The region of Scandinavia is one of the most interesting areas in the world. In Northern Europe there are three main countries considered to be part of the region of Scandinavia and four others countries that are sometimes considered part of it, depending on who is being asked. The main countries are Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. With optional additions of Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Aland Islands. The languages of Scandinavia are those of the countries that are included in the region such as Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish. The region has some of the most beautiful mountain ranges and the Northern Lights in Norway. Between Norway and Finland, Sweden is one of the most stable pieces of land in the world with a temperate climate and rich history.
These countries offer some of the most interesting names whether in sound or spelling. If mom is looking for name variations that offer a twist on the classic names they are used to look no further than the Scandinavian variations on this list. From traditional and romantic to modern and edgy the names on this list run the gambit and show that Scandinavia really does offer every kind of name a mom could ever want.
Freyja is a name that has a Norse origin. This origin is because it is the name of a Norse goddess. The Goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, Freya is a major Goddess in Norse mythology. The name Freyja is alternately spelled Freya and it is that alternate spelling usually associated with the Goddess. The name Freyja has held significant popularity in the U.K. and the United States has recognized the beauty of the name as well with the name reaching the top 1000 names and even breaking into the top 300. Nameberry points out the Freyja can be used as a modernized version of Frieda. There are two spelling variations, Freya and Freyja. There are no notable nicknames for the name, however. The name is unique in spelling and sound there is nothing else with modern popularity that sounds quite like the beautiful Freyja.
A beautiful name that has an origin in Finland, the name Laila means, “holy.” The name Laila has a lyrical sound and invokes an image of beauty. The Sami people of Scandinavia use this name as a variation of Helga. There is also an Arabic spelling, Layla which means, “night.” The name Laila has become popular in the United States and gained increasing use likely because of the beautiful sound and easy simple spelling. The name does offer some options such as Layla mentioned above and Leila. The name offers the nickname of Lei. Famous Boxer Muhammad Ali named his daughter Laila as did actor Shawn Wayans, known for White Chicks (2004) and Scary Movie (2000). This sweet lyrical Sami name will bring beauty whenever spoken and is perfect for your little angel.
The name Annika is also a diminutive. In this case, the name is the Swedish diminutive of Anna. The name Annika means, “grace,” a beautiful, simple and lovely meaning. This name is a beautiful regal choice for anyone who likes the name Ann but is looking to make it a little more elegant. The name Annika has gained popularity over the years in the United States making its way onto the top 1000 names in the United States. This popularity may be in part due to the Trekkies who fell in love with the name in “Star Trek: Voyager” where the character, Annika was played by Katelin Petersen. This strong and beautiful name brings fire and sass wherever it goes and it is the perfect name for your little princess.
Else is the Scandinavian variation of the extremely popular Elsa and also a variation on Ilsa. The Scandinavian variation gets its meaning from Elsa which means “pledged to God.” After the movie Frozen the name Elsa has continued to grow in popularity in the United States, Else, however, has escaped that. Else is sweet and simple with the lyrical sound that is unmistakably beautiful. The name allows for individuality as it has not gained the immense popularity that Elsa has but retains the beauty. The name does not offer much versatility in spelling however it does offer the nickname El or even Ellie.
The name Linnea is simple, smooth and Swedish. This Swedish name has a meaning of, “twinflower,” or “lime tree.” This may be a flower name but it comes with a bit of history as well. According to Nameberry, the name comes from the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who is credited with developing the system of classifying plants and animals. While the name has encountered extreme popularity in Scandinavia, it has not seen that in the United States yet. It has made the top 1000s but it has not broken into the top 500. This name does offer versatility like Lynnea and nicknames such as Lyn or Nea. This is a beautiful name with a smooth sound that is perfect for any flower or science loving mom.
Scandinavian in origin the name Dahlia is based on the flower of its namesake. With a pronunciation of DAY-lee-a, this beautiful floral name is sure to bring images of beauty to any little girl it is bestowed upon. This name has an interesting history. According to Nameberry, the flower was named in honor of the Swedish botanist Anders Dahl. Nameberry also points out that in the Victorian language the Dahlia denotes elegance and dignity. This beautiful melodious name has history and strength with its beauty and even offers the nickname of Lia for those interested in nickname options although that is where the versatility ends.
Eline is a Scandinavian variation of the Dutch name Eliane which is, in turn, a variation of Adelaide. Eline is based on Eliane which means, “bright, shining light,” therefore it can be attributed the same or a similar meaning.
The name Eline has made waves in the spotlight although mostly overseas. Eline Eriksen is the model who the famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark is based on. Eline Flipse is a Dutch filmmaker and Eline Jongsma a Dutch film director. Eline Schmidt Heger is a Danish stage actress and ballet dancer and Eline Van Der Velden a Dutch Comedienne and actress. There are many examples of women bearing this beautiful name. There is also a novel by Louis Couperus titled Eline Vere.
While Eliane has gained popularity in the United States, Eline as a spelling has not. This Scandinavian version offers a unique spelling on a classic and elegant name that is sure to make your baby girl not only an instant beauty but a classy and elegant lady.
