Looking for a Scandi-inspired name for your new baby girl? Here are the most popular baby girl names in Norway right now, updated with the latest statistics from 2022. We also share detailed explanations of what each name means.
Naming a child is an incredibly personal process. For some, the decision is an easy one. For others, not so much. Quite right too! In most cases, a name is for life.
Judging by the number of people seeking out our article on popular Norwegian baby names, plenty of you fall into the latter category! This article is for you.
Baby girl name inspiration from Norway
Norway is a popular choice for inspiration when it comes to naming a child and it’s not hard to see why. From Norse mythology to the incredible natural beauty of the landscape, the country's history and culture is full of inspiration.
From several prime ministers to the first ever winner of the women's Ballon d'Or, Norwegian women have held many prominent positions in Norway. So, it's no surprise that some of the names will inspire.
If you are considering a name for your baby in Norway, make sure you get to know Norway's naming rules. Although there are no banned names as such, certain words are not allowed to be used in a name.
People such as Erna Solberg, Ada Hegerberg, Liv Ullmann, and mononymously-named singers Aurora and Sigrid are among the well-known Norwegian names. But what names are the most popular in Norway right now? Let's take a closer look.
Top 10 Norwegian baby girl names in 2022
Each year, Statistics Norway (SSB), Norway's national agency for official statistics, releases information on names. Personally, I always find this a fascinating read. Let's take a look at the most popular girls names for newborns in 2020.
The following top 10 names were the most popular among newborn girls in 2022. The number of instances of the name in 2022 is listed in brackets after the name.
- 1. Nora/Norah/Noora (359)
- 2. Emma (337)
- 3. Olivia (331)
- 4. Ella (326)
- 5. Sofie/Sophie (315)
- 6. Leah/Lea (288)
- 7. Frida (269)
- 8=. Iba (266)
- 8=. Sofia/Sophia (266)
- 10. Sara/Sarah/Zara (262)
The name in first place is a historic name that has surged back into favour in a big way recently. The spelling variant Noora has become popular thanks to hit TV show “Skam”, but it's not the only reason for the name's popularity.
SSB researcher Jørgen Ouren explained that Nora is a shortened form of Eleonore from Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll’s House: “Nora was rarely used between 1940 and 1980, but then became popular alongside other short names for girls that end with an a.”
Regional popularity across Norway
An interesting fact from the statistics is that the popularity of given names for newborns differs across the country. Nora and its spelling variants topped the charts in just two of Norway's counties: Nordland, and Vestfold og Telemark.
Among the curiosities in the regional charts were Selma, Anna, and Aurora. These were the most popular names in Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, and Innlandet respectively, despite not featuring in the top ten nationwide.
Popular baby girl names in Norway A-L
Ada. The name Ada, with its concise elegance and historical resonance, has seen a resurgence in Norway, possibly influenced by the fame of Ada Hegerberg, the celebrated Norwegian footballer. Its origins are Germanic, derived from names beginning with the element “adal,” meaning “noble.” The name's simplicity and its association with a successful athlete have likely contributed to its growing appeal among Norwegian parents.
Agnes. Agnes is a name with deep historical roots, tracing back to the Greek word “hagnē,” meaning “pure” or “holy.” Its popularity in Norway can be linked to its rich heritage, including Agnes Håkonsdatter, a notable figure in Norwegian history as the daughter of King Haakon V. Her involvement in royal succession claims has kept the name alive in the annals of history and in the minds of those seeking a name with regal and historical significance.
Alma. With its Latin origin meaning “nourishing” or “kind,” Alma carries a gentle yet profound resonance. In the Scandinavian context, it evokes a sense of warmth and nurturing, qualities highly valued in Nordic cultures. But the name also suggests “soul” in modern Spanish, adding a layer of spirituality to the name choice. In Norway, Alma has seen a resurgence in use during the 2020s.
Amalie. A variant of Amelia, this name has a Germanic origin meaning “work” and so conveys a sense of industriousness and productivity. In Norway, Amalie is appreciated for its classic sound and the way it bridges traditional charm with a modern sensibility. Its popularity may also be influenced by its royal connections, as names with similar sounds are found among European nobility.
Astrid. A name with roots in Old Norse as Ástríðr, meaning “divinely beautiful,” Astrid has been a staple name in Norway since medieval times. Its noble bearing is underscored by its use in Scandinavian royal families, including Princess Astrid of Sweden and Norway. The name's regal associations and timeless beauty continue to make it a popular choice for Norwegian parents.
Aurora. The name Aurora, with its poetic, celestial connotations, is beloved around the world. In Latin, it means “dawn,” and it was the name of the Roman goddess of the morning. Its association with the natural wonder of the aurora borealis, particularly relevant in the Norwegian context, adds to the name's allure. Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes, known as Aurora, has brought a modern celebrity touch to this historic name.
Ella. One of Norway's most popular baby girl names in recent years, Ella is a name that exudes a vintage charm. Often a diminutive of Eleanor and other “el” names, it also stands on its own with a meaning that can be traced to “light” or “beautiful fairy.” The name has been popularised by figures such as Ella Marie Hætta Isaksen, the Norwegian Sami musician and founder of ISÁK, adding a new layer to its appeal.
Emilie. The German and Scandinavian variant of Emily has Latin origins, meaning “rival” or “eager.” The name has been borne by notable figures such as Danish actress Emilie Ullerup and Norwegian actress and host Emilie Skolmen, lending it a touch of contemporary glamour while maintaining a classic European elegance.
