Scandinavian baby names -for boys and girls

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A reader of Little Scandinavian, Jessica gave us an excellent idea; “Scandinavian baby names! You should do a post on them! I am due with number 4 soon (a girl after three boys) and am after a Scandinavian name to go with her brothers. So far I have Mathilda, Agnes, Agneta and Lena/Leni.” And what a great idea -of course we can!

Choosing the right name for your baby is so important. if you are looking into Scandinavian names, here’s a few suggestions to get you started!

We do have some very traditional baby names in Scandinavia, descended from Old Norse. My husband has one, Børre, which with the ø sound can be a bit of a challenge when not in Scandinavia… But as long as the special characters are avoided, the names can work very well in English speaking countries as well as in Scandinavia.

Girls old norse baby names include Alva, Astrid, Dagny, Eira, Embla, Freja, Gunhild, Inger, Kari, Saga and Solveig. Boys old norse baby names include Erik, Folke, Gudmund, Gustav, Haldor, Iver, Leif, Odin, Sten, Sveinn, Thor and Torsten.

Of more modern Scandinavian baby names each and every country releases their top 10 list, one list for each country. Some names are popular across the borders though, as highlighted in the tag cloud below.

scandinavian_babynames_2014

Top 10 Danish boys baby names
1 William
2 Lucas
3 Noah
4 Victor
5 Emil
6 Frederik
7 Oliver
8 Oscar
9 Magnus
10 Alexander

Top 10 Danish girls baby names
1 Sofia
2 Ida
3 Isabella
4 Emma
5 Freja
6 Clara
7 Sofie
8 Anna
9 Josefine
10 Laura

Top 10 Norwegian boys baby names
1 Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
2 William
3 Lucas/Lukas
4 Mathias/Matias
5 Jakob/Jacob
6 Oskar/Oscar
7 Oliver
8 Alexander/Aleksander
9 Magnus
10 Isak/Isac/Isaac

Top 10 Norwegian girls baby names
1 Emma
2 Sara/Sarah
3 Sofie/Sophie
4 Ingrid/Ingerid
5 Nora/Norah
6 Maja/Maia/Maya
7 Linnea/Linea
8 Thea/Tea
9 Sofia/Sophia
10 Emilie

Top 10 Swedish boys baby names
1 Lucas
2 William
3 Oscar
4 Oliver
5 Hugo
6 Charlie
7 Liam
8 Alexander
9 Axel
10 Elias

Top 10 Swedish girls baby names
1 Alice
2 Maja
3 Elsa
4 Ella
5 Julia
6 Ebba
7 Alicia
8 Olivia
9 Alva
10 Wilma

We’ve also written a post on Royal baby names from Scandinavia, with several of my favourite names included. Highly recommend to check it out!

What names do you like and please share below, if there’s a name that should be included that is not yet featured. Thanks!

Lead image source: © ivillage.ca

14 Comments

  1. I too have spent many hours browsing Scandinavian name books and websites when pregnant. My grandfather was Norwegian and I was given Inga as my middle name. I wanted to give my children Scandinavian names too and now have Rune (8), Freja (4) and my newest addition Torben Aleksander (4 months). Their names are often a conversation starter and I have once or twice been met with a puzzled look, however I love their names, each one is special to me and i’m glad I chose them. Be bold!

  2. I called my baby girl Elida, an old Icelandic/Norwegian name and don’t regret it one bit! I like the fact it’s not as common as Ida, Elise etc =) My name is Alice(I’m British), all the females from my great grandma and up adopted this name. Not many people my age growing up we’re called Alice, however now it’s really popular internationally! (my partner is Norwegian hence the Scandinavian name for our daughter) =)

  3. Oh thank you! We picked Agnes which is currently popular in Denmark and Sweden but not so much here in New Zealand which is nice. Agnes arrived 2 weeks ago and joins her brothers Finn, Mikko and Kasper in our family 🙂

  4. Hej! One of my Swedish friends has a daughter called Lykkeli. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but it sounds very musical and nice. Best regards from Barcelona (full of Swedish people, by the way, ha, ha),
    Marta

  5. My children are Lukas and Lotta. We get many different reactions to the name Lotta, the idea was from the Astrid Lingdren books, which were my favourite when I was little, she has a poster of the artwork from a Lotta book in her bedroom.
    I considered Pippi too but wasn’t sure it would suit an adult!
    We also liked Leo, Issak, Oskar, Magnus and Frank for boy names and Aurora, Elsa, Ida, Agnes for girls.

  6. When we picked Norwegian names for our boys the one criteria was that they needed to be easily recognized and pronounced in English, as my husband Trygve has had a hard time with his name here and anymore just goes by Tryg. So, we ended up with Anders, Henrik and Lars for our boys. I love their names– unique but not *too* unique.

  7. I am half Norwegian on my mother’s side and when I was pregnant my husband suggested we get a book of Norwegian names which he made me order on line. I warned him that he would probably not like any as we were having a boy and Norwegian boys’ names are… Well, VERY Norwegian sounding. I really like Aril/ Arild (Fred-Aril is one of my mum’s cousin’s sons’ name) and Espen. As it happened, I was right. We spent 480 NOK on the book and my husband didn’t like any, hahaha! If we ever have a girl I would insist on Astrid though as I was obsessed with Astrid Lindgren’s books as a child. I also love my mum’s cousin’s name she is called Elin, named after my great grandmother who was called Inger Eline. Elin’s daughter is Aina which is also a lovely name. Aina just had a little girl whom she named Iben, I believe it’s Danish and also very nice.

  8. As i am norwegian we tried to choose names that British people wouldn’t have too much trouble pronouncing. Named my eldest Leah Eliné (after only knowing 1 Leah my whole life it has now become very popular in Norway), Maja Rose(who always gets her name pronounced wrong because of the j..) Evan (is old norse name and similar to the very common Even)James Flynn..and our baby girl is Isla Luna Aurora, not really norwegian at all apart from that both Luna and especially Aurora is very common in Norway. It’s funny how many British people I know choose the name Freyaas as Scandinavian name.i have never in my life known anyone to call their child Freya in Norway as it’s the name of our favourite chocolate! “FREIA melkesjokolade” 😉

  9. My name is Astrid and as far as I know – no Scandinavian heritage at all! As a kid being raised in Essex (England) – I was the only Astrid and it made me feel like I stuck out for the wrong reasons. Now I am 24 and a mum to a gorgeous little boy (Sullivan) and with one on the way – I would love a Scandi name for one of my children. We like Erik, Isaac and I am fond of Håkon but I fear no one would get the pronunciation. But I definitely want a name that isn’t usual in the UK.

  10. Hi Astrid.
    I sort of know the feeling, being named Bianca whilst all my friends would be Kari, Kristine, Ida, Nora and so on. I think most children would just like to fit in. But saying that, Bianca is on a rise in popularity in Norway and today I’m rather proud of my name. Perhaps giving a unusual name to your child is not such a bad thing?
    Your first born is Sullivan. And you are expecting a boy? Any names including the Scandinavian letters such as æ, ø and å is not easy. Erik is nice! The r and the k is softer when pronounced in Scandinavian. I like Sander too, a name meaning defend/help. I belive its a Nordic form from Alexander.

    I wish you all the best in finding the right name for your baby. And hope my little post on Scandinavian baby names have given you some ideas.
    Lots of love, Bianca x

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