Check out 100 of the best Norwegian boy names straight from Scandinavia!
Aage is a variation of the Norwegian name Åge. In Norway, the “å” is pronounced like the “aw” in “saw,” so Aage is pronounced as aw-gay. Both spelling variations are common in Scandinavia but rare elsewhere, making Aage an unusual choice for non-natives.
Agnar is so strong it could belong to a Viking! It’s derived from the Old Norse “agi” meaning “awe, terror” or “egg,” combined with “arr,” for “warrior,” bringing about the meaning: “edge of a sword.” Agnarr was the name of Elsa and Anna’s dad in Disney’s Frozen, bringing this traditional Norsk name into pop culture.
Aksel is the Scandinavian form of Absalom. It sounds more modern than its Hebrew cousin but still has religious undertones – a perfect option if you plan to raise your son in the church. Currently, Axel is very trendy in the States, ranked 72nd in 2020. Aksel could be the lesser-known (yet equally attractive) alternative you’ve been searching for!
Aleksander is a timeless boy’s name that never goes out of style. It belonged to several kings, emperors, and popes, the most famous being the 4th-century Greek ruler, Alexander the Great. Aleksander has never made the U.S. top 1000, making it an excellent Alexander alternative for a Norwegian-American.
In Norse legend, Alf was a king who pursued the reluctant warrior-maiden Alfhild. Alfhild disguised herself as a male warrior to get away from Alf, but, after fighting him, was so impressed with his strength that she agreed to marry him. Alf is attractive, easy to spell, and has an extraordinary legend to back it up – a solid choice across the board!
Alfred is an old-timey name favored in the early 19th-century, with bearers like silent-film director Alfred Hitchcock and British poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson. What’s old is often made new again, so this vintage name could soon see a resurgence. Typical nicknames are Al and Fred, whereas Alf, Alfie, and Allie are more original.
Amund is the modernized form of Agmundr – an Old Norse name derived from “egg,” meaning “edge of a sword,” and “mundr,” meaning “protection.” Amund remains a buried treasure outside of Norway, waiting to be discovered!
Anders is a strong name with undeniable masculine charm. It’s already come and gone in Norway, peaking in 1982 before slowly falling out of favor. In the U.S., Anders is just getting started, making its way to 831st in 2020.
Anton is the Scandinavian and Eastern European version of the Ancient Roman Antonius. In the U.S., Anton is overshadowed by its cousin Anthony – a favorite since 1900. If you love the sound of Anthony but think it’s too basic, Anton could be the answer.
Arild’s etymological roots are unclear. Some believe it’s a Norse mash-up of Arnold and Harald, meaning “eagle power” or “war chief.” This mysterious name is almost exclusively used in Norway. If you don’t live in Scandinavia, naming your son Arild will undoubtedly turn heads!
Arne is as elegant and powerful as an eagle, giving it the potential to “take flight” outside Norway. Arne could be a patriotic selection if your son is Norwegian-American since the eagle is the USA’s national bird.
Arvid is a natural choice among our Norwegian male names, derived from the Old Norse “arn,” meaning “eagle” and “vior,” meaning “tree, wood, or forest.” Arvid is trendy in Sweden but fell off the grid in the U.S. and Norway in the mid-1900s. We think Arvid is adorable, attractive, and original enough to make a complete comeback.
Baard and Bard are variations of the Norse name Bård, without the “å.” Tolkien fans will appreciate the connection to Bard the Bowman, a skilled archer and dragon slayer in The Hobbit.
Bendik is the Norse form of the Latin word “benedictus,” meaning “blessed.” This divine name was in Norway’s top 100 from 1991 to 2001 but hasn’t been back since.
Birger is an old-school Norsk name common in the 40s and 50s before taking a nosedive. You could try the Berge spelling instead if it reminds you too much of fast food.
Traditionally written with the Norwegian “ø,” Bjorn is often Latinized with an “o” outside Scandinavia. This badass Norse name has been around since Viking times but got a boost in recent years thanks to world-champ tennis player Bjorn Borg.
Brede is an uber-masculine name derived from the Medieval Danish “bredje,” meaning “battle-axe.” Brede is almost exclusively used in Norway, receiving little notice outside its homeland. In the U.S., Brede could be an unconventional Brady alternative.
