Scandinavian First Names

Updated: July 28, 2022
Discover the meaning behind the most common Scandinavian first names, and browse our list of Scandinavian names for girls and Scandinavian names for boys.
Scandinavian first names

Do you have Swedish ancestors? Or maybe even Danish or Norwegian? If you are looking for more information about your first name or inspiration for baby names, then you will find an extensive list of Scandinavian names here, along with their meanings. There are even some of the most popular names as well for both boys and girls. and even unisex options. Plus, there is a little bit of history of naming practices, too.

History and Traditions of Scandinavian Names

Scandinavia is a region in Northern Europe that includes the countries Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. There are specific traditions that people in Scandinavia when choosing given names for their children. First-born sons are always named after their paternal grandfather while second-born sons are named after their maternal grandfather. First-born daughters are always named after their paternal grandmother and second-born daughters are named after their maternal grandmother. Any other children born beyond that are named after another family member of the parent's choosing. Scandinavian surnames are similar as they are typically patronymic.

Popular Scandinavian Boy Names and Name Meanings

  1. Anders - This boy’s name means “brave” or “manly” in Scandinavian.
  2. Axel - The meaning of this name in Scandinavian and Old German is “my father is peace.”
  3. Bjorn - This name has many origins including Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish. It means “bear.”
  4. Elias - This is the Swedish version of the Hebrew name “Elijah” and it means “the Lord is my God.”
  5. Gunner/Gunnar - This is an Old Norse name that means “warrior.”
  6. Jens - This is the Scandinavian form of the Hebrew name “John” and it means “God is gracious.”
  7. Leif - This Scandinavian name is derived from the Old Norse name “Leifr” which means “heir.”
  8. Magnus - This popular Scandinavian name means “greatest” in Latin.
  9. Odin - In Old Norse mythology, “Odin” was the God of wisdom. The name means “lord of frenzy.”
  10. Thor - This name is derived from the Old Norse God of thunder and the name means “thunder” as well.
  11. Viggo - The meaning of this Scandinavian name is “battle” or “war.”

Popular Scandinavian Girl Names and Meanings 

  1. Anna - This is the Swedish form of the Hebrew name “Hannah” and it means “grace” or “favor.”
  2. Annika - This is an alternative form of “Anna” that is Dutch and Russian. It also means “grace” or “favor.”
  3. Astrid - This girl’s name means “divinely beautiful” in Scandinavian.
  4. Dahlia - This is a Swedish name that is derived from the word “dahl” which means valley. “Dahlia” means “flower of the valley.”
  5. Freja/Freya - Freya is the Goddess of love, fertility, and beauty in Old Norse mythology. The name is Nordic for “a noblewoman.”
  6. Ingrid - This name is a combination of Ing, the Old Norse goddess of peace and fertility, and “fair.”
  7. Karina - This popular Scandinavian girl’s name means “pure” or “chaste.”
  8. Laila - This name has Arabic, Norwegian, and Scandinavian roots. It means “blessed” or “night beauty.”
  9. Maja - The meaning of this Scandinavian and German name is “splendid.”
  10. Sofia - This name is of Greek and Spanish origin and it means “wisdom.” It is common in Scandinavia.
  11. Tuva - This is the feminine of the Old Norse name “Thor.” It is Norwegian and Swedish for “beautiful.”
  12. Ulla - This Scandinavian name is also German and Norse. It means “will” or “determination.”

Unisex Scandinavian Names and Meanings 

  1. Ebbe - This gender-neutral name means “brave” in Old Norse.
  2. Hanne - This German and Nordic name means “grace.”
  3. Inge - In Scandinavian, this name means “guarded by Ing” the Norse God of peace and fertility.
  4. Juni - This name has several origins including Danish and Finnish. It refers to June.
  5. Kirkja - This is an Old Norse name that means “church.”
  6. Mikko - This unisex name is the Scandinavian form of “Michael” and it means “who is like God.”