Inspiration for your baby’s name can come from anywhere — a commercial, a convo with a friend, even a civilization that is centuries old. If you’re into history, you might want to give your child a
name that truly signifies something great. And you don’t have to swing a hammer too far (ha) to hit upon Norse references in modern day living. If you love Loki, The Lord of the Rings, or even a beloved childhood author, you might want to consider Norse baby names for your tiny but mighty newborn.
But what exactly is in a Norse name? Well, what you might discover when researching Norse baby names is that almost each and every one of them symbolizes inner strength in some fashion. Their ties to names that represent power and prestige are perhaps deeply rooted to the culture itself. Here’s a brief history lesson: The Norsemen (shortened to Norse) were a group of people who settled in Scandinavia (modern-day Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) during the Viking Age who spoke Old Norse. They’re commonly confused with Vikings, but
not all Norsemen were Vikings, as the latter were the ones who sailed the seas to trade, explore, and perform a whole lot of plundering.
If you want a Norse baby name for your newborn, you can find a number of names that are steeped in ancient history, powerful, and just might be perfect for your little one.
1 Eric Image Source/Image Source/Getty Images
For someone so small, it’s surprising how a baby does a total takeover of your whole life. That’s what makes Eric so ideal. Eric is a boy’s name that means “forever ruler” or “eternal ruler.” It derives from the Old Norse word “Eirikr” which means “ever powerful” or “sole ruler.”
If you had a fast and furious labor and delivery, Odin might be the best name for your baby. Originating from the Norse god of art, wisdom, and law, Odin means “god of frenzy” and “poetic fury.” Kind of impressive for someone who’s just hours old, but the name Odin also signifies strength and power.
“Gunning” for a Norse name for your baby? How about Gunnar? This not entirely uncommon Norse baby name means “bold warrior” and is, natch, of Scandinavian origin. Although it’s usually spelled with an “a,” you can always switch the spelling and substitute an “e” for a more unique spelling.
From the first moment you set eyes on your baby, you couldn’t believe you created such a magical creature. And Astrid, an old Scandinavian name, means just that: “divinely beautiful.” Once a name for girls, it is now gender-neutral, and derives from the Norse word, “"Ástríðr” which breaks down into “áss” which means “god” (and not, you know, a butt) and “fríðr”, which means “beautiful”.
In Norse mythology, Loki is known as the god of mischief. But for your beautiful baby, it can mean, “airy” or “god of air”, and is thought to originate from names like Hannelore or Lore. And if you’re a Marvel maven, you probably know Loki as Thor’s scheming brother in the
Avengers comics and movies. 6 Thorin
Let’s say you love the name Thor but are looking for an alternative. Consider Thorin, then. The Norse name means “thunder” and is a version of Thor, the Norse god of thunder, storms, and the sky. It’s also recognizable from
The Hobbit trilogy, as Thorin Oakenshield is the leader of the Company of Dwarves. 7 Kirk
Norse names are so much about struggle and strength, power and fight. But when you want something softer, you can count on Kirk. An Old Norse and Old German name, Kirk means “church.” It’s not quite a religious or biblical
name, but it comes as close as a Norse baby name can. 8 Idonia
When you can’t stop cuddling your newborn, Idonia might be the best name to bestow upon your babe. Idonia comes from the Old Norse name Iduna, which means “loving one” as well as “of good disposition.” And if uncertain about the pronunciation, it’s spoken as “iy-DOW-niy-aa.”
9 Olin ICHIRO/DigitalVision/Getty Images
A diminutive form of Olaf (yes, that sweet snowman from
Frozen), Olin is a boy’s name of Scandinavian origin. The name means “to inherit”, and can be a nice spin on the more trendy names like Owen or Colin. 10 Brandt
They may be mere minutes old, but man, you can tell that your baby has some spunk. For the newborn who has some fire to their personality, you might want to pick the Norse baby name Brandt. It means “sword” or “fiery torch,” and is a gender-neutral name.
Although Norse baby names might bring the fire and the fury, they’re also kind of nature-loving, too. That’s what makes Roscoe so spot-on. Of Old Norse and Old German origin, Roscoe means “deer wood” or “deer forest.” It’s pronounced “ROS-koh,” and while it was once a boy’s name, is now gender-neutral.
Want to raise a Girl Boss? Then Rikki is the right name for your little girl. Its origin is in both Old German and Old Norse, where it derives from the name Eric. It means “complete ruler” or “peaceful ruler.”
A variation of the name Asta, Etoile is of Greek and Old Norse origin. It means “star” and can be a contraction of the name Anastasia. It’s pronounced “et-twal.”
The name Roald is definitely famous, which makes sense since the name literally means “famous ruler.” If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because of famed author Roald Dahl, who wrote
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and Matilda. The name is, naturally, of Old Norse origin, and as for its pronunciation, ditch the “d,” because the name is spoken as “ROH-al.” 15 Gerda
Another nature-inspired name, Gerda is an Old Norse baby name. It means “yard” or “enclosure,” but it can also mean “protector,” too. It comes from the Old Norse word garðr and is typically a girl’s name.
If you’re feeling pretty victorious after giving birth (as you well should), you might fall in love with Sigrid. The name means “fair victory” and is from the Old Norse in origin. It’s pronounced “sih-grid” and has cute nicknames like Siggy or Siri.
Swain is one of those Old Norse names that has wildly varying meanings. It can mean “knight’s attendant” (which is cool), or, ahem, “the boy who herds swine.” Nonetheless, it has evolved over time from being an English surname to a first name for boys.
It really is a new day when your baby is welcomed into the world. For those who want to reflect this new chapter in their lives in their baby’s name, consider Dagny. The Old Norse baby name means “new day” and is spoken as “dag-knee.”
Norse baby names are a lot more common — and cool — than you might think. And when you’re gazing at your baby and marveling at how awesome they are, a Norse name might be the perfect way to symbolize the strength, stamina (and happiness) that you hope they have for their entire lives.