Boys names are traditionally supposed to be tough and masculine. The name should have some kind of manly meaning, such as ‘power’, or ‘warrior’. Boys’ names should make people think ‘Yes! What a strong and healthy boy that is!’... Or should they? Why not just pick a name that sounds really nice? A name that has a rare beauty instead of any kind of deep meaning? Maybe a lyrical name that is pleasant to say and will make a child stand out because of how gorgeous and unusual their name is?
Even better, if mom and dad are looking for a name that not only sounds great but has an amazing meaning, look to Scandinavia. The countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have a huge amount of names that are rarely used outside these countries. For boys, it is great to find a name that is completely different from the overly-used Sam, Mark or John.
Nordic names may hold the answer to mom and dad's boy naming difficulties. Most of them are ancient, many of them are beautiful and the majority have great translations too. So have a look through these 25 most beautiful names for boys for some inspiration.
Troy is an interesting name with different meanings from all around the world. In the Norse language it means ‘growing’, whilst in Gaelic, it comes from the word ‘Troightheach’ and translates as ‘foot-soldier’. The Dutch use this name for girls, as an abbreviation for ‘Gertrude’, whilst the French say it is ‘curly-haired’. It also comes from the ancient Greek city of Troy.
Whatever the meaning it sounds great and has a heroic ring to it. This is a name that works well for babies but will grow into adulthood too.
Thanks to the Marvel franchise many people may believe they have a good hold on Norse mythology. Brother of Thor and son of Odin, Loki was a super-villain of the Gods who liked destroying things. In mythological reality, however, Loki was more like an evil trickster who liked to play pranks on his fellow gods, sometimes insulting them, but many times helping them. He was not adopted by Odin and was only a ‘blood brother’ to Thor. Whilst he is called the God of Destruction, real-life Lokis are actually quiet, considerate and sometimes shy people. Completely trustworthy, Loki loves family and community.
Odin is the God of War and Death, but also of poetry and culture. In Norse mythology, Odin loves to pick a fight and cares very little for peace or justice. In Anglo-Saxon, Odin translates as ‘wealthy defender’.
Strangely, name analysis sees Odin as someone who enjoys peace and harmony and surrounds himself with beautiful things. They like to work with other people and crave recognition and appreciation for the work they do. Odin enjoys being in a loving family and community.
This Norse name translates as ‘rule with mercy’, suggesting someone is powerful, wise and sympathetic to the needs of others. Sometimes spelt ‘Aric’, it makes a great alternative to the more common ‘Erik’.
Aaric loves change and excitement. He does not like to be bound by rules and traditions and will go adventuring whenever he can. Their energy and intelligence draw people to them and they make friends easily. Although Aaric can be rebellious, he will make a great friend and will fill you with his optimistic spirit.
Originally from the Greek ‘Makarios’, this name is unisex in Scandinavia. Popular in Norway for girls, this lovely name is considered as a nickname for Katharine, meaning ‘pure’. In Sweden, the name is known as Karin. However, in Iceland and the Faroe Islands, the name is a tribute to the Scandinavian God of Wind. Kari specialises in wind, snow, frost, blizzards and storms, which is perhaps why the name is so popular in Iceland. Some believe that if you pray to Kari he will protect you from the winds and keep you safe.
This is not only a great sounding name but also one with an interesting history. It originates in Old English as ‘Hunwine’, from the elements ‘hun’ meaning ‘bear cub’ and ‘wine’ meaning ‘friend’. So this name would have represented a someone fun, strong and friendly. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way it lost its ‘H’ and became ‘Unwine’, meaning ‘enemy’. In Denmark, they use the more pleasant definition of ‘invincible’. Whilst it is only the 57,496th most common surname in the world it is fast becoming a popular given name.
Pronounced as ‘AWS-moond’, this name is popular in Norway and Denmark. It comes from the Old Norse name ‘Ásmundr’, which is known in many countries as ‘Osmund’. In Iceland, this name would be ‘Ásmundur’. It translates to ‘God is the Protector’ and is truly ancient. One of the first known examples of the name is from the 2nd century when Åsmund Grankjellson (approx. 1000 - 1050) governed Hålogaland in the Northern parts of Norway.