Viveca is a beautiful name with a strong sound and the beloved feminine -a ending. A Scandinavian name with a Teutonic background that of a Germanic origin, Viveca overcomes the harsh Vs and Cs in it and becomes an almost poetic name. This beautiful sounding name has an even more beautiful meaning, “alive, life; place of refuge.” Alive or life on their own are beautiful meanings that are fantastic wishes for any baby but "place of refuge" is a particularly special meaning in a name. The name has not reached a high enough level of popularity in the United States to make it onto the top 1000 names charts.
The Scandinavian version of the extremely popular Maya the name Maja offers a unique twist not often utilized in the United States. Pronounced the same as Maya the name Maja simply swaps out the y for the j. It can also be pronounced ma-zha or ma-ha as well however for possible variations. The name Maja has a fantastic meaning, meaning “splendid.” Maya may become more popular with its recent use on shows like “Girl Meets World,” with the character Maya Hart, played by Sabrina Carpenter, and this name would be the perfect twist on the classic name to give some originality to your splendid little sweetheart.
The name Kai is special for many reasons, the biggest being that it has origins in at least five languages and each has its own meaning. For this list, we will focus on the Scandinavian origin of the name. The Scandinavian Kai means, “earth.” A simple meaning, that is easy to understand but hold such extreme power and strength. We all have a connection to the earth it is our home so this simple name represents so much. The name Kai can be for either a boy or a girl but we think there is something exceptionally beautiful in the natural meaning and short simple sound of this name.
This name breaks with traditional concepts of beauty queens and we love it for that reason and more. The name Liv is strong and bold making it different than the bella-ella names typically associated with beauty. Liv has a Norse origin and just as the look of the name suggests it means, “life.” The name has gained popularity in the U.S. currently ranking in the low 600s on the top 1000 names chart. Notable mention goes to The use of the name as a celebrity baby name being chosen by Julianne Moore for her daughter and of course famous Aerosmith daughter Liv Tyler. Fierce and bold the name Liv break from the traditional image of what names the hold beauty should be and yet this little name is one with a poetic power all its own.
Janica is a variation on the harsher looking Jannik, although both are Scandinavian in origin. Janica means, “God is gracious.” This beautiful and bold name is the perfect alternative to more timid names such as Jan or Janet. Nameberry lists it as, “having the most potential of all the Jan names.” The name does offer the traditional nickname Jan or if you are feeling creative you could opt for something along the lines of Nica as a nickname. As to versatility, the name offers the classic i-y swap giving you Janyca instead of Janica for a more modern twist. Whichever way you spin it this unique name with its crisp sound is sure to make your little one stand out in a crowd.
Ronja is a name with a sound unique to the Scandinavian culture. The name has a meaning similar to the others you will encounter on the list with a religious tone to it, “God’s joyful song.” The name is the Scandinavian form of a Hebrew name, Ronia. While this is a beautiful and one of a kind name it has not gained popularity in the United States. The beautiful name is strong and stoic but it doesn’t have that romantic and lyrical sound that is so popular in the United States with names like Isabella and Elsa. While there is hope for mass popularity for this name there is something to be said about its rarity. The uniqueness is part of what makes this name so magical and perfect for your little miracle.
With this name, beauty is truly in the meaning. Tuva is a Swedish and Norwegian variation on the name Tove which means, well, “beautiful.” The name has connections to the old Norse name of Thor but is a more modern version. While Tuva has gained popularity in Scandinavia it has not gained notice in the United States. Like its cousin names of Tove and Thor, Tuva has remained relatively unknown in America. With the trend towards more modern and sometimes simpler more masculine names, however, Tuva may see an uptake. This sweet, simple name is sure to make your beautiful baby feel like a Scandinavian sweetheart.
Kajsa is a Swedish diminutive of Katherine which means, “Chaste,” or “pure.” The name Kajsa is similar to the extremely popular name Katie or Katey in the United States. The name Kajsa is an example of the Scandinavian use of the letter J in the middle of a name instead of the more commonly used letters like T in this case. While the name Kajsa looks intimidating the name is not as scary as it looks. The beautiful name is pronounced KIE-sah and has an exotic, fierce, sass that is the exact opposite of what its meaning implies. This name is perfect for those with a Katherine in the family who they are looking to honor but they want to make sure their child has their own identity.
This one is for those parents who like names like Lulu and Una. The name Ulla is pronounced OO-lah. The name has a Scandinavian, Norse or German origin and means, “will,” or “determination.” The name Ulla is probably best known in Hollywood from “The Producers.” In the movie Ulla, the character is played by Uma Thurman. If you are looking for something a bit longer Ulla can be a nickname for Ursula or Ulrika. The name Ulla does not offer much variation other than Ula as an alternate spelling. By far one of the strongest meanings and one anyone would want to bestow on their daughter, Ulla is perfect for your little warrior princess.
