Searching for a cool Viking moniker for your little warrior? Look no further! Here's a list of popular Viking names, then and now.
We can see from the number of people reading this page that more people than ever before are searching for a Norse-inspired name for their new creatures. That includes children, by the way!
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 for the sudden international popularity, many Norse-inspired names remain popular Scandinavian names to this day. Most have moved 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…
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.
Not a name that's unique to the Viking era, but still a cracker of a name for your favourite little princess.
Read more: The Viking Lifestyle
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.
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 beautiful statue of Freya stands proudly in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, on Djurgården Bridge:
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.
Read more: Banned Names in Norway
Famous Scandinavian people with the name include Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman and Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal. Princess Ingrid Alexandra, the elder child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, also carries the name.
One of the most beautiful names in the Scandinavian repertoire (at least in this writer's 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.
A famous Norwegian with the name is Solveig Kloppen, a journalist, actress and host of the Norwegian edition of Pop Idol. The 48-year-old was born in Trondheim and also previously worked as a stand-up comedian.
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.
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.
Read more: Why Did The Viking Age Start?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
Read more: A Viking Timeline
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!
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'.
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.
The highest and most complex of all the gods from Norse mythology, Odin reined over art, war, wisdom, and death.
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,
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 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.
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.
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.
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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