Dagfinn is the perfect name for a young warrior, derived from the Old Norse “finna,” meaning “find,” and “dagr,” meaning “day.” This badass Viking name is a bit unusual, even in Norway, where it hasn’t made the charts since the 50s. Still, if you’re looking for a mighty name, you can’t get much stronger than Dagfinn!
Didrik is the classic Norwegian variation of the Germanic name Theodoric. It could be the perfect Derek alternative if you live Stateside – it’s similar-sounding, original, and doesn’t have “dad” vibes.
Dyre may have derived from the Old Norse “dýrr,” meaning “dear, expensive, precious” or “dýr,” meaning “wild animal, deer.” Whether your son is “dear” to your heart or is as free as a “deer” in the forest, Dyre could be a fitting choice.
Egil was the name of a legendary 10th-century Viking and skald (AKA poet) known for his might in battle. The name never caught on outside Scandinavia, possibly because of its “terrifying” meaning. Still, Egil has a rugged allure that could make it an apt choice for your young warrior!
Einar is derived from the Old Norse “ein,” meaning “one, alone,” and “arr” meaning “warrior.” It shares roots with “einherjar,” a word for battle-fallen warriors who go to Valhalla – a majestic heaven-like hall ruled by the Norse god Odin.
Eirik is classic and charming – ideal if you want an authentic Nordic name that isn’t too “out there.” It belonged to several early kings of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
Emil is the simple-yet-elegant Scandinavian form of the Latin Aemulus, meaning “rival.” Despite being a top 50 pick in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Emil is “out” in the States, not making the charts since 1984. Perhaps it’s time for Emil to get back in the competition?
Endre is the shortened form of Eindride – an Old Norse name derived from elements “ein,” meaning “one” or “alone” and “rida,” meaning “to ride.” It’s rare, even in Norway, only making the top 100 in 2001. In Hungary, Endre is a variation of Andrew.
A religious choice among our Norwegian names for boys, Enok is the Scandinavian form of the Hebrew Enoch – the Biblical great-grandfather of Noah. Enok is strange but also appealing, especially if you plan to “dedicate” your son to God.
Erland is a habitational surname from a farm town in Norway. It has a classy last-name feel, similar to Walker, Dawson, or Gallagher. Erland is likely derived from the Old Norse “land,” meaning “land, farm” and “elri,” meaning “alder” (as in the tree). However, it could also come from “ørlendr,” meaning “foreigner,” – giving the name a bit of mystery!
In Medieval Scandinavia, Jarl was a title of nobility given to clan chiefs. So, naming your son Erling (“descendant of the jarl”) is essentially calling him a prince!
Eskil is a modern version of the Old Norse name Asketill, meaning “god’s helmet.” While the title initially referenced Norse gods, it took on a Christian meaning with Saint Eskil – an 11th-century monk who founded Lake Malaren’s first diocese in Sweden.
Espen is one of those Norwegian names for boys that’s unusual yet undeniably charming. It was prominent in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, belonging to approximately 1.1% of males in Norway. Espen may be too similar to Colorado ski-town Aspen and sports channel ESPN to succeed Stateside.
Even is an attractive baby boy name that’s on the rise in Norway. It’s simpler than other spelling variations (Eivind and Øyvind) – a desirable trait for many 21st-century parents. Even may be mistaken as an Evan alternative, despite having no relation.
Filip is the Scandinavian and Central European version of Philip – derived from the Greek Philippos, meaning “friend of horses.” Filip’s endearing quality will make everyone want to be your son’s best friend (including the horses)!
Finn has dual origins in Norway and Ireland, derived from the Old Norse “finnr,” meaning “person from Finland,” and the Old Irish “finn,” meaning “fair, white.” Cute and concise, Finn has done quite well for itself in recent years, placing in the top 50 boys’ names in over ten countries. Pick it while it’s hot!
Frode is derived from the Old Norse “fróðr,” meaning “learned” or “wise.” This vintage name was popular in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, falling out of fashion by the mid-80s. An old-timey name for an old soul!
