Scandinavian Names

Male Names
  • Alexander (Greek) - Defending men [Dutch, English, German, Hungarian and Slovak speaking countries]

    Anglicised version of the Greek name Alexandros.

    Alexander appears in the Bible as the one who helps Jesus bear the cross on the journey to Calvary.

    Alexander the Great was an ancient Macedon king. Greece was unified by his

  • Alfonso (Germanic) - Noble and ready/prompt; all struggle [English and Spanish speaking countries]

    Spanish form of Alphonse, from Adalfuns which comes from the Germanic elements "adal", meaning "all, noble" and "funs" meaning "ready, apt".

    It was the name of 13 Kings of Castile and later Spain, and 5 Kings of Aragon.


  • Anders (Greek) - Man, warrior [Danish, Dutch, English, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries]

    Variant of Andreas used in Scandanavia, in Frisian and in some Dutch dialects.

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen is the current Prime Minister of Denmark, and Anders Celsius was a Swedish astronomer after whom the Celsius temperature scale is named.

  • Anderson (Swedish) - Male [English speaking countries]

    Bearers of this surname include British comedian Clive Anderson, 'X-Files' actress Gillian Anderson and actress Pamela Anderson.

  • Anton (Latin) - N/A [Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, German, Romanian and Russian speaking countries]

    This is the Russian form of Antony.

    The name has been borne by Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and Austrian composer Anton Webern.

  • Beck (English) - Dweller near the brook [English speaking countries]

    Transferred use of the Scandinavian surname

  • Daniel (Hebrew) - God is my judge [Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Armenian speaking countries]

    In the Old Testament, Daniel was a Hebrew prophet and the Book of Daniel contains prophecies concerning the future. Daniel was among the Jews who were taken captive in Babylon. He rose to a high position in the Babylonian government by interpreting the ki

  • Emil (Latin) - Rival; emulating [Czech, English, German, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian and Slovak speaking countries]
  • Garth (Norse) - Enclosed garden [English speaking countries]
  • Gunnar (Norse) - Battle; strife [English speaking countries]
  • Hans (Hebrew) - God is gracious [English speaking countries]
  • Jensen (Finnish) - Son of Johannes [English speaking countries]
  • Johan (Hebrew) - God is gracious [Czech, Danish, English and German speaking countries]
  • Jonathan (Hebrew) - God has given; gift of God [English, German and Hebrew speaking countries]

    In the Old Testament, Jonathan was the eldest son of King Saul and the best friend of the future king David. Jonathan was a courageous defender of Israel and was killed in battle against the Philistines.

  • Josef (Hebrew) - He will enlarge [English and Hebrew speaking countries]
  • Karl (Germanic) - Free man [English and German speaking countries]
  • Kristoffer (Greek) - Bearer of Christ [English speaking countries]
  • Lars (Latin) - Man from Laurentum [English speaking countries]
  • Leif (Norse) - Descendant [English speaking countries]
  • Magnus (Latin) - Great [English and German speaking countries]

    A borrowing from the Latin, Magnus is derived from magnus (great, large). The name was brought to England by the Scandinavians during the Middle Ages.

  • Olaf (Norse) - Ancestor [Danish, Dutch, English, German and Norwegian speaking countries]

    The name Olaf is derived from the Old Norse elements for "ancestor" and "descendant, relics, remains". Famous bearers of the name include Olaf Trygvasson (956-1000), King of Norway, and Olaf II, also known as "Saint Olaf", who introduced Christianity in N

  • Oscar (English) - Divine spear [English, Gaelic and Swedish speaking countries]

    Oscar is a Scandinavian name derived from the Old English os "god" and gar "spear".
    It is also an Irish mythological name: Oscar was the name of Oisin's son and the grandson of the hero Fionn mac Cumhail. It almost certainly means "lover of deer" o

  • Ronald (Norse) - Ruler with counsel [English speaking countries]

    From the Old norse, composed of the elements meaning "Advice; decision; the gods" and "ruler".

    Ronald Reagan was President of the United States 1981-9. Ronald McDonald is the clown mascot of restaurant chain McDonald's and Ronald Weasley is

  • Rudolph (Germanic) - Famous wolf; wolf fame [English speaking countries]

    Although ironic in light of its meaning, very well known in respect to the Christmas tale "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".

