Nowegian Names

Common Norwegian names and popular Norwegian first names

Today, we’re going to explore the most common Norwegian names, which are just one of the many things Norway is known for. Get ready to discover some incredible Norwegian first names…

Like many regions throughout Scandinavia, Norway benefits from stunning natural scenery, a rich culture, and a fantastic heritage. Perhaps more than any other Nordic country, Norway is frequently connected to the Vikings and Old Norse.

This is something you’ll often see for yourself when pursuing Norwegian first names. 

If you’re looking for a distinctive name for a new member of the family, or you’re just interested in learning more about how Norway chooses its names, you’re in the right place. 

Throughout the centuries, Norwegian naming patterns have changed significantly. However, certain trends remain the same. Many common Norwegian names are also found elsewhere today, like Nora, Jakob, Emma, and Noah.

However, popular Norwegian names are also rich and exotic, like Håkon, Ivar, Kasper, and Maja. 

Let’s take a closer look at the most popular Norwegian names today…

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Norwegian first names: Cool Norwegian names for boys

Throughout Norway, you’ll find endless examples of amazing names referencing everything from the country’s Viking heritage to the amazing landscape. Norwegian names for boys are often strong, meaningful, and emotional. 

Popular Norwegian names for boys often include options like Aksel, Oskar, and Kasper, with a hard “K” sound. 

This is because the letter C didn’t appear in the Norwegian landscape until a lot later than most people realise. You can still find a lot of “K’s” in Norwegian names today. 

Let’s explore some options…

1. Aksel

Similar to “Axel”, a name gaining more attention worldwide over the years, Aksel was first derived from the word Absalom, which was a Hebrew term meaning the “peace of the father.” This is a popular Norwegian name that should translate well anywhere. 

2. Brynjar

More of a traditional Norwegian name, this title comes from the Old Norse moniker, Brynjarr, which was composed of two elements: Brynja (the coat of armour a warrior wears) and Harajar (the leader of an army). Brynjar means “warrior in armor”, or “protector”. 

3. Dagfinn

This name probably sounds unusual to anyone outside of Norway, but it’s a common choice for many young boys here, and Finland. The title also comes from Old Norse, but it often refers to someone who originally came from Finland. 

4. Edvard

Perhaps unsurprisingly inspired by the name “Edward”, Edvard puts a Norwegian spin on a popular name. The title translates to mean “wealthy guard”, and it regularly appears on lists of the most popular Norwegian names for boys. 

5. Einar

Perfect for the little warrior in your life, Einar is a name stemming from the Old Norse word for “single warrior” or to be alone in battle. Pronounced Eye-nar, the name is often associated with bravery and masculinity. 

6. Filip

A massively popular Norwegian name, and a strong name in most of the regions of Scandinavia, Filip is a variation of “Philip.” The name means “friend of horses,” which is a little odd. If you’re looking for a familiar-sounding name with a unique twist, this is it. 

7. Geir

Geir is both a Norwegian name, and a title you’ll find throughout Iceland. Like many Nordic titles, it comes from the Old Norse word for “spear”, which was Gierr. You may occasionally hear this name in Germany too. 

8. Gjurd

A little more complex than some of the Norwegian names we’ve mentioned so far, Gjurd comes from the German name, “Godfred”. Usually, the name is translated into Godtfred, which is also a popular title in Norway. Gjurd means “God of Peace.” 

9. Hakon

A distinctive option among Norwegian boy names, Hakon originates in Old Norse. Though it’s quite an old name, it’s also one of the most popular in Norway and was once a strong choice among royal families. Hakon means “the highest son.” 

10. Helge

Helge, or “Helgi” as it is sometimes spelled, is a Scandinavian and German name mostly given to males. The title comes from the proto- Norse word Hailaga, which meant “dedicated to the gods.” This is the male version of Olga. 

11. Jorgen

Frequently appearing around Scandinavia in countries like Sweden and Norway, Jorgen is an alternative version of George. You can also shorten the name to “Jorg” if you prefer. The title means “farmer,” just like the original George.

12. Jakob

Another great example of how Norwegian boys’ names often use the “K” instead of a “C” Jakob is a very popular name throughout Norway, and the other parts of the Nordic countries. Jakob is an alternative to Jacob or James, and means “supplanter.” 

13. Kennet

Common in Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia, the Norwegian boys’ name Kennet is an alternative to “Kenneth.” This fun name originates from the word “caonh” which used to mean good-looking or handsome. Ken and Kenny are common nicknames. 

14. Laurits

Common throughout Norway, Denmark, and Estonia, Laurits is a Norwegian name related to the English monikers Lawrence and Laurence. The name “Lauritz” means “from Laurentum.” Laurentum was a very old city in Italy. 