Geir was first used as a given name in the 1930s. However, it was a component of several older Norsk names, like Asgeir and Torgeir. This manly title was very successful in Norway in the 60s and 70s, with 2% of male newborns named Geir. Although it’s less popular today, Geir is strong and rugged enough to earn our approval.
In Norse mythology, Gjest was the name Odin, and other gods would call themselves to avoid revealing their true identities. Another association is with folk hero Gjest Baardsen, an outlaw who would steal from the rich and give to the poor (like a Norwegian Robin Hood)!
Godtfred is derived from the Germanic name Godafrid meaning “peace of God.” Godtfred and its English cousin Godfrey are both considered old-fashioned, with little usage since the early 1900s. An appealing option for vintage name enthusiasts.
Grim is the medieval form of Grímr- popular in Anglo-Scandinavian areas until the 12th-century. In Norse myths, Grim was a byname for Odin, often chosen for boys to ensure they’d receive protection. Nowadays, it has a “grim” outlook, especially given its relation to the Grim Reaper (and other spooky things).
A mythological choice among our Norwegian names for boys, Gunnar was the husband of Brynhildr, the most sought-after warrior maiden in Viking legends. This manly Norse name is common in Scandinavia but new on the U.S. scene, working its way to 528th in 2020.
Gunvald is a powerful Viking name derived fromthe Old Norse “gunnr,” meaning “war” and “valdr,” meaning “power” or “ruler.”
Gustav is a classy choice among our Scandinavian male names, belonging to six kings of Sweden. The Geats were a seafaring tribe residing in the south part of Sweden. Attractive and elegant, Gustav is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Haakon belonged to several early Norse rulers and kings. It is most often spelled Håkon in Scandinavia and Haakon elsewhere. Although Haakon is attractive and traditional, it may be too complex for widespread use.
Haldor is derived from the Old Norse name Halldórr, containing elements “hallr,” meaning “rock” and “thor,” describing the Norse god of storms. Mighty and strange, Haldor may be better suited for a Viking warrior than a 21st-century boy. Try pairing it with the nickname Hal for a modern touch.
Halfdan is an authentic Viking name, often associated with Halfdan Ragnarsson – the mighty Norse warrior who led the Great Heathen Army to invade England in 865 AD. Halfdan means “half-Dane,” appropriate if your son is part-Danish!
Harald is the Scandinavian and German form of the English name Harold. Harald was prevalent in olden times, belonging to five kings of Norway and three kings of Denmark. Harald has gone from regal to retro, replaced by trendier “H” names like Hayden and Hunter.
Helge is a mythological choice among our Norwegian names for boys, born by several legendary figures. The most notable was Helgi Hundingsbane, a heroic warrior who fell in love with Sigrun the valkyrie – a feminine spirit in Norse myths that decides who lives and dies in battle.
Henrik is a classic name that’s been a Norwegian favorite since the 1970s. Several athletes, creatives, and royals are named Henrik, the most notable being Norwegian theater director Henrik Ibsen, regarded as one of the most influential playwrights of his time.
Holger Danske was a legendary knight of King Charlemagne mentioned in La Chanson de Roland and other medieval French romances. Today, Holger is a folk hero who symbolizes Danish identity and patriotism. Holger could be the perfect choice if you love a name with a story!
In Norse myths, Yngvi was another name for the god Freyr. Yngvi was a part of the Vanir – a group of deities associated with wisdom, fertility, and the ability to see the future. If you name your son Ingvar, he will likely have Yngvi on his side!
Isak is the Scandinavian version of Isaac, a Hebrew name meaning “he will laugh.” It references a Bible story where Abraham and his elderly wife Sarah laughed with joy when God permitted them to become pregnant.
Equivalent to the English Earl, Jarle was a title of nobility given to chieftains, second only to the king. Although the title has been around since Medieval times, Jarle didn’t take off as a given name in Norway until the 1940s. Jarle is powerful and prestigious, giving your little guy the confidence to be a leader of the pack!
Joakim is the Scandinavian, Macedonian, and Serbian version of Joachim – a Hebrew name for the father of Mary (Jesus’s mother). Joakim has sporadically made the charts in Norway and Sweden, but its pronunciation is too complex to maintain interest for long. The Spanish version, Joaquin, is more successful, thanks to American actor Joaquin Phoenix.
