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Norwegian Baby Boy Names: Top Male Names in Norway

Home » Living in Norway » Norwegian Baby Boy Names: Top Male Names in Norway

Looking for a Scandi-inspired name for your new baby boy? Here are the most popular baby boy names in Norway right now.

Choosing a name for a new arrival is a very personal thing. Many find it easy, but for others, the decision can take months.

Mother and baby boy in Norway

Given the amount of people reading about popular Norwegian baby names, there's plenty of you out there looking for some inspiration.

If you already know you're expecting a boy, here are some ideas for popular baby boy names from Norway.

Baby boy inspiration from Norway

You might expect Viking or Norse inspired names to top the list in Norway, but that's not the case. While some do remain popular, others come in and out of fashion just like any other name.

Biblical names remain common. The same is true of some other international names, although they often come with a spelling twist to make them more appropriate as Scandinavian names.

If you are considering a name for your baby in Norway, make sure to familiarise yourself with Norway's naming rules. Certain words are not allowed to be used as names.

Norwegian baby boy wearing a knitted viking helmet.

Top ten popular male names in Norway

The top 10 names come from the official statistics in 2021. The number of newborns with the name is listed in brackets after the name.

Noah (402): The Biblical name Noah has enjoyed a resurgence not just in the Norway, but in many countries around the world. For example, in the US an astonishing 19,144 newborn boys were named Noah in 2016. The alternate spelling Noa was also included in this total.

Oskar (370): Often thought of as more of a Swedish name, Oskar has climbed the rankings in Norway since the 1990s. Interestingly, the name has dropped in popularity in Sweden over the past 20 years or so. The popular alternate spelling Oscar was also included in this total.

Oliver (367): Oliver is the English form of the Norman French name Olivier. But the name's use in the Nordic region may also have roots in the Old Norse name Áleifr.

Lucas (364): A popular name also in Germany and Austria. The alternate spelling Lukas was also included in this total, and was almost as popular as Lucas.

Isak (361): A popular character from the Norwegian TV series Skam, Isak's popularity as a name has grown ever since. Alternate spellings Isaac and Isac were also included in this total.

Mother and baby boy in Hardangervidda National Park, Norway

Aksel (346): Believed to be of Hebrew origin, the name Axel is popular throughout Scandinavia and in Germany. Axel Christofer Hedfors of Swedish House Mafia is better known as Axwell. The alternate spelling Axel was also included in this total.

Emil (346): Also popular elsewhere in the Nordic region and Germany, Emil is a male version of the name Emily. In the US, Emmitt is a more common alternative, but why consider Emil for a Scandinavian spin?

Filip (346): It might not sound especially Scandinavian, but the name Filip has been used in the Nordic region for many centuries, but it's never been more popular than now. The Swedish town Filipstad and the area of Oslo known as Filipstad are both named after Filips. Alternate spellings Fillip, Philip and Phillip were also included in this total.

Jakob (325): A real resurgence! Jakob was popular in the early 1900s but fell out of use almost completely until recently. In 2020 it hit number one after several years in second place, but other names became more popular in 2021. The popular alternate spelling Jacob was also included in this total.

William (313): Surprisingly common throughout the 20th century in Scandinavia, William has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Other popular boy names in Norway

Nothing grabs you in the top ten? Then here are some other popular choices in Norway.

Angry Boy sculpture in Oslo, Norway.
Angry Boy sculpture in Oslo's Vigeland Park.

Liam: Barely used before 1998 in Scandinavia, the name Liam has since increased in popularity in all three Scandinavian countries.

Henrik: A Scandinavian name with hundreds of years of history, Henrik enjoys popularity on a cyclical basis. Most popular in Norway during the 18th century and early 20th century, Henrik is once again in fashion.

Theodor: Theodor was somewhat used in the 19th century but fell out of use almost entirely until the 2000s. Recently, it has enjoyed a resurgence in all Nordic countries, including Iceland, where it was added to the approved names list in 2020. The alternate spelling Teodor was also included in this total.

Elias: A name with a biblical background, Elias was first recorded as a name in Scandinavia around 900 years ago. Although it's most popular in Sweden, Elias is the 13th most popular name for a Norwegian newborn boy today.

Kasper: Alternate spellings Casper and Kacper were also included in this total. Kacper is a popular version of the name in Poland. There were 20 newborns with this spelling in Norway in 2020, presumably the children of immigrants.

Magnus: The name with clear Old Norse origins has come in and out of fashion over the centuries. Since the mid-1990s, the name has once again become popular in Denmark, Norway and the Faroe Islands. Perhaps there is a Magnus Carlsen effect?

Johannes: The medieval form of the English name ‘John' remains popular in Norway. Skier Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is perhaps the most famous Johannes in Scandinavia today.

Mathias: More popular in Denmark and Sweden, the Scandinavian name Mathias still ranks in the top 20 of boys names in Norway. The alternate spelling Matias was also included in this total.

Popular boys names

Tobias: The long form of ‘Toby' had it peak in Denmark and Norway in the early 2000s but has slipped in popularity since then.

Olav: Boys continue to be named after the patron saint of Norway. Could Disney's Frozen have had an effect in recent years?

Sander: Although sometimes used as a shortened version of Alexander, the name Sander is a standalone name in Norway most popular in the early 2000s.

Håkon: The name of Norway's next monarch, I would expect the use of Håkon to increase in the years to come. The alternate spelling Haakon was also included in this total.

Jonas: The name of Norway's current prime minister. Popular especially in rural areas during the early 20th century, Jonas enjoyed a brief resurgence in the early 2000s before slipping down the rankings in recent years.

Ludvig: Unlike many names on this list, the name Ludvig isn't as popular in the other Nordic countries as in Norway. The alternate spelling Ludvik was also included in this total.

Benjamin: The 25th most popular name for a newborn boy in Norway, Benjamin first appeared in Scandinavia around the 17th century.

Father and baby boy in Lofoten, Norway

Matheo: This version of Matteo began to appear in Norway in the early 2000s and has gained in popularity ever since.

Alfred: Scandinavians likely first became exposed to this Old English name during the Viking Age. Today it is more commonly used in Denmark and Sweden, but nevertheless 215 newborns in Norway were named Alfred in 2020.

Alexander: A name that has enjoyed cyclical popularity over the centuries, Alexander is today more popular in Sweden than Norway. The alternate spelling Aleksander was also included in this total.

Viktor: Viktor has long been in use in Norway but only since the 1990s has it started to gain in popularity. The alternate spelling Victor was also included in this total, and was almost as popular as Viktor.

Markus: Markus was one of Norway's most popular names in the mid-1990s but has been on the decline over the last 20 years. The alternate spelling Marcus was also included in this total.

Mohammad: A reflection on increased immigration in Norway, the name Mohammad (plus variants Mohamed, Mohammed, Muhammad and Muhammed) was the 31st most popular given name in Norway in 2020. In 2021, the name dropped down to 34th place.

Traditional male names in Norway

You may be surprised to see some names missing from this list. You'll meet many Norwegians with traditional names such as Johan, Nikolai, Christian/Kristian and Erik/Eric.

They all remain reasonably popular choices (150-200 newborns in 2020) but they are no longer as popular as they once were.

However, other traditional names including Bjørn, Harald, Ole and Thor/Tor have dropped out of the top 50 altogether.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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2 thoughts on “Norwegian Baby Boy Names: Top Male Names in Norway”

  1. Both my father and I carry the given name of Sigurd . . . we are named after a Medieval Viking King and we’re are both proud of our Scandinavian heritage. Some people struggle with the pronunciation of the name, but . . . for most, it’s pretty straight forward.

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