15. Nils

The Nords love putting their own spin on things, and the name Nils is no exception. Common throughout both Norway and Sweden, this title is a shortened version of Nicholas and an alternative to Nick. Nils means “people’s triumph.” 

16. Oskar

The Norwegian version of the name “Oscar,” Oskar is a moniker taken from Old Norse. This highly masculine name means either “spear of the gods” or “friend of the deer,” depending on who you ask. We’re not sure which meaning we prefer. 

17. Osvald

An alternative to “Oswald,” which is a common old German name, Osvald is a popular Norwegian name for boys. The title, with its fun “V” at the beginning, means “God’s power”. This is just one of many O-based names in Norway. 

18. Stefan

A common version of Stephan or Stephen, Stefan has been very popular throughout Norway for several years now. The “f” in the middle replaces the “Ph” or “v” sound to make this title a little more unique. Stephan means the “man with a crown”. 

19. Tore

This is a name taken from Old Norse and the legends of the Norse people. Tore was the name given to the fighter of Thor. It’s quite a trendy name for people who want to go beyond the “Thor” moniker, which is more common these days. 

20. Tollak

Taken from the old Norse name ÞórlæikR (which is much harder to spell), Tollak is a name comprising of two separate elements. The first part “þórr” means Thunder, while the second part “leikr” means play or fight. The meaning is “Thor’s play”. 

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Common Norwegian names: Norwegian girl names

We’ve covered plenty of Norwegian boy names, but what about the girls in Norway? You’ll be pleased to know women throughout Scandinavian countries also have their fair share of interesting monikers. 

The most popular Norwegian names for girls have ranged all the way from Ella and Olivia to more exotic names like Maja, Ingrid, Hedda, and Tuva. 

If you’re looking for a unique name with some interesting heritage, here are some great ideas…

1. Astrid

Used by the Royal Family in Norway for many years, Astrid is a common Norwegian name with roots all around the world. The title has a variety of spellings to choose from, depending on where you visit. The name comes from “Ássfriðr” which means beautiful or fair goddess in Old Norse.

2. Aundy

Fun and interesting, we like this Norwegian girl’s name because it’s so different to what you’ll find in most parts of the world. Aundy means “new prosperity,” or “graceful and serene.” This is a good choice for a name to celebrate the new arrival in your life. 

3. Beret

One of the more traditional Norwegian names, Beret is an interesting moniker with a unique sound to it. We love how easy it is to say and remember. The name means “bright” or “glorious,” making it a good choice for any little girl. 

4. Birgit

A name for a girl with Viking ancestors, Birgit is similar in style to Bridgette, but it has a fantastic Old Norse background. Birgit means “the strong one,” making it a top choice for a girl who’s going to grow up taking no prisoners. 

5. Cecilie 

This is an adorable name which rolls off the tongue. Cecilie is a Norwegian and Danish version of the name “Cecilia.” Both titles are derived from an Old Roman name, Caecillia. The title means “blind” or “sixth.” 

6. Dagmar

Dagmar is a Norwegian name and Scandinavian title which appears all over the Nordic countries, as well as in Germany, and Slovakia. The title comes from old Norse and means “day maid.” It was also the name of the Danish king Valdemar II’s wife. 

7. Eir

Sometimes spelled with an “a” on the end to give it a more lyrical sound, Eir is a name taken from Norse Mythology. It’s most common in Norway and Iceland, though it occasionally appears in Sweden. Eir means “mercy.” 

8. Eline

Here’s a great common Norwegian name if you want something easy to remember, Eline is the Danish, Norwegian, and Dutch variant of Helen. It’s also the name of a character in the novel, Eline Vere. Eline means noble and kind. 

9. Embla

We love the sound of this name, which is a little similar to Emma. Embla is a fully Norwegian name, taken from Norse mythology. The title means “elm” and in in Norse mythology, a woman called Embla was the first human created. Her husband, Ask, was the first man. 

10. Erle

Another fantastic Norwegian girl’s name with Norse roots, Erle is the female version of “Jarl,” which meant nobleman or leader. The name has also appeared throughout Germany and other regions in recent years. 

11. Frøya

You may already be familiar with the name “Freya,” Frøya is simply the Norwegian alternative. This name might be a little more complicated for friends and family members to write, but it’s worth it. Frøya means “lady,” and it was the name of an Old Norse goddess. 

12. Grete

Grete is a German, Norwegian, and Danish name, often used as a nickname for people with the name Margarete. When spelled with an h “Grethe” can be the shortened form of Margrethe. This name means “pearl.” 

13. Hanna

You’re probably pretty familiar with the name Hannah, as it’s been popularized all around the world today. Hanna is just the slightly shorter version more common in Norway. It’s also a version of Johanna. Hanna means “favour” or grace. 

14. Iben

Sometimes shortened to “Ib” for men, Iben is a cute and unique name from Norway. The title is common throughout Denmark too, and it often relates to the word Ibenholt, which means ebony. Iben can also mean yew wood. 

