Scandinavia is the geographic region that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Finland and the Baltic States are at times considered part of Scandinavia, but for the purpose of this article, we will focus solely on names that derive from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
In Scandinavia, most names originate from Old Norse. Old Norse was the North Germanic language spoken by the people of ancient Scandinavia. Nordic names dominate Viking and Scandinavian history. They can range from tough and strong to lovely and delicate. Names that come from this region are symbolic of its rich history, and though they are common to Scandinavian culture, they are rather unconventional and exotic in North American culture.
So, if you are a parent-to-be seeking a unique name for your baby, be sure to take a look at these beautiful Scandinavian baby names. You may just fall in love with them.
14 Anders (Male Name) – Pronounced (AND-ERRS)
Origin: Danish, Norwegian, Swedish
Anders is the Scandinavian equivalent to the Greek name Andreas, which means ‘manly’ and ‘brave.’ The name has been one of the most common Scandinavian names for many centuries. It has been said that people who hold this name have a deep inner need for peace. They also have a desire to learn deeper truths, and to understand and analyze the world they live in.
Additionally, people with this name are competent, practical and can be very successful in business and commercial affairs. Because they often focus so strongly on achievement, they have a tendency to neglect their private lives and personal relationships with others.
There are no other spelling variants for the name Anders.
13 Annika (Female Name) – Pronounced (UNN-ick-ah)
Annika is a female name meaning ‘favor’ or ‘grace.’ It is the Swedish and Dutch pet form of ‘Anna,’ and it is often spelled ‘Anneke’ in the Netherlands. The name sparked popularity in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Why? Annika was the name of Pippi's friend in the children’s novel ‘Pippi Longstocking,’ written by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren.
The other spelling variants for the name Annika are Aneeka and Anneke.
12 Björn (Male Name) – Pronounced (BEE-ORN)
Origin: Old Norse
In Scandinavia, the meaning of the name Björn is ‘bear.’ In fact, Björn is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian male names, with its greatest popularity in Norway. Björn has been in use since the days of the Vikings but got a boost in popularity when Swedish tennis pro Björn Borg ruled the courts winning five consecutive Wimbledon singles titles and six French opens.
The other spelling variants for the name Björn are Bjoern, Bjarne, and Bjørn.
11 Else (Female Name) – Pronounced (EL-SE)
Origin: Danish, Norwegian
The name Else is a Scandinavian baby name that is diminutive of the English name Elisabeth. It has been noted that people who hold this name are born leaders and center their focus entirely on important issues that matter to them.
People with this name are also inspired by change and can adapt to various situations quite easily. They are visionary, versatile and know how to make constructive use of freedom.
The other spelling variant of the name Else is Elsie.
10 Jørgen (Male Name) – Pronounced (YUR-GEN)
Origin: Danish, Swedish
The name Jørgen, deriving from its Danish origin, means ‘farmer.’ It has been discovered that people with this name have a passion to inspire others by sharing their own strongly held views on spiritual matters. These people are also said to easily find balance in their lives and to respond positively to beautiful things.
The other spelling variants for the name Jørgen are Jörgen and Jürgen.
9 Erika (Female Name) – Pronounced (E-REE-KAH)
Origin: Old Norse
Erika is the feminine form of the name Erik. It is an Old Norse baby name that when translated means ‘noble ruler.’ It has been discovered that people with this name hold a deep desire to help others and yearn to be a part of a loving, stable community.
People with this name are also competent, practical and successful. Because they often focus so strongly on their achievements and successes, they tend to neglect personal relationships.
Though the name Erika originates from Old Norse, it holds great popularity in many other countries. Among variant spelling options, Erika is also common in the U.S., England, and Canada. If you want your daughter to hold a historical name with great popularity, the name Erika would be a perfect choice.
The other spelling variants for the name Erika are Erica and Airca.
8 Morten (Male Name) – Pronounced (MORE-TEN)
Origin: Danish, Norwegian
Morten is the Scandinavian equivalent of the English name Martin, which means ‘war like’ and ‘strong.’ The name Morten is commonly a given name in Scandinavia, however, it can be used as a surname in the variants: ‘Mortensen,’ ‘Mortensson’ or ‘Mortenson.’
The name Morten is very unconventional in North America; however, it is one of the most popular male names in Scandinavia, with its greatest popularity residing in Denmark.
There are no other male spelling variants of the name Morten.
7 Freja (Female Name) – Pronounced (FRAY-AH)
Origin: Old Norse
The name Freja is an Old Norse name meaning ‘lady.’ In Norse mythology, Freja is the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. In fact, Freja – the goddess of love, claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle, bringing them to her realm in Asgard.
