Viking Names

A picture of Vikings in Norway

Searching for a cool Viking name for your little warrior? Look no further!

More people than ever before are searching for a Norse-inspired name for their new creatures (including children).

Perhaps it’s because Norway frequently tops the charts as the happiest country in the world, or because current pop-culture has made cool Viking names so in-demand.

Whatever the reason of the sudden international popularity, many of these names have retained popularity in Scandinavia, coming in and out of fashion to varying degrees over the years.

We've pulled together a list, albeit not exhaustive, that won't give your adorable little Viking an axe to grind. Let's get going…

Popular viking name ideas for your little warriors

Female Viking names

In no particular order, here are some of the most popular women's viking names from the era. Many have their roots in the names of Norse goddesses and some even have come back into fashion in recent years.

Astrid

Not a name that's unique to the Viking era, but still a cracker of a name for your favourite little princess.

Astrid means Godly Strength in ancient Norse and is still commonly used today. Take one of Norway’s newest superstars for example, Astrid S. The royal families in Scandinavia also commonly use the name.

Freya

Translated from the old language Freya means lady. If you’re familiar with Norse mythology this name will be at the top of your head for female names.

Freya is one of the permanent goddesses of the Norse Pantheon. Today owners of girl Siberian huskies the world over celebrate her name. This statue of Freya stands proudly in Stockholm, Sweden, on Djurgården Bridge:

Statue of the Norse Goddess Freya in Stockholm, Sweden.

Ingrid

Another name with heavenly roots, Ingrid means beautiful goddess.

From Queens and actors to students, Ingrid has been a popular name throughout Scandinavia for centuries. But it can also be commonly found all across the world.

Famous Scandinavian people with the name include Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, and Princess Ingrid Alexandra, the elder child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit.

Solveig

One of the most beautiful names in the Scandinavian repertoire (at least in this writers opinion), the original Norse meaning of Solveig is ‘strong house', but it can also be taken to mean daughter of the sun or the sun's path.

Solveig is a central character in the play Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen, which could explain the name's popularity in Germany and France, as the play is popular there. To pronounce it correctly, ignore the g and emphases the first syllable, as so: SOHL-veye.

Blonde Viking woman with sword

A famous Norwegian with the name is Solveig Kloppen, a journalist, actress and host of the Norwegian edition of Pop Idol.

Sigrid/Sigfrid

The original translation of Sigrid comes in several different variants due to dialects. Victory, wisdom, and beauty are all on the list of translations from Old Norse.

Now, Sigrid is a common, yet beautiful, name that can be found in plenty of places outside of Scandinavia. With the increasing international popularity of the Norwegian singer Sigrid, we could see the name become even more common outside of Norway.

Frigg

A fun one (though not necessarily recommended) for English speakers; Frigg was the goddess of earth, air, and fertility in the Norse Pantheon. She was also the wife of Odin.

Although the name continued to feature in folklore long after the Christianisation fo Norway, Frigg is rarely used these days, yet it remains a name full of historical value.

A Finnish band are named after the goddess, and there is a sports club in Oslo that takes the name. A natural gas field in the North Sea between Norway and the United Kingdom also takes the name.

Sif/Siv

Th goddess of fertility and agriculture, Siv (or Sif) was the wife of Thor in Norse mythology. Because of this, the name has been taken to mean ‘bride' over the years. and is translated as bride. It was mentioned multiple times in the works of Snorri Sturluson.

The name is a popular one today. Siv Jensen is the current Minister of Finance. and has led the Progress Party since 2006. Siv Stubsveen started her career as a model and saleswoman before turning her hand to hosting on Norwegian TV and radio.

Toy Viking ship

Gunhild

For the shield maiden in your life – Gunhild is derived from the words war and battle. The name has many other spellings that are used across the Nordic countries, including Gunnhild, Gundhild, Gunhilda, and Gunnhildr.

The name also lends itself to the French clothing company Gunhild. The label was named after its founder, the Norwegian designer Gunhild Nygaard, who setup the company after years working with the likes of Givenchy and Christian Dior.

Gunhild Stordalen is a Norwegian physician and environmental advocate. She is the founder and president of EAT Foundation, Co-founder of Stordalen Foundation and CEO of GreeNudge, and often features in debates on climate change, public health, and the global food system.

Saga

An easily recognizable name, this name is often attributed to the translation of story, tale or fairy-tale. Yet, Saga was also the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history and sometimes identified as the goddess Frigg.