The Scandinavian variation on the all too popular Annalise, Anneli is a beautiful sweet and sunny option for those interested in names in the Ann family. Being a variation on Annalise the name Anneli has a meaning of “grace.” While the name Annalise has gained extensive popularity making it into the top 500 in the United States, the name Anneli is not quite so well known. The name Anneli is unique, special and sweet while still being simple and having that melodious sound that is so beloved. The name Anneli does not offer much versatility in way of spelling variation. However, the name does offer the nickname Anne or Li. This is a sweet little name for your beautiful little angel.
Sanna is the much stronger sounding cousin name of Susanna. This Scandinavian diminutive is bold and crisp. The perfect way to honor someone names Susanna without having to use the exact same name or risk the nickname Suzy. Sanna has the meaning of “lily.” The name Sanna is a great choice for a name other than Hannah or Anna that has a similar sound but has not yet gained the mass popularity in the United States. Still, relatively unknown Sanna has not reached the top 1000 name list. Sanna is exotic yet similar to names that have grown extremely popular. This name is easy to say and spell and has a sweet meaning. The nickname Anna is available however little versatility is available.
Unlike any other name with popularity in the United States today Jytte is special for a few reasons. The first being that it combines a modern spelling style with a beautiful sound. The second is that it is a Scandinavian variation on an extremely well known and frankly boring name, Judith. Being a variation on Judith, the name Jytte means, “women from Judea,” which comes from the Hebrew roots and its use as a location name. Despite this relatively boring meaning the name Judith has retained popularity and has a place in the top 1000 names. Jytte does not. Jytte is like Judith’s edgier more interesting cousin. With a more appealing spelling and intriguing sound, Jytte is the perfect modern twist on a traditional name especially if there is a Judith in your life that you would like to honor.
Suren is the Scandinavian version of Lilac. Lilac is English in origin but stems from a Persian origin and its meaning is the flower and color. As Suren is the Scandinavian version of the name it holds the same meaning of the flower or the color. The name Lilac and the name Suren have not gained much favor in the United States. The name Suren has a much smoother and fiercer sound which makes it the best of both worlds. Having a beautiful soft meaning and a bold strong sound the name has everything to offer. Bringing to mind images of such a beautiful flower and color can’t help but impart beauty whenever it is spoken. The name Suren is sure to make your little flower and instant beauty.
The more elegant and lyrical version of the name Agnes. Agneta has a Scandinavian origin and as a cousin name of Agnes the name Agneta shares its meaning of, “pure,” or “virginal.” Neither Agneta or its cousin name have gained enough popularity in the United States to have a stop on the top 1000 names currently. The name Agneta has a beautiful sound that is missing from its cousin name and is hard to find in other names in the United States. Agneta offers the nicknames Aggie or Neta. However, there is little spelling variation possible for this name. Despite the stuffy meaning, this beautiful name is a fantastic and elegant choice for your beautiful baby girl.
“High tower,” or “Woman of Magdela.” The name Malin is the Scandinavian diminutive of Magdalene and offers a short beautiful name for any princess-just don’t actually lock them in a high tower. The name Malin has not yet reached significant popularity in the United States although it is extremely well-liked in Scandinavia. Nameberry describes the name as being both simple and exotic. This name is soft and sweet with the popular -lin ending and we think it has the potential to be extremely popular. With potential nicknames of Mal and Lyn and spelling variation of Malyn or Malynn the name is perfect for personalization.
Almost unheard of in the United States the name Queron is the Scandinavian variation of Karen. Karen is also a variation on Katherine which gives this name a similar meaning to others on the list of, “pure.” The name Queron may have a similar meaning and origin as other names on the list but it has a style and elegance unlike any other. The name is regal in a sense giving the feeling of being in reference to a Queen. This rare and beautiful gem of a name is perfect for your little princess as she grows into a beautiful, pure and graceful queen.
The Scandinavian form of Katherine the name Karina which alternately can be spelled Carina means, “pure one.” Kathrine has a long history involving Greek Mythology and saints if you are looking for a name that has some history and tradition connected to it. The name Carina with the K spelling first made its appearance in the U.S. in the late 60s. The name has been popular since then but has shown a decline in the last 15 years. The C spelling of the name has not enjoyed the same popularity, however. The name Carina offers some versatility in spelling, the C-K exchange and you can also switch out the i for a y, giving you Caryna. The name Carina is lyrical and melodious, the obvious choice for your little Goddess.
This name comes from a Swedish origin. The name Brigitta is the Swedish version of the more common name Bridget. Coming from the name Bridget the name Brigitta has a meaning of, “strength or exalted one.” While Bridget has gained popularity in the United States making it onto the top 1000 but only into the top 600 currently, the name’s Scandinavian cousin Brigitta is less well known. The name doesn’t offer much in the way of spelling versatility however it does over nicknames if you are creative such as, Brig or Gitta. The name Brigitta has a much more poetic and romantic sound than the anglicized Bridget. If you are looking for a beautiful, romantic sounding name that has a meaning of strength and praise Brigitta may be just the name you are looking for.