Emma. Popular in Norway, Emma is also one of the most popular baby names in the world today. It is of Germanic origin. Well-known Norwegians with the name include model and YouTuber Emma Ellingsen, singer Emma Steinbakken and actress Emma Bones.
Frida. Although Frida gives the impression of ancient roots, I was surprised to discover that its Scandinavian usage only dates back to the 19th century. The name, meaning “peace,” has been popularised by figures like Norwegian jazz singer Frida Ånnevik, adding a modern cultural dimension to the name.
Iben: One of the lesser-known names on this list from an international perspective, Iben is nevertheless one of the top ten choices for Norwegian parents of newborn girls. A name of Danish and Norwegian origin, Iben is derived from the Old Norse word “ýr,” which means “yew tree,” symbolising resilience and longevity.
Ingrid. A popular Nordic name that is a continuation of the Old Norse name Ingiríðr. Well-known uses of the name include Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway and Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman was arguably one of the most famous Scandinavians in her time.
Leah. With its origins in Hebrew, meaning “weary” or “delicate,” Leah is a name that enjoys global recognition. In Norway, it carries a regal connotation, notably with Leah Isadora Behn, the second daughter of Princess Märtha Louise.
Linnea. Created in honour of the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Linnea, meaning “twinflower,” has been a cherished name in Scandinavia, particularly among those born in the 1990s. Its association with popular culture figures like blogger Linnéa Solli Myhre and singer Linnea Dale keeps the name current, despite a general decline in its use for newborn children.
Popular baby girl names in Norway M-Z
Maja. A diminutive of Maria, Maja is popular in Germany and Scandinavia. In other countries, the name is spelled Maya or Maia. While it was a common name in Denmark and Sweden at various points over the last 100 years, the name's popularity in Norway is more recent.
Nora. A name of Latin origin meaning “honor,” Nora (and its spelling variants Norah and Noora) has a timeless appeal. It gained prominence through Henrik Ibsen's play “A Doll's House,” featuring the strong-willed protagonist Nora Helmer. In Norway, the name enjoys popularity, embodying a blend of classic charm and modern simplicity.
Olivia. Derived from Latin oliva (olive), Olivia was popularised by William Shakespeare but surged back into popularity in English speaking countries in the 1990s. This no doubt has contributed to the name's popularity in Scandinavia in more recent years. Swedish ice hockey player Olivia Carlsson was born in 1995.
Sara. The name Sara, a variant of Sarah, is a Hebrew name meaning “princess” or “noblewoman” and is widely favored across northern Europe for its classic and elegant simplicity. In Norway, notable personalities like model Sara Skjoldnes and beauty YouTuber Sara Marie Lawler have kept the name in the public eye.
Selma. Despite its association with the mythical sea serpent in Norwegian folklore, the name Selma, which may have origins meaning “divine protector,” has maintained a certain charm and is surprisingly popular in Norway. Its legendary connection, celebrated on the Seljord coat of arms since 1989, adds a mystical allure to this choice of name.
Sigrid. Originating from the Old Norse Sigríðr, meaning “victory” and “beautiful,” Sigrid is a name that has stood the test of time in the Nordic countries. Norwegian singer Sigrid Solbakk Raabe, known mononymously as Sigrid, has brought a fresh and modern appeal to this historic name thanks to her successful international music career.
Siri. A Scandinavian name with roots in the Old Norse and related to the name Sigrid, Siri is a name that is full of traditional charm while embracing a contemporary, tech-savvy identity. The reason? In modern times, Siri has gained international recognition due to its association with Apple's virtual assistant, which has made the name synonymous with knowledge and helpfulness.
Sofia. The name Sofia, a variation of Sophia meaning “wisdom,” is a common choice throughout the Nordic region, known for its regal and classic connotations. Swedish actress Sofia Helin, portraying Norwegian Crown Princess Märtha in “Atlantic Crossing,” has given the name a contemporary touch.
Sofie. As a variant of Sofia, Sofie has been present in Norway since the 17th century but has seen a significant rise in popularity over the last two decades. Its adoption by public figures such as singer Sofie Fjellvang and handball player Sofie Ege Grønlund has helped to modernise the name while preserving its traditional appeal.
Solveig. Meaning “strong house” or “daughter of the sun,” Solveig has deep roots in Norse culture and is unsurprisingly prevalent in Scandinavia. It gained literary fame through Henrik Ibsen's “Peer Gynt,” and its cultural significance is reinforced by figures like Norwegian soprano Solveig Kringlebotn, who has brought the name to global audiences through her classical music performances.
Tiril. A name that may have origins in Old Norse albeit with an uncertain meaning, Tiril has recently climbed the ranks of popularity in Norway. Its rise can be partly attributed to the visibility of Norwegian athletes like handball player Tiril Merg and winter sports stars Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen, Tiril Eckhoff, and Tiril Udnes Weng.
Of course, looking at popular names for newborns shows only one side of the story of Norwegian girl names. We must also consider names in widespread use among adults, many of which have fallen out of favour when it comes to naming children.
Of course, this isn't intended to be an exhaustive list of all names in use in Norway. That would be impossible. But hopefully you've found the inspiration you were looking for.
What's your favourite Norwegian name for a baby girl? Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.