    Famous bearers include movie star Rudolph Valentino (known as "The World Greatest Lover"), politician and former may

  • Sebastian (Latin) - Man from Sebaste [Danish, English, German, Norwegian and Spanish speaking countries]

    In early Christian lore, Saint Sebastian was a Roman soldier who was martyred when his Christian faith was discovered. Sebastian was an extremely popular saint in the Middle Ages.

    In Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night', Sebastian is the twin br

  • Simon (Hebrew) - Listening [English, French and Spanish speaking countries]

    Simon appears several times in the New Testament of the Bible. Simon was the original name of St Peter, one of the twelve apostles and first Bishop of Rome or Pope. Simon the Zealot is named as one of the apostles in the gospel of Luke. It was at Simon t

  • Stefan (Greek) - Crown [English speaking countries]
  • Thomas (Aramaic) - Twin [Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries]

    Thomas has been very popular in the UK for several years, staying at second place in 2007. In the US it ranked 51st. St Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He is often known as 'doubting Thomas' as he requires proof of the resurrection of Jes

  • Valentin (Latin) - Healthy, strong [English and French speaking countries]
  • Viktor (Latin) - Victor [English speaking countries]
Female Names
  • Alexandra (Greek) - Defending men [Czech, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hungarian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak and Russian speaking countries]

    There have been various Alexandras in royalty: Alexandra of Hesse was the wife of Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, Alexandra of Denmark was the wife of British King Edward VIII and Princess Alexandra is a cousin of British Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Anja (Russian) - Favor, grace [English speaking countries]
  • Anneliese (Hebrew) - Grace; favour [English speaking countries]
  • Annika (Hebrew) - Grace; favour [Dutch, English, Finnish and Swedish speaking countries]

    Annika Sörenstam is a successful Swedish professional golfer.

  • Antonia (Latin) - N/A [Dutch, English, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish speaking countries]

    Antonia is the name of the main character in WIlla Cather's landmark American novel, "My Antonia."

  • Astrid (Norse) - God + fair, beautiful [Dutch, English, German, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries]

    Compound name, from the elements 'as', which relates to the Aesir [a group of gods formed around Odin] and 'trud', 'fair' or 'beautiful'. It was the name of one of the Valkyries.

  • Britt (Gaelic) - The exalted one [English and Swedish speaking countries]
  • Britta (Gaelic) - The exalted one [English and Swedish speaking countries]
  • Elizabet (Hebrew) - My God is a vow [English and Finnish speaking countries]
  • Emilia (Latin) - Rival; emulating [English, Finnish, Polish, Portuguese and Swedish speaking countries]

    From Aemilius, the name of a Roman noble family, which has been associated with as well the Greek aimulos' and the Latin 'aemulus' that mean 'soft; friendly' and 'emulating; rival' respectively.

    Many Polish queens and princesses have had t

  • Erika (Norse) - Eternal ruler [Czech, Danish, English, German, Hungarian, Norwegian, Slovak and Swedish speaking countries]
  • Hanna (Hebrew) - Grace; favour [African and English speaking countries]

    Hanna is a form of the name Hannah, as well as a name from the Hausa language meaning "joy."

  • Kaia (Greek) - Pure [English speaking countries]
  • Karen (Greek) - Pure [Danish, English and Norwegian speaking countries]

    Karen is the Danish form of Katherine.

    Karen is also the name of the an ethnic group that lives in Eastern Myanmar and Thailand.

    Famous bearers include singer Karen Carpenter, model Karen Elson and author Karen Blixen.

  • Karla (German) - Free man [English and German speaking countries]
  • Kristin (Latin) - Follower of Christ [English and German speaking countries]
  • Maria (Hebrew) - Bitter [Catalan, Dutch, English, Estonian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Armenian speaking countries]

    Latin form of Mary.
    It arose as a back-formation from the early Christian Greek name Mariam, which was taken as a Latin accusative case, and is ultimately derived from Hebrew Miryam.

    In the English-speaking world, Maria was the writ

  • Mia (Hebrew) - Uncertain, maybe bitter [Danish, English and Swedish speaking countries]

    Mia is the Danish and Swedish pet form of Maria, and is also commonly used as an independent given name. In other languages it is used as a nickname for Maria, and sometimes Amelia, among others. Mia is a possessive form in Italian and Spanish, and in som

  • Mona (Gaelic) - Little noble one [Arabic, English, Hindi and Spanish speaking countries]

    Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Muadhnait, a diminutive form of muadh (noble); hence, the meaning "little noble one".

