
Tiril Unknown meaning; name of folk heroine
Tone New thunder
Toril Thor's battle
Unn To love
Veslemoy Little girl
Ylva She-wolf

Norwegian Baby Boy Names

Baby boy names from Norway favor use of the vowel "o" and are often short, strong sounding names.

Baby Boy Names Meaning
Åge Ancestor
Agnar Awe warrior
Alv Elf
Arnfinn Eagle person from Finland
Asbjørn "God" and "bear"
Baard Battle peace
Baldur Prince
Bjarte Bright
Bjørn Bear
Canute Knot
Colby Dark town
Dag Day
Eirik Ever ruler
Emil Rival
Erlend Foreigner
Frode Wise
Geir Spear
Goran Farmer
Gudbrand God's sword
Gunnar Warrior
Haavard High guardian
Håkon High son
Iver Bow warrior
Jakob Supplanter, top name in Norway in 2017
Jonas Dove
Jørgen Farmer
Kåre Curly, curved
Kjell kettle
Leif Heir
Lukas From Lucania, 2nd most popular in Norway in 2017
Magnus Great
Nils Victory
Njord Strong; Norse God of the sea
Olaf Descendant
Ole Descendant
Olve Protection warrior
Pål Humble
Per Stone
Ragnar Army advice
Reidar Home warrior
Rolf "Fame" and "wolf"
Sigurd "Victory" and "guardian"
Sindre Trivial
Sveinn Boy
Sverre Wild, spinning
Tallak Thor's play
Terje Thor's spear
Thor Thunder
Tord Thunder God peace
Torleif Thor's descendant
Ulf Wolf
Varg Wolf
Vegard Protection

Norwegian Naming Traditions

The Norse heritage takes naming babies very seriously. Norwegian naming law requires that all babies have a first and at least one last name registered by the time they are six months old. While some Nordic countries go as far as having lists of approved first names, Norway only has strict usage guidelines for surnames. If a surname is registered by fewer than 200 people in the country, others can only take that surname if all others currently using it consent. Also, if the parents are not married, both declared parents must approve the chosen name. Norwegian baby names are quite unusual in other countries and this aspect of the designations makes them very appealing to parents who want unique names for their children.

Baby girl sitting with name tag

Norwegian Name Meanings

The meaning of the name is of great importance in Norse culture. The significance manifests itself in a number of ways, particularly in the approach that parents take to select the right designation for their child. A few traditional options are available to consider. Language changes over time. Old Norse names contain elements that used to be common adjectives and nouns. The words are no longer used in everyday language, but they are still present in Norwegian names. In a sense, these names are indicators of how language morphs over the centuries.

Name Origins

Parents often have a name in mind before bringing baby home while others prefer to see the newborn before making a decision. Norwegian names derive from a number of different origins. Parents can select a couple options depending on their origins. Common inspirations include:

  • Descriptive choices relate to hair color, skin tone and other physical characteristics.
  • Place selections relate to specific regions in Norway and surrounding areas.
  • Historical options are very important in this culture, relating to mythology and history.
  • Nature offers choices relating to plants, flowers and other natural elements.
  • Specialty names are created especially for the newborn.

Ancestral Names

In essence, a baby is a combination of his mother, father and ancestors. Often children were named for their grandparents and great-grandparents in a specific order. Ancestral names offer significant meaning in Norse tradition because the child is believed to inherit the personality and strengths of the deceased relative. Norwegian babies were never to be named after someone still living. Some modern parents may choose Norwegian historical figures or mythological characters that have appealing qualities they want to have bestowed in their children.

Other Baby Naming Resources

If you want to explore more Norwegian or even Scandinavian baby names, check out these lists and resources.

Focus on Meaning With Nordic Baby Names

Norwegian baby naming traditions and modern names are most often a nod to ancestors, family lines of work, or cultural beliefs from Norway. These meaningful names are a gift to your little boy or precious baby girl because they foreshadow a meaningful life.

Choosing Norwegian Baby Names for Boys and Girls