This name is really only found in Iceland, Sweden, and Norway, which makes it score high on the originality charts outside of Scandinavia.

Male Viking Names

Now for the guys! Many of these names are taken directly from Norse gods. Some of these are well-known thanks to the popular culture of today, others less so. Whether you prefer a popular name or one less familiar, you'll find something for you on this list.

Let's dive right in…

Viking reenactment in Trondheim, Norway

Thor/Tor

The hammer-wielding god of thunder and lightning – or the handsome, tight clad saviour of American pop-culture; either way you look at it Thor is a pretty heroic name for your little dude.

You will receive thunderous applause for authenticity if you go with the Scandinavian spelling Tor, pronounced more or less as it’s spelled.

Tor Erling Staff was a Norwegian barrister known for taking on controversial cases, Tor Mikkel Wara is a Norwegian politician who became Minister of Justice and Public Security in 2018, and Tor Endresen is a Norwegian singer who represented Norway in the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest.

Loki

While Freya is the name of every other female husky, Loki is the male equivalent. Originally, Loki was the trickster god in Norse mythology. Of course, Loki appears in the Marvel cinematic universe as an antihero, often in conflict with Thor.

Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. He occupied a ‘moral middle ground', sometimes assisting the gods and other times behaving with malice. If your little one seems to have a split personality, perhaps this is the name for them!

Viking ship in the ocean

Bjørn

What could be cooler than the name Bear? Yes, as in the animal, as this is the direct translation from Norwegian to English. This name has seen a rise in popularity after the Vikings TV series, but has been a staple in Norway for… well… ever.

The name is often written simply as ‘Bjorn' in English even though ø and o are different letters, and therefore different sounds, in Norwegian. Speak to a Norwegian to get the true sound, but to get you started it's closer to ‘bjurn' than ‘bjorn'.

Ivar

Add Ivar to the list of names made popular by the Vikings TV series. The name has a rich history among Kings, warriors, and other famous figures of folklore. Its meaning can best be described as ‘bow warrior', or archer.

Ivar is not as common as a name today in Scandinavia as it once was. That said, it is also the source of the Scottish name Ivor, which is more common on the British Isles.

Per Ivar Staberg is a former Norwegian football referee and player, while Ivar Johannes Koteng is a Norwegian businessman and chairman of Rosenborg football club.

Odin

The highest and most complex of all the gods from Norse mythology, Odin reined over art, war, wisdom, and death.

Wooden status of Norse God Odin

Perhaps because of Odin's role in folklore, the name hasn’t survived well over the centuries. Nevertheless, for the main dude in your life, the name Odin is hard to match.

Odin Staveland is a Norwegian musician and composer, while Odin Thiago Holm is a teenage footballer from Trondheim who signed for Oslo side Vålerenga in 2019,

Harold/Harald

Yet another name of kings, including the current monarch in Norway: Kong Harald V. This name remains popular today: though is often shortened to Harry in many countries.

Harald Hårfagre (Harald Fairhair) is portrayed by medieval Icelandic historians as the first King of Norway. Much of what we think we know about this famous Harald is based on sagas that were written long after his death.

Knut

Knut translates to knot and has been a popular name throughout Scandinavia and Europe for some time. A number of royals have lived under this name, including a prince of Denmark who defeated the kind of England in the 11th century to become the king of Norway, Denmark, and England.

The Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Knut Bjørnsen was a speed skater who turned professional sports commentator for national broadcaster NRK.

Ragnar

A popular Viking name all across Scandinavia, Ragnar was made popular internationally by the success of the Vikings TV show and its lead character Ragnar “Lothbrok” Sigurdsson.

Other famous Ragnars include wartime politician Ragnar Sigvald Skancke, and Ragnar Frisch, the co-recipient of the first Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Oseberg Viking Ship

Magnus

Many a Viking and many a modern-day Scandinavian go by this name. Its original translation means ‘great’, which sheds light on why there are so many kings named Magnus.

Regardless of if you have plans for your family to ascend to the throne, Magnus makes a pretty sweet name for creatures, big or small.

Leif

Made famous by the Nordic explorer Leif Ericsson, who reached North America sometime in the 11th century. This named has remained prevalent across the globe to the modern day, especially in the USA.

Leif Juster was a hugely popular Norwegian comedian, singer and actor, while Leif Garrett is an American singer, actor, and TV star.

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The most popular Norwegian viking names

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About the Author: Bradley Kurtz

Bradley Kurtz in an American freelance writer living in Trondheim.