Johannes is the refined Scandinavian form of John. This elegant name can be shortened to Johan, John, or Jo, depending on your little guy’s personality. Johannes has never made the U.S. top 1000 – it certainly has John’s charisma without the overuse!
When you hear Jonas, you may think of the man swallowed by the whale in the Old Testament, or perhaps the pop band, Jonas Brothers (who many tweens gushed over in the early 2000s). Whether you associate it with the Bible or the boy band, Jonas is an excellent name with worldwide recognition.
Josef is a variation of the Hebrew Joseph, regularly used in Scandinavia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. In the Bible, Josef was the favorite son of Jacob and the husband of the Virgin Mary. A classic Christian name that never seems to go out of style!
Jostein is a classic Norsk name derived from the elements “jór,” meaning “horse,” and “steinn,” meaning “stone.” A cute nickname is Jo.
A sweet choice for a baby with curly hair, Kaare is the modern version of the Old Norse name Kári. It’s often spelled Kåre in Scandinavia. Although Kaare was traditionally masculine, its similarity to feminine picks like Keri and Kerry has made it unisex in recent years.
Karl is the German and Scandinavian form of Charles. Karl’s popularity was enhanced due to its status as a royal name, with bearers like Frankish king Karl the Great (Charlemagne in English). Nowadays, parents often choose this name in honor of philosopher/economist Karl Marx. Karl is classy and sophisticated – a truly timeless pick.
In Old Scandinavian rituals, a Kjetil was a caldron used to catch the blood of sacrificed animals (yikes). Kjetil later acquired the meaning of “helmet” – fitting for your young warrior! Once widespread in Norway, Kjetil may be too strange to succeed outside its homeland.
A rare choice among our Norwegian names for boys, Kleng is derived from the Old Norse “kló,” meaning “talons, claws.” The best-known bearer is Kleng Pedersen, a Norse man sent to America by Norwegian Quakers looking for a place to practice their religion. He settled in the U.S. in 1825, becoming the first Norwegian-American!
While Knut may look too “nutty” to make it in English-speaking countries, it’s had great success in Norway, where it’s associated with Knut the Great, a Danish king who ruled over Denmark, England, and Norway in the 11th-century.
Kristian is the cool Scandinavian form of Christian. It was trendy in the U.S. and England in the early 2000s before taking a downwards turn. Its variant, Christian, is currently ranked #62 in the States – making Kristian the perfect lowkey alternative.
Kristoff is a charming choice among our Norwegian names for boys, derived from the Late Greek “Christophoros,” meaning “bearing Christ.” Kristoff recently entered the limelight when Disney chose it for their adorable Sami ice harvester in Frozen. Although Kristoff’s never been ranked in the U.S., we’re confident parents won’t “let it go” for long!
Lars is the whole package – relaxed, simple, and attractive. Unlike Laurence (from which it’s derived), Lars sounds modern and chic, giving it a leg-up over its old-fashioned cousin. Lars also rhymes with Mars – an appealing characteristic for space-lovers!
Leif is powerful yet elegant – truly the best of both worlds. It’s associated with 11th-century Norse explorer Leif Erikson, who discovered America a millennium before Christopher Columbus! While Leif is pronounced LAYF in Scandinavia, some prefer saying LEAF for a more natural feel.
In Norse Mythology, Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and shapeshifting. The exact origins are debatable, sometimes associated with “logi” meaning “flame” or the Germanic root word “luk” meaning “knot.” It relates well to Loki’s role as a “tangler,” known for causing mayhem – perhaps a perfect match for your little trouble-maker!
Lucas is the Latinized version of the Greek Loukas, meaning “from Lucania” – a region in southern Italy. It took off in Scandinavia, the U.S., and Western Europe in the second half of the 20th-century, currently in the top 50 in 20+ countries. Strong and stylish, Lucas is hard not to like.
You can’t get much stronger than Magne – a name that means “strength” in Old Norse! Fans of the Netflix series Ragnarok will appreciate the association with Magne Seier – the reincarnation of Thor who fights against giants to save the world.
