Choosing Norwegian Baby Names for Boys and Girls

Ella Rain

Parents searching for an unusual name for their new arrival may want to consider Norwegian baby 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.

Norwegian Naming Traditions

The Norse heritage takes naming babies very seriously. Norwegian law provides a list of names that are acceptable by the government. This prevents parents from selecting strange designations for their children. The law has been in effect since the 1800s.

The government recognizes the importance of a child's name, and this is reflected in its rather strict policies. Ironically, in many cultures, Norwegian baby names are quite unusual, and this aspect of the designations makes them very appealing to parents who want unique, meaningful names for their children.

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 opt to 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.

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.


In essence, a baby is a combination of his mother and father. Parents may select to combine their names to create a new designation for their child. A typical example of a combination name is Gunnar, which combines Gunnild and Bjornar.

Ancestrial names offer significant meaning in Norse tradition because the child is believed to inherit the personality and strengths of the deceased relative. Some parents may choose Norwegian historical figures or mythological characters that have appealing qualities they want to have bestowed in their children.

Baby Names from Norway

A variety of beautiful names is available for couples to consider. The following list is by no means comprehensive, but it provides a nice compilation that offers insight into the qualities of this type of designations.

Norwegian Baby Girl Names
Baby Girl Names Meaning
Agnes Pure
Alfhild "supernatural 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
Elsa Promise
Freya Noble lady
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
Malena From Magdalia
Malin From Magdalia
Maren Of the sea
Nora Honor
Oda Wealth or fortune
Olava Ancestor's descendant
Petra Ancient city
Norwegian Baby Boy Names
Baby Boy Names Meaning
Asbjørn "God" and "bear"
Baldur Prince
Bjørn Bear
Canute Knot
Colby Dark town
Eirik Ever ruler
Emil Rival
Erlend Foreigner
Frode Wise
Gunnar Warrior
Haavard High guardian
Håkon High son
Ivor Bow warrior
Jonas Dove
Jørgen Farmer
Kåre Curly, curved
Kjell kettle
Leif Heir
Magnus Great
Nils Victory
Olaf Descendant
Ole Descendant
Pål Humble
Per Stone
Rolf "Fame" and "wolf"
Sigurd "Victory" and "guardian"
Sindre Trivial
Sveinn Boy
Sverre Wild, spinning
Thor Thunder
Vegard Protection

Other Resources

Other resources are available that provide an opportunity to browse many different names from Norwegian roots. Options include:

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Choosing Norwegian Baby Names for Boys and Girls