    It has sometimes been taken as connected with Greek monos (single, only) or chosen with reference to Leonardo Da Vinci'

  • Monika (Latin) - Uncertain, perhaps counsellor [Czech, English, German, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Polish speaking countries]

    This name was popular from the 1940s through the 1970s.

  • Randi (Germanic) - Counsel; beautiful [English, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries]

    Of Scandanavian origin, a shortened form of an old name from the elements 'regin', and 'frid', meaning 'counsel' and 'beautiful' respectively.

  • Rosa (Latin) - Rose [Dutch, English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries]

    Rosa is the Latin name and the name of the genus of the rose plant.

    Rosa Parks was an African-American civil rights leader, who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, wh

  • Rosemarie (Latin) - Sea dew [English and German speaking countries]
  • Ruth (Hebrew) - Friend [English and German speaking countries]

    Of uncertain etymology, most think it is derived from a contraction of the Hebrew re'uth ("companion, friend"). The name is borne in the Bible by the wife of Mahlon and daughter-in-law of Naomi. After the death of her husband, father-in-law, and brother-i

  • Sara (Hebrew) - Princess [Danish, English, Hindi and Spanish speaking countries]

    Variant of Sarah. Sara may also be a Sanskrit male name [sah-ruh] meaning "the Essence."

    Sara Lee is a food company that specialises in frozen and packaged foods. Sara Ramírez is an actress, and Sara Evans is a country singer-songwriter.

  • Sarah (Hebrew) - Princess [English, French, German, Hebrew, Norwegian and Swedish speaking countries]

    In the Old Testament, Sarah was the wife of Abraham, and the mother of Isaac.
    Her name was first Sarai ("my princess"), which God changed to Sarah ("princess") as her descendants were to be the future nation of Israel.

    Famous bearer

  • Sofia (Greek) - Wisdom [English, Spanish and Swedish speaking countries]

    Scandinavian and Spanish spelling of Sophia.

    Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. It was named after the second oldest church in the capital, the Hagia Sophia or St Sofia Church.

    Sofia Coppola is an American film director.

  • Sonja (Greek) - Wisdom [English speaking countries]

    Slavic form of Sonya.

    "Red Sonja" is the name of a Marvel Comics heroine, and of a 1985 film featuring that character.

  • Susanne (Hebrew) - Lily; rose [English speaking countries]
  • Sylvia (Latin) - Wooded; forest [English speaking countries]

    Sylvia is an alternate form of Silvia, though it is now more popular than the original in English-speaking contexts.

    Sylvia Plath was an American poet and novelist, famous for works such as 'The Bell Jar'. She was married to English poet Te

  • Tea (Greek) - Gift of God [English, Finnish and German speaking countries]

    Short form of Theodora.

  • Tyra (Norse) - God [English speaking countries]

    Tyra Banks is an American supermodel and talk show host.

  • Veronika (Greek) - Victory bringer [English speaking countries]
  • Viktoria (Latin) - Conqueror; victory [English, German, Hungarian and Armenian speaking countries]
  • Virginia (Latin) - Maiden [Danish, English, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish speaking countries]

    The American state of Virginia was named after English Queen Elizabeth I - known as the 'Virgin Queen' because she never married.

    Virginia Woolf was an English novelist and Virginia Wade is a Wimbledon winning tennis player.

Gender Neutral Names
  • Anna (Hebrew) - Grace; favour [Bulgarian, Catalan, Czech, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Slovak and Armenian speaking countries]

    In a greater part of the world seen as a Latinate form of Hannah and used on females.

    On the Indian subcontinent it is considered masculine and derived from the Sanskrit, meaning 'grain'. There was also a king of East Anglia named Anna.

  • Mara (Hebrew) - Bitter [English, Hebrew, Hindi and Hungarian speaking countries]

    Mara is a name that appears in many mythologies.

    A Hebrew name meaning "bitter, bitterness", Mara is one with the Biblical figure of Naomi. She changed her name from Naomi (pleasant) to Mara after she suffered the deaths of her husband and

  • Ola (Norwegian) - Ancestor [English, Norwegian, Polish and Swedish speaking countries]

    As a male name, Ola is the Norwegian and Swedish variant of Olaf, meaning "ancestor" or "descendant". As a female name, Ola is the Polish short form of Aleksandra, meaning "defender of mankind".

  • Piper (English) - A pipe player [English speaking countries]