15. Jacobine

You might not know this, but there is a female version of the name “Jacob.” Jacobine is common throughout Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. It means “she who supplants” — a variation of the same meaning for Jacob. 

16. Malin

With Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish origins, Malin means “the woman of Magela,” or “a high tower.” This is an interesting title to choose if you’re looking for something which feels like it comes straight from a story book. 

17. Mette

Mette is essentially the Norwegian name version of Margarette, or Margaret. Although it’s sometimes offered as a nickname for girls in the country, it can also be a title in its own right. Like Margarete, Mette means “pearl.” 

18. Nora

Among the most popular names in Norway right now, Nora, or Norah, is well-known all around the world. In English, most people believe Nora means “light”, however, it can also mean things like “pride” and “honour.”

19. Runa

Runa is an Old Norse name, so it’s popular all throughout Scandinavia — not just in Norway. The title comes from the word “Rune,” which means “the moon” or “secret lore.” We love this mysterious name, and what it stands for. 

20. Unni

Cute and playful, this Norwegian girl’s name is sure to grab plenty of attention. Unni comes from Old Norse titles like Unna, and Unnr, which are less common today. The meanings are quite diverse for this moniker, as it can mean to “love” or to “wave.” 

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Nordic names: Common surnames from Norway

Now we’ve had a closer look at some of the memorable Norwegian names used around the country, it’s time to explore some of the more common family names from Norway. 

Family names can often be less creative than the given names in a country, because they’re passed down through generations, often following specific trends and patterns. 

Like many areas throughout Scandinavia, Norway’s family names largely follow the patronymic pattern, which involves adding the suffix -son, or -sen to the end of a word. 

Before the mid-1990s, the most common surnames in Norway often ended with the “son of” suffix, making it difficult for a lot of people to trace their family heritage. Today, there is a little more diversity in the family names or surnames around the country. 

According to Statistics from Norway, just over 22.4% of people in Norway have a family name with the suffix “-sen” added to it. Beyond the patronymic names, most of the surnames in Norway come from a specific place, such as “Berg” or “Dahl.” 

Let’s have a quick look at some options…

1. Hansen

An excellent example of the patronymic surname trend, Hansen is the most popular and well-known Norwegian name from a family name perspective. The title literally means “son of Hans,” indicating the popularity of the name “Hans” over the years.

2. Johansen

Johansen follows close behind Hansen in terms of popularity. This is a common name in Denmark, as well as Norway. The title means “son of Johan,” which is a Scandinavian version of John, or Johannes. 

3. Olsen

A little different to the two popular Norwegian names mentioned above, Olsen shares the same suffix, but can refer to numerous names, including Olaf, or Olav’s son. 

4. Larsen

A well-known surname throughout Scandinavia, and across the globe, Larsen is in the top five of all surnames in Norway, and it’s very popular in Denmark too. The title, as you might have guessed, means son of Lars. 

5. Andersen

The final patronymic surname we’re going to mention here, Andersen is often in the top five of all Norwegian surnames. It may also be spelled with an “o” for Anderson. Anderson means the “son of Anders,” or sometimes “son of Andrew.” 

6. Solberg

A much more interesting Norwegian surname when compared to the various patronymic options above, Solberg is a topographic and ornamental name. It comes from the old Norse words for son and mountain. 

7. Strand

Taken from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, Strand is a surname which often refers to an important geographical site where a family came from. The word comes from the Old Norse “Strond,” which meant seashore, or the beach. 

8. Lund

Another fantastic version of a Norwegian name taken from the country’s Norse heritage. Lund is another geographical title referring to where a family came from. It comes from the Old Norse, Lundr, which means “grove.” 

9. Dahl

We’ve all heard this name thanks to the famous author. Dahl is a popular Scandinavian surname that appears all around the region. Dahl means “valley” and comes from the Old Norse word, “dalr.” It refers to a family coming from the valley. 

10. Berg

This geographic name takes full advantage of the beautiful landscapes of Norway. You’ll find the title across Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Sometimes, Berg appears in the Netherlands too. Berg means “mountain.” 

Celebrating Norwegian names

There you have it, plenty of amazing Norwegian name options and definitions to inspire and inform you. Whether you’re looking for the perfect name for your new arrival, or you want to learn more about the heritage of Norway, we hope this article has been helpful. 

To learn more about Norwegian names, or Scandinavian monikers, check out our other fantastic name lists. We’ve covered plenty of popular titles from all across the Scandi region. 

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavia.

Now read these:
Your guide to Norwegian girl names
Popular Norwegian names for boys
The most common Norwegian surnames
Scandinavian names and their meanings
Viking and Norse names, and their origin
Your guide to Scandinavian people traits
Popular Scandinavian female names
Popular Scandinavian men’s names

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