Asmund is known for being an affectionate and romantic person.
This is a locational name originating from the Gaelic language but now popular in Scandinavia. It means ‘from the river’ and comes from the words ‘coille’ meaning ‘a wood’ and ‘dur’ meaning stream. In Welsh, it is made up of ‘call’ meaning ‘starting out’ and ‘dwr’ meaning water. So if you live near a small river or a wood and river combo, this name would be great for representing where you came from. Having never reached the top 1000 names it also makes a truly rare name for your son.
Whilst this name is common as a surname in many countries, Crosby makes an interesting given name in Nordic countries. Translating as ‘village with crosses’ or even ‘dwells at the shrine of the cross’, it is a locational name, denoting where someone comes from. Also common in Ireland, Crosby hit the top 1000 names in 2011 and is increasingly popular.
Unique and creative, Crosby can be quite a stubborn boy and is also impatient with others. However, he is full of ideas and implements them quickly and efficiently.
This strong-sounding masculine name translates as ‘the rock of Thor’, which instantly makes us think of gods and power. It derives from the Old Norse words ‘hall’, meaning ‘rock’ and ‘Thor’, the mythological god of thunder. It is currently most popular in Norway.
Outside Scandinavia this name is virtually unknown, ranking at number 18,582 in the US baby name charts. If you’re not sure about Haldor try one of its variants such as Holder, Holter, Helder, Heliodoro or Hilder.
This is another name that comes from the numerous Old Norse myths and legends. Sindri was a dwarf who, along with his brother Brokk, made magical items for the gods, including Thor’s hammer and the ship Skíðblaðnir. It translates as ‘sparkling’ or ‘spark sprayer’, as in ‘blacksmith’. This name made it to the top 50 in some years but overall has not maintained a steady usage and is currently most popular in Norway and Iceland. Variations include Sindris and Sindra.
This name was very popular at the opening of the 20th-century, but its use has fallen over the last 100 years and now it is ranked right down at number 10,397, making it a rare and stylish name. It translates as ‘warrior’, ‘counsel’ or ‘mighty army’. It comes from the Old Norse name Ragnar. Boys with this name like to lead others and have strong personalities. They can be proud and aggressive and do not like to follow authority.
This is a modern version of the Old Norse ‘Ásgeirr’. The two parts of the name mean ‘god’ (ans) and ‘spear’ (gar), so this boy is ‘god’s spear’. In Celtic, it translates as ‘warrior’. In the 9th-century, the missionary Saint Ansgar tried to convert the Danes and Norwegians to Christianity.
Other variations on this unusual name include the Anglo-Saxon ‘Osgar’ and the Icelandic ‘Ásgeir’. Ansgar likes to work with other people in life and strives to achieve peace and harmony.
The name Aaron is very popular for boys and comes with a huge range of spellings including Aron and Arron. Whilst this means ‘lofty or exalted’, this Norse version is, in fact, an entirely different name.
‘Aren’ translates as ‘eagle’ and is popular across Scandinavia and Germany. Currently, at 1,523 in the US charts, it is hard to know whether some parents appreciate that this is a different name or are merely using a different spelling for an ancient Biblical name.
This short and yet stylish boy’s name is from the Norse meaning ‘from the river’s mouth’. If you are looking for a simple yet unique name for your boy then this could be the one, as it is currently ranked at around number 16,277 in the US baby name charts.
Boys with this name are often very successful in business and enjoy great material wealth. Highly competent and practical, they can achieve great power although this sometimes comes at a cost to their private lives.
This name is more common as a surname and has different meanings around the world. In Ireland it means ‘free from envy’, whereas the Gaelic translation is ‘free man’. Americans use it as a locational name for people from Derby. The Norse meaning is also locational and means ‘from the deer park’.