Markus is one of several Norwegian boy names with Latin origins, often associated with St.Mark the Evangelist, the author of the second Gospel. Markus was also an old Roman name, possibly relating to Mars, the god of war.
Matheo is the modern Norwegian and Swedish version of Matthew – one of Jesus’s twelve apostles. Matheo is more popular than the older Scandinavian name Matteus. It’s currently ranked in the top 100 in Norway, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and France.
Morten means “like Mars,” relating to the Roman god of war. It’s virtually unheard of in the U.S., surpassed by its English variant, Martin. Morten sounds similar to Martin but isn’t overused, making it a top-notch replacement!
Narve is a newer form of Narfi – one of Loki’s sons and the father of Nott (the personification of the night) in Norse mythology. Narve is reminiscent of Marv and Harv, both well past their primes. Narve’s mythical connections could give it an edge over its old-fashioned cousins.
Nils is the short n’ sweet Scandinavian form of Nicholas – a Greek name derived from “nike,” meaning “victory” and “laos,” meaning “people.” It just reentered Norway’s top 100 boys’ names in 2017 after a 15-year lapse. Nils is simple, cool, and doesn’t immediately make you think of Santa Claus (a winner in our books)!
Njal is the Old Norse form of Niall – possibly derived from the Celtic root “nītu” meaning “fury” and “passion” or the Old Irish “nia,” meaning “hero.” The Icelandic form is Njáll, often associated with a legendary lawyer and sage from the 13th-century saga, The Story of Burnt Njáll.
In Norse mythology, Njord was the god of the sea, wind, and navigation and the father of Freya – the renowned goddess of love, fertility, and battle. Although Njord is a prominent deity, his name could be too complex to make it as big as Odin or Loki.
Although this would be an “odd” choice in the U.S., it’s very common in Norway, derived from Old Norse “oddr,” meaning “point of a sword.”
Odin is a mythical choice among our Norwegian male names, inspired by the Norse god of wisdom, death, and magic. It wasn’t used as a given O name for boys until modern times, taking off in the late 20th-century. Odin is trending upwards in Norway, England, the Netherlands, and the U.S., so it’s one to keep your eyes on!
Olaf is an old Norsk name belonging to five Norwegian kings, the most famous being Olaf II, later canonized as Saint Olaf. Nowadays, most associate Olaf with the talking snowman from Disney’s Frozen. Whether you’re a history buff or a Disney fan, Olaf certainly has something to offer.
Oskar is the Scandinavian, German, Polish, and Slovene form of Oscar. It’s derived from the Old Norse “Ásgeirr” meaning “God’s spear” or the Old Irish “oss” and “carae,” meaning “deer friend.” A noble namesake was Oskar Schilder, who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust.
Osvald is the Norsk variation of Oswald. This name has a classy, vintage feel, similar to Walden or Bartholomew. Try nicknames Oz, Ozzie, or Ozzy to give this old-fashioned name a modern spin.
In Norse Mythology, Ottar was a protege of the goddess Freya. She brought Ottar to Hyndla, a seeress, who revealed information about his ancestors. Although this mythical name was once hot in Scandinavia, it’s never done well in the U.S., likely because of its similarity to the aquatic mammal.
Ove is a simple choice among our Norwegian boy names, first used in Scandinavia in the 1400s. It’s derived from “Aghi,” a shortened form of Old Norse names containing the elements “egg,” meaning “edge of a sword,” and “agi,” meaning “terror.”
Petter has been popular in Norway since the 1940s, only recently falling out of favor. In the U.S., Petter and the other Norsk variation, Peder, have never even made the top 1,000. Perhaps it’s time for these charming Peter variations to cross the pond?
Ragnar is a badass name born by legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok – a warrior king who conducted raids against the Holy Roman Empire in the 9th-century. It’s most prevalent in Iceland, ranked 32nd in 2016.
Rasmus is the Scandinavian form of Erasmus – derived from the Greek “erasmios,” meaning “beloved.” A jazzy nickname is Razz.
Reidar is an attractive, ultra-masculine name primarily used in Norway. It could be very successful in the U.S., where similar-sounding Ryder is rising. Reidar sounds just like the English word raider – perhaps fitting for your little Viking!
