Looking for a Scandi-inspired name for your new baby boy? Here are the most popular baby boy names in Norway right now, updated with the latest statistics from 2022 and detailed explanations of what each name means.
Choosing a name for a new arrival is a very personal thing. Many find it easy, but for others, the decision can take months. Rightly so, for a name lasts a lifetime.
Given the amount of people reading about popular Norwegian baby names, we know there's plenty of you out there looking for some inspiration. Perhaps you're expecting, or even crafting a character for a fictional story.
Either way, if it's a male name your after, here are some ideas based on the most 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.
Top 10 baby boy names in Norway
The following top 10 names come from the official national statistics for the full year of 2022. The number of newborns with the name in 2022 is listed in brackets after the name.
- 1=: Jakob/Jacob (414)
- 1=: Noah/Noa (414)
- 3: Emil (405)
- 4: Lucas/Lukas (405)
- 5: Oliver (382)
- 6. Isak/Isac/Isaac (381)
- 7: William (348)
- 8. Filip/Philip/Fillip/Phillip (343)
- 9=. Axel/Aksel (321)
- 9=. Theodor/Teodor (321)
In joint first place, the names Jakob and Noah both have a lot in common. Both are biblical names that had fallen out of favour until very recently. Now, let's dive into the stories behind these names, and a lot more other choices.
Regional popularity across Norway
An interesting fact from the statistics is that the popularity of given names for newborns differs across the country.
For example, although Jakob was joint first overall, it was only the most popular name in one county: Tromsø og Finnmark, Norway's northernmost and easternmost county. Mohammad topped the list for Oslo, while Isak–sixth most popular nationwide–topped the list for Nordland county.
Popular baby boy names in Norway A-H
Aksel: This name, while of Hebrew origin and known as Axel in many parts of the world, has found a comfortable home in Scandinavia, particularly in Norway. It's a name that carries with it a sense of strength and tradition. Axel, a common alternative spelling, is well-recognised internationally thanks to figures like Axel Christofer Hedfors, better known as Axwell from the Swedish House Mafia.
Alfred: The Old English name Alfred was likely brought back to Scandinavia by Vikings returning from their raids. It has a venerable air, reminiscent of kings and scholars, such as Alfred the Great. In Norway, the name has maintained a steady presence, with 203 newborns being named Alfred in 2022, indicating its enduring appeal.
Alexander: With its roots going back to ancient times and the famous Macedonian king, Alexander the Great, the name Alexander has seen waves of popularity. In Norway, while it may not be as common as in Sweden, the name still holds a significant place, with the variant Aleksander also being a popular choice.
Benjamin: This name, which has biblical origins, ranks as the 25th most popular name for newborn boys in Norway. Benjamin's introduction to Scandinavia can be traced back to the 17th century, and it has since become a timeless choice for many parents. It remains a very popular choice among Swedish parents, too.
Elias: With a history that can be traced back to biblical times, Elias has been a part of Scandinavian naming traditions for nearly a millennium. While it enjoys the most popularity in Sweden, in Norway, it stands proudly as the 15th most chosen name for newborn boys in 2022.
Emil: A name shared across the Nordic countries and Germany, Emil is the masculine form of Emily. In the United States, Emmitt might be a more familiar variant, but Emil offers a distinctly Scandinavian flavour that has charmed many parents in Norway. Might it do the same for you?
Filip: Despite not sounding traditionally Scandinavian, Filip has a long-standing history in the Nordic region and is currently enjoying peak popularity. Places like Filipstad (literally: Filip's Place) in Sweden and an area in Oslo named Filipstad pay homage to this name. Variants such as Fillip, Philip, and Phillip are also embraced by Norwegian parents.
Henrik: A name that resonates with Scandinavian history, Henrik has seen fluctuating popularity, with notable peaks in the 18th and early 20th centuries. Today, it's back in fashion in Norway as the 19th most popular baby boy name in 2022, suggesting a classic choice that has stood the test of time.
Håkon: With royal connotations, as it's the name of the heir apparent to the Norwegian throne, Håkon is expected to see a rise in popularity. The name is also commonly spelled Haakon, and offers a nod to Norway's rich history and royal lineage.
Popular baby boy names in Norway I-N
Isak: Boosted in popularity by the Norwegian TV series “Skam,” the name Isak, along with its variants Isaac and Isac, has become a trendy choice for newborn boys in Norway. That trend is a clear indicator of how popular culture can have a lasting effect on societal trends, including how we name our children.