Darby loves change and adventure. He craves excitement in his life and doesn’t like to be held down by rules and traditions. Darby is an unconventional person who likes to lead.
This beautiful name is only ranked at number 16,277, meaning that this name is wildly underused. Despite sounding so good it is only really used in Scandinavia, where Fenris translates as ‘he who dwells in the marshes’ and is a mythological monster wolf.
In Norse mythology Fenrir was one of the three children of Loki by a giantess named Angrboða, Fenrir plays a short but important part. It is foretold at his birth that he will kill the god Odin during the events of Ragnarök, but will, in turn, be killed by Odin's son Víðarr.
During the Middle Ages, this was popular as both a surname and first name and translates as ‘Ing’s raven’ or ‘raven of peace. Whilst Norse mythology is famously full of warriors, fierce creatures, magical objects and wars, Ing was the Norse god of peace and fertility, rain and sunshine. His proper Norse name is Yngvi, but Ingram is a little easier to say and spell. Ing’s sister was Freyja, goddess of love and fertility (but also battle and death!!) so if you have twins why not name them after this mythological pair.
Kelsey is a unisex name, and whilst it is in the top 500 for girls, it is much more unusual for boys and is currently outside the top 2000. This beautiful name means ‘victory ship’ or ‘from the ship’s island’ so is ideal for anyone from a naval family.
A sociable boy, Kelsey tends to make friends easily and is energetic and optimistic. He is a bit of a visionary who fights against rules and can be restless and rebellious.
This name is commonly thought to be Scottish or Irish and while it is popular there, it does originate in the Old Norse language. The medieval name ‘Lagman’ was taken from the Norse invaders’ name ‘Logmaðr’. This, in turn, is made up of ‘lag’ meaning ‘law’ and ‘maðr’ meaning ‘man’, so Lamont is ‘the lawman’.
Like a modern-day lawyer, Lamont enjoys a career where he is the centre of attention and can have his moment in the spotlight.
Whilst ‘Roy’ is not currently the trendiest name for a baby, Royd or Royden sound a little more stylish and up to date. It is well used in Scandinavia but has not spread well and was last recorded at number 4,615 in 1979 in the USA. Royd translates as ‘one who lives in the clearing in the forest’.
Royd likes to focus his attention on business and material achievements, so his personal relationships are often not that successful. However, he is a practical person who loves family and actually enjoys living in a stable community.
This name is used in many countries as a surname and is one of those names that has come from several different places and means different things. In Old Norse it means ‘land of roots’ or ‘red land’ and it travelled to England in the 11th-century. It was an English county meaning 'cheerful territory' and is first recorded in the Danelaw Charter of 863 A.D. as a first name.
Boys with this name are passionate and romantic and enjoy conventions and rules.
Whilst you may have heard of ‘Tate’, this name is entirely different. It sounds the same but the spelling is an important difference. Tate comes from an Old English personal name ‘Tata’, which is a shortened version of other names. Tait, on the other hand, comes from the Old Norse ‘teitr’, which translates as 'cheerful''.
This cool and modern name is in the top 500 boys’ names. Tait loves adventures and excitement and having his freedom. He can be untidy and rebellious.
Most people would say that Torin is a beautiful Irish name meaning ‘chief from the craggy hills’. However, it could also be related to the Norse name Thorlinn or Torlinn. These, in turn, come from the Norse god Thor, whose name means ‘thunder’. Whichever translation you prefer, Torin implies a name for ruling, someone who is very much in charge.
Like any good ruler, Torin values justice, truth and discipline and likes to live in an atmosphere of order and stability.
This stylish unisex name is equally rare for boys and girls. Although it has a beautiful ring to it, it is only ranked as number 18,585 for boys and number 18,321 for girls. Used as early as the 7th-century as a surname, Quimby means ‘from the Queen’s estate’. Variations on the name include Quenby, Querenby, Quisenberry and even Quarmby.
Quimby loves being surrounded by beautiful things and peace and harmony. He enjoys expressing himself through art, poetry or music.