Rikard is the Scandinavian version of Richard. Although Richard is more popular (even in Norway), Rikard has a pleasant sound and look, making it a close second. The “k” in this name lends itself to casual nicknames: Rick and Ricky.
Roald is the modern form of the Old Norse name Hróaldr or Hróðvaldr. It’s often associated with Roald Dahl, the famous children’s book author known for writing James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Roar is an authentic Scandinavian name derived from the Old Norse “hróðr,” meaning “fame” and “geirr,” meaning “spear.” Whether you think of a lion’s roar or the roar of a river, Roar is undeniably powerful.
Rolf is an old Germanic/Norse name that had some success in Scandinavia, Germany, and the U.S. in the 40s and 50s. Although Rolf sounds a bit nerdy and outdated today, it was very cool in the olden days, often associated with the badass Viking Rolf (or Rollo), the first ruler of Normandy.
In Viking times, Runes were magical symbols left in stone, wood, or metal to provide protection and healing. Rune has a mysterious, other-worldly quality – ideal for fans of the mystical and strange!
This mighty Viking name is associated with Sigurd – a hero descended from the Norse god Odin. He’s most famous for killing a dragon and rescuing the famous warrior-maiden Brynhildr from a ring of fire.
Sindre is a modernized form of the Old Norse name Sindri – a dwarf in Norse Mythology who made magical items for the gods, including Thor’s hammer and Odin’s ring. Naming your son Sindre could bring a little magic into your life.
Stian is the modern form of the Old Norse Stigandr, meaning “wanderer” – an excellent option for an adventurous spirit! Despite its worldly meaning, Stian has yet to travel out of Norway. Perhaps it’s time for Stian to make its worldwide debut?
Attractive and straightforward, Sven is currently most popular in the Netherlands, ranked 57th in 2021. Disney fans will appreciate the connection to Sven, Kristoff’s funny reindeer companion in Frozen. If cartoons aren’t your thing, perhaps you’ll prefer Sven Hedin, a Swedish explorer who expanded Europe’s knowledge of Central Asia in the 1890s.
Sverre is an intriguing name that could serve as an exciting alternative for Sven. Its only downfall is its complex pronunciation, which will likely leave the heads of non-Scandinavians “spinning!”
Equal parts powerful and strange, Terje is one of those great Norsk names that’s just a little too “out there” to make it outside its homeland. The alternative Torgeir (pronounced tohr-gayr) could be more accessible for a Norwegian-American.
Thor is the Old Norse god of storms, thunder, war, and strength. He’s often portrayed with flowing red hair and his mighty hammer named Mjölnir. Names containing Thor were first used in the Viking age, likely as a defiant response against Christianization. Today, Thor is used mainly in Norway and Denmark, with some success in the U.S.
Tobias is charming in an old-fashioned way, which makes sense, considering it’s been in use since biblical times! This vintage name has caught parents’ attention across the globe, making the top 500 names in the U.S., Norway, Denmark, Austria, and the Netherlands in 2020.
Trond is a byname for a person from Trøndelag, a region in central Norway. It may also be from the Old Norse “tron’r,” meaning “to grow” or “to prosper.” Sci-fi fans may prefer the alternative spelling Tron as a tribute to the 1982 film.
The oldest written record of Ulf was found on a Swedish runestone in the 11th-century. This old-school name was prevalent in the early 20th-century, falling out of fashion by the 21st. Although unpopular, Ulf has the advantage of being simple and unusual.
Ulrik is on the up and up in Norway, ranked as the 25th most popular boy’s name in 2020. While Ulrik may be hot in Scandinavia, “u” names are out in the U.S., so it’s unlikely Ulrik will be an American favorite soon.
Vegard is derived from the Old Norse name Végarðr, from elements “vi” meaning “holy” and “sanctuary,” and “garor,” meaning “enclosure.” Unfortunately, Vegard looks too similar to the investment management company Vanguard to “break the bank” in the U.S.
Vidar was the son of the Norse god Odin. He’s known for slaying Fenrir, a wolf who killed his father during Ragnarok – the end of the world in Norse myths. Attractive and accessible, Vidar could be the next big hit.