Jakob: Experiencing a significant comeback, Jakob was once a favourite in the early 1900s before nearly disappearing. It reclaimed the top spot in 2020, only to be overtaken by other names in 2021, before returning to the top spot in 2022. The variant Jacob is also a popular choice among Norwegian parents.
Johannes: This medieval form of ‘John' has a timeless appeal in Norway, bolstered by the fame of Norwegian skier Johannes Høsflot Klæbo. It remains a preferred name for those seeking a connection to historical or traditional roots.
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.
Kasper: Kasper, a Scandinavian version of Jasper, a name of Persian origin meaning “treasurer,” has been embraced in Norway, reflecting its biblical roots as one of the Magi. Alternate spellings Casper and Kacper are also found in Norway. Kacper is a popular version of the name in Poland. There were 9 newborns with this spelling in Norway in 2022, presumably mostly if not all the children of immigrants.
Liam: Liam, once a rare choice in Scandinavia, has risen dramatically in popularity since 1998, becoming a favored name in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. This trend underscores a growing trend in the region to embrace names that have widespread appeal. Liam is an Irish name meaning “strong-willed warrior” and “protector,” derived from the longer name Uilliam, the Irish form of William.
Lucas: Lucas, a name cherished across Europe, particularly in Germany and Austria, has also found favour in Norway, resonating with many parents. Its alternative spelling, Lukas, holds equal appeal, reflecting a cultural preference for classic, yet versatile names. In Norway, the popularity of the alternate spelling Lukas is on par with Lucas.
Ludvig: Unlike many names on this list, Ludvig's popularity is somewhat unique to Norway, not shared as widely with the other Nordic countries. The variant Ludvik offers a slight variation on this distinguished name.
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?
Markus: Markus, with its roots in ancient Rome, meaning “dedicated to Mars,” was a top pick in Norway during the mid-1990s. However, its popularity has waned over the past two decades. The common variant Marcus shares the same etymological origin.
Matheo: This modern take on Matteo has been on the rise in Norway since the early 2000s, reflecting a trend towards more unique and contemporary names.
Mathias: While more commonly found in Denmark and Sweden, Mathias is still a top-20 contender for boys' names in Norway. The variant Matias is also popular, indicating a preference for this classic Scandinavian name.
Mohammad: A reflection on increased immigration in Norway, the name Mohammad (plus variants Mohamed, Mohammed, Muhammad and Muhammed) was the 27th most popular given name in Norway in 2022.
Noah: The Biblical name Noah has enjoyed a resurgence not just in the Norway, but in many countries around the world. For example, an astonishing 19,144 newborn boys in the U.S. were named Noah in 2016. The alternate spelling Noa is also found in Norway, albeit much less frequently.
Popular baby boy names in Norway O-Z
Olav: A name steeped in Norwegian heritage and linked to the revered patron saint, Saint Olav, has been a perennial favourite in Norway. Its enduring popularity may have been bolstered by cultural phenomena like Disney's “Frozen,” which brought Nordic names to a global audience.
Oliver: While Oliver has Norman French origins, its use in Scandinavia may also be influenced by the Old Norse name Áleifr, showing how names can bridge cultures and eras.
Oskar: 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 alternate spelling Oscar is also popular.
Sander: While it can be a shortened form of Alexander, Sander stands on its own in Norway, particularly noted for its popularity in the early 2000s.
Theodor: After being somewhat popular in the 19th century, Theodor vanished from common use until the 2000s. It has since seen a revival across the Nordic countries, including Iceland, where it was added to the approved names list in 2020. The variant Teodor is also recognised.
Tobias: The full form of ‘Toby' combines rich history with a modern touch. Originating from the Hebrew Toviyah, meaning “God is good,” it peaked in popularity in Scandinavia, especially Denmark and Norway, in the early 2000s, but has declined in use since then.
Viktor: While Viktor has been a long-standing name in Norway, it has only started to gain significant popularity since the 1990s. The alternate spelling Victor is nearly as popular, indicating a preference for this strong, classic name.
William: A name that has been surprisingly common throughout the 20th century in Scandinavia, William has seen a resurgence in recent years, suggesting a cross-cultural appeal that spans Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
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, typically with more than 100 newborns given those names. But the statistics clearly show they are not as popular as they once were.
However, other traditional names have dropped out of the top 50 Norwegian male baby names list altogether. These include names relatively common among older adults including Bjørn, Harald, Ole, and Thor/Tor.
What are your favourite male names in Norway, and why? Let us know in the comments below.