39 Comments

    1. It’s great you say that. I name my dogs after Vikings. I have Tofi, Ragna & Gunnar. Looking for one more. Considering Odin.

  1. Norwegian here: Magnus is a Latin name, not Norse. It literally means “Great”. Several Scandinavian kings have indeed been given the name Magnus, but only after their countries were converted to Christianity.

    The first King Magnus in Scandinavia was Magnus I (the Good), son of Norway’s patron saint King Olaf Haraldsson (the Holy) who made Christianity the official region in Norway shortly before being killed at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Technically, the Viking age was still ongoing during Magnus I’s reign (1035-1047), as historians regard Harald Hardråde’s fall in 1066 at the Battle of Stamford Bridge to be the end of the Viking Era. In this sense, Magnus could be considered a Viking name. It is a stretch however, as its origin clearly is Latin.

    Otherwise, great list!

  2. Leif is not pronounced leaf in Norwegian (and sounds silly in English) They Canadian ‘Eh’ is better sounding, as in ‘LehF’
    If you don’t speak ‘C’nadian’ – try ey = LeyF

    1. I know all about that. My husband is Leif, we live in Australia, and people don’t know what to call him, so he is Leaf, until we correct them.

    1. Wouldn’t recommend it – it was a nickname about someones hairy legs!! Guess Vikings missed that out.

  3. My son name is Odin 😍 he is almost 4months old now, and he is the best. Bjarte is my boyfriends name and my name is Ingeborg.

  4. My grandfathers were Thorvald Jeagar and Gunderson Hammer. We used to joke that we had a Thor and a Hammer. Then my mom was Auslaug Kristine. She changed her name to Kris so nobody called her Ass-log.

  5. I met a man in L.A. this past Søndag, at a Sjømannskirken service, whose name was GORM. He said his father in Norway had read about an early Viking King named Gorm, and said, Thats my boy! I had never heard this name….

  6. Very nice list. Kjetil and I just named out new Mexican street dog, Odin. He doesn’t know it yet but he is moving to Vestfold for the new year. (both my dog and my husband) Perfect!
    Tusen Takk.

  7. My father,s name was INGVAR ,My name is INGVAR, My sister’s name is TORDIS, My brother’s name is HANS ,My uncle’s names were ARTHUR, KARL ,JENTOFT, , Cousin’s name was ASBJORN, SOREN, ANTON, INGE,

  8. For the first sorry my bad eng.

    My name is Bjørn born i Hamburg, but i live for about 32
    years i Denmark.

    My 1 brother is named don`t laugh Orm (Wurm in u know). That happen while my mother was waiting and my father read the book Red Wurm (Den røde orm ) he keept
    the rec. for the funnist name that week.

    2 brother was named Arne

    and 3 Lars Thune
    oh by the way IM the oldest

  9. My first name is Thorald, and my middle name is Magnus and I live in Scotland, which was unusual name when I was at school, when I started working my first name got shortened to Thor and I have called myself this for many years now, and is always a topic when meeting women (back in the day) or someone new. I would not change my name for anything and I’m extremely proud of it.

  10. Is there a Norwegian place or history with the name dalton. It’s a family name like mine but we have always wondered where my fafar got it.

    1. Not Norwegian. After John Dalton 1766-1844, an English Physicist. A Dalton is a unit of mass equal to 1/12 of the atomic mass of the most abundant carbon isotope 12C.

  11. My friends name is Ils
    thats “ils”
    sorry the font here made that capital i look like and L so I used small letters. Its a beautiful norse variant of ILSE which may also be a variant of something else.

  12. A kind of funny thing.
    My grandmother had a very special name, that her patents made up. I have given my daughter the same name as a second first name. Mercia… after seeing Vikings i found out that Mercia was the old name for the middel of England in the viking era.
    I Think it is a beautiful name ❤️

  13. I’m Eríka, fiancé is Kristján, our son is Lochlan Jággar Ray And our last name is Jónasson 🙂 oh and we are Canadian/Icelandic 🇨🇦🇮🇸

  14. My name is Niels which is a pretty common Nordic name these days. “Sadly” it is derived from Nicholas after the nordic crusades were over so its basically a Christian name and not an authentic one.

  15. My name is Svein and my wife is Rannveig.
    We are immigrants from Norway 50 years ago.
    To gode Viking navn. Er det noen som veit forskjellen mellom Sven, Svein og Svend.??

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