The Most Popular Viking Names to Inspire Your Search
Vikings have always been a genuinely fascinating culture. These Scandinavian seafarers are notorious for their worldly raids, longships, battle cries, and fierce women. Although the origin of the word Viking is still debated amongst scholars, many agree upon "to pirate, to raid", but only those who took to the sea were given the Viking label.
Researchers are continuously finding new aspects of the Viking lifestyle from long ago, and it is much more than a pillage here and a plunder there. From their beliefs and traditions to their carpentry skills, gender status, and family life, the more I realize how much we have to learn.
Thanks to Hollywood, AncestryDNA results, and exciting research findings, more and more people are proudly claiming their Viking heritage. So much so that expectant parents are choosing original Viking names for their children. If you're on a langskip voyage to find a name for your babe, this article not only unearths Viking naming traditions, but it also uncovers 40 of the most popular Viking names to inspire your search.
There are scores of Viking names to choose from, with most having European symbols and interesting sound combinations. Many are a challenge to pronounce, which could mean your child would be spending his or her life correcting the pronunciation. The names in this article are a little easier to read and enunciate while still having honorable claims as Viking names.
Viking Names for Boys
- Leif – descendant, beloved
- Herleif – warrior descendant
- Ragnar – army rule
- Gunnar – "he who stands alone"
- Vidar – a Viking god; 'the wide-ruling one'
- Magnus – big, mighty
- Loki – the trickster god
- Aric – eternal ruler
- Ivar – bow warrior, archer
- Arkyn – eternal king’s son
- Freyre – god of weather
- Tor (or Thor) – god of thunder and lightning
- Harald – lord and ruler
- Odin – god of the Viking gods
- Ulrik – noble ruler
Viking Names for Girls
- Astrid – beautiful goddess, divine strength
- Astra – as beautiful as a god
- Freya (or Freja) – fertility and love goddess
- Sigrid – beautiful victory woman
- Hilde – fight
- Ama – eagle
- Erica – noble, forever strong
- Solveig – strong house, daughter of the sun
- Saga – goddess of poetry and history
- Inge – hero’s daughter
- Revna – raven
- Sigrid – victorious horsewoman
- Liv – of life
- Hertha – powerful women
- Rúna – secret lore
Gender-Neutral Viking Names
- Bjorn – bear
- Arne – eagle
- Aesir – for the gods
- Ulf – wolf
- Rune – secret
- Frode – wise and clever
- Gisli – ray of light
- Erling – heir of the clan chief
- Roar – fame and spear
- Selby – the village with willows
Viking Naming Traditions
Just like any parent, Vikings took great care in naming their children. Tradition had a significant impact on what they chose to name their little raiders. When the time came, name-giving customs often fell under a few categories:
- After a relative - Vikings revered their ancestors, so calling their child after one was believed to pass on the deceased one’s luck and success to him or her.
- After a god – Vikings glorified their gods in many ways, including naming their child after one. Many times, they would take elements of a god’s name and create a name for themselves. For example, Thor was commonly turned into Thorald or Thorgest.
- After a sibling – Parents would often use the first letter of the oldest sibling for the rest of each child’s name. This is a common tradition with even modern families who have children all with the same first letter. Viking parents would also use the first element of a name for all of their children, such as Astrid, Aster, Asta, Ashild, etc.
Vikings were notorious for taking serious consideration and pride in their names. If you decide to opt-out of a traditional Viking name, you can always choose to follow one or all of the Viking naming conventions. Either way, you can still claim to go a-Viking on your little warrior with snuggles and kisses.
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