In Denmark and Sweden, the proper spelling of this name is ‘Freja,’ and in Norway, the name is spelled ‘Frøya.’ Though this name has been popular in Old Norse and ancient Scandinavia, it became increasingly popular in Britain in the early 2000’s with the more common spelling ‘Freya.’ In fact, the name Freya has become more widespread in the United States, as it is ranked the 584th most popular female name.
The other spelling variants for the name Freja are Frea, Freyja, and Fraya.
6 Niels (Male Name)– Pronounced (NEELS)
The name Neils is a Scandinavian baby name meaning ‘Son of Niel,’ and is the Danish short form of the Ancient Roman name Cornelius. It has been noted that people with this name have a deep inner desire for adventure and travel. They do not live in a cliché world and are excited by change. They are dynamic, visionary and versatile, and can easily make constructive use of free time.
Additionally, holders of this name tend to be very optimistic, which helps them make friends easily. They also tend to be changeable, restless and rebellious, as they are in constant need of adventure.
A famous bearer of this name is Niels Bohr (1885-1962), a Danish physicist who investigated the structure of atoms.
The other spelling variant for the name Niels is Nils, which is the Swedish spelling variant.
5 Janna (Female Name) – Pronounced (YAHN-NAH)
The name Janna is a biblical baby name with rich meaning. The meaning of the name is ‘God is gracious.’ It is the feminine form of Jan, a male baby name meaning ‘gift from God.’ It has been noted that people with this name have a deep inner desire for love and companionship. They enjoy working with others to achieve peace and harmony.
Moreover, people with the name Janna are dedicated to building a solid foundation within their lives. They strongly value truth, justice, and discipline, and are often close minded to people who do not share the same values as them. People with this name also live life practically, which makes them good at saving money and building things in the material world.
The other spelling variants for the name Janna are Jannah, Jana, and Janina.
4 Søren (Male Name) – Pronounced (SUU-REN)
Origin: Danish, Norwegian
Though this name is pronounced very soft and gentle, it has an extremely masculine punch. In fact, the actual meaning of the name Søren is ‘stern,’ ‘severe,’ and ‘God of War.’ Søren comes from the Latin name Severus, Severinus and Severinius, which means ‘strict,’ ‘serious’ and stern.’
The other spelling variants for the name Søren are Sören and Severin.
3 Katrine (Female Name) – Pronounced (KAT-REEN)
The name Katrine is a Scandinavian baby name that means ‘pure.’ It has been noted that people who hold the name Katrine look at life in a very positive light and have a deep inner desire for a stable, loving family and community. Holders of this name thrive from helping others in need. They also feel a great need to be appreciated and yearn for peace and harmony in their lives.
The other spelling variants for the name Katrine are Kathrine, Katrin, and Catrine.
2 Tait (Male Name) – Pronounced (TATE)
Origin: Old Norse
Tait is an Old Norse name that means ‘happy’ and ‘cheerful.’ It has been noted that people who hold this name have great leadership skills. These people are also known to be very independent and are excellent at delegating certain tasks to others.
Additionally, those with the name Tait thrive in settings of change and enjoy taking on new adventures. Since they are extremely authoritative, they do not like being told what to do. They may be stubborn, restless and rebellious towards those who hold any kind of authoritative power over them.
The other spelling variants of the name Tait are Tate and Teitr.
1 Linnéa (Female Name) – Pronounced (LI-NAY-AH)
Linnéa is a beautiful Scandinavian name that comes from the name of a flower, also known as the ‘twinflower.’ The name draws inspiration from the renowned 18th-century Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the ‘Linnean’ system, which classifies plants and animals.
Linnéa holds its greatest popularity in Sweden and Norway. The name, surprisingly enough, has ranked in the top 1000 female names in 1903 in the United States, reaching as high as 744 in 1945. Today, Linnéa is seen more as an unconventional female baby name in North America. If you’re looking for a unique, yet beautiful name for your daughter, Linnéa is a wonderful choice.
There are no other spelling variants for the name Linnéa.
Searching for a name is a very important and fun process, as it is the very first gift you will give to your baby. Whatever you decide to name your baby, we recommend you take note of the special meaning and history that name provides. After all, your baby’s name will play a significant role in his life; he'll be walking around with the name indefinitely, and he will hear his name spoken every single day. Ultimately, your child will grow into whatever name you pick, so just remember that there's no right or wrong way to pick a name for your baby. The most important consideration when picking out a name is to choose one that both you and your partner love.