Female Viking Names

Female Viking names: The best Norse names for girls

Today, we’re going to discuss Viking naming traditions, and consider Viking names for girls in particular. So, whether you are looking for Viking baby names for your child or are just interested in cool female Viking names in general, this is your definitive list for Viking names for girls.

Lets get started…

How did Vikings choose their girl baby names?

Vikings named their children with tradition, respect, and meaning in mind. All Viking names meant something, whether the meaning was nature-based (Revna, for example, means raven), war-related (Gertrud means spear), or revolved around something beautiful and calming (Frida means peace and Helga means sacred).

Since Viking women typically stayed behind and took care of the village and the children while the men were off to battle, the characteristics that Vikings hoped to see in their children differed slightly based on gender.

While Viking boys often received names that their parents thought would give them strength and good luck in battle, Viking girls were often named after more serene things that their parents hoped to instill onto them, such as beauty and grace.

Viking female names also feature ones that carry a fierce meaning, such as Bodil, which comes from the Old Norse words bót (remedy) and hildr (battle).

Vikings often named their offspring after great deceased warriors as a tribute, and many Viking girls were named after such female Viking warriors as Brynhildr and Freydis, both of whom were featured heavily in Norse sagas.

Many Viking names for girls also derived from the gods that the Vikings worshipped — Tora, for instance, means “of Thor”. Thor, of course, was the most strongly worshipped Viking god.

Viking goddesses were particularly popular among Viking names for girls. Freyja (spelling variations include Freya and Freija) was perhaps the most celebrated Viking goddess. Her father was Njord, the god of the sea.

Frigg, the wife of Odin and the goddess of motherhood, also had many Viking girl babies named after her.

Female Viking Names

Viking names for girls

Astrid/Astrithr

Perhaps one of the most common female Viking names still in use today, Astrid carries several meanings — in old Norse, áss meant God and fríðr beautiful, so the name could be interpreted to mean beautiful and loved, or even “Godly strength”.

Old Norse spellings include Ássfriðr, Ástríðr, and Astrithr, but Astrid is far more common these days.

Bodil

This name is another combination of Old Norse words; bót (remedy) and hildr (battle). Bodil is the most common spelling in Norway, but popular Swedish and Danish variations include Bothild and Botilda.

In Norway, older variations include Botild, Botilla, and Bóthildr, the latter of which can be considered the original form of the name.

Bodil is a unisex name, although it is more commonly used as for female babies. Some sources claim the meaning of the name to be “penance” and “fight”.

Brenna

Brenna, of which the variation Brenda is more common in English-speaking countries, means “sword” in Old Norse, making it one of the more powerful Viking names for girls.

The name also has Gaelic roots, in which case it means “teardrop”. Today, Brenna is a particularly popular girls’ name in Germanic countries, and the variations Brinna and Brenne are more common in Norway and Iceland.

Brunhilda/Brunhilde/Brunhild

Brunhild is known in Old Norse mythology as a beautiful warrior and a Valkyrie. Some sources depict her as a daughter of the Norse god Odin.

The legend of Brunhild became more widespread when it was featured in continental German stories, although the famous opera The Ring of the Nibelung, written by Richard Wagner, drew its story mostly from Norse sources.

The various spellings of the name include Brunhilda, Brunhildr, Brunhilde, Brynhildr, and Brünhild.

Dagny

The name Dagny, which can also be spelled as Dagna, Dagne, and Dagnie, comes from the Old Norse words dagr (day) and (new).

The name gained more popularity in the 1800s when it was featured in the Henrik Ibsen play The Vikings of Helgeland and the Swedish language women’s magazine Dagny.

Since the name literally means “new day”, it has remained a beloved choice for a baby girl for many centuries.

Female Viking Names

Eda

Eda was another goddess in Old Norse mythology and was believed to have been the guardian of wealth. The name, which means “strife for wealth”, is also commonly spelled as Ede or Edda.

Since Viking times, the name has spread around the world and is also popular in Turkey and Italy, although less so in the latter country in modern times since Benito Mussolini had a daughter named Edda.

Freya/Freyja/Freija

The name Freya derives from the Old Norse term for a noble lady, Freyja. Originally, Freya was the goddess of love and beauty. Her twin brother, Freyr, was the god of fertility and peace.

Because of these attributions, both names were common choices for Viking babies, although the feminine version was perhaps more popular.

A classic name in modern Scandinavia, Freya has remained popular throughout centuries. Both Freya and Freyja are common spellings, in addition to Freija.

Frida

This name is perhaps best known because of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo but it originally derived from the Old Norse names Fríða and Fríðr, which mean, perhaps unsurprisingly, beautiful, love, and peace.

Variants of this name include Freda and Freida, but Frida is the most common version and is popular around the world.

Gertrud/Gertrude

Gertrud means both spear and strength. The name was common among Vikings but also gained popularity in German-speaking areas later on and is still popular in Germany today.

Trudy, which derived from Gertrud, has become a common name of its own right in later times, particularly in English-speaking countries.

Female Viking Names

Gro/Gró/Gróa

The name Gro (which can also be spelled as Gró or Gróa) derives from the Old Norse word gro, which means to grow or to increase. The name remains a common choice for girl babies in Norway.

Gudrun

Gudrun comes from the Old Norse words guð (god), rūn (rune or secret), and gunnr (battle) and could be translated to mean “god’s secret lore” or “secret battle”.

Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, who was a Viking warrior and a Danish king — J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of Rings, wrote two narrative poems about the relationship between Sigurd and Gudrun.

These poems were published in 2009 with the title The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun.

The name Gudrun is popular in Iceland, where it is perhaps best known due to Guðrún Ósvífsdóttir, a character in ancient Icelandic sagas.

Gunhild

One of the rarer Viking female names that mean something fierce, Gunhild comes from the Old Norse words gunnr (war) and hildr (battle).

This name was likely given to the daughters of Viking commanders and leaders, perhaps with the hopes that their girls would join them with shields one day.

Variations include Gunnhild, Gunhilda, and the more literal Gunnhildr. Another similar name is Gunvor, where the vor stands for careful.

Helga

Helga is likely one of the most common girls’ names on our list, and a very popular name in both Scandinavian countries and German-speaking countries. The name derives from the Old Norse word for holy or sacred, heilagr.

Alternatives spellings of this name include Helka and Helge, and the name Olga is believed to have derived from Helga. In popular culture, the name is best known from the television shows Hey Arnold! and Vikings.

Hilda/Hilde/Hild

Another name fit for a female Viking fighter, Hilda/Hilde derives from the Old Norse word hildr (battle) and means “the fighter”. In Old Norse mythology, Hild was a Valkyrie in Valhalla. Today, the name Hilda is very common in German-speaking countries and around the world.

Inga

Female Viking names starting with Ing were used heavily by Vikings, with such names as Inga, Ingrid, Ingirid, and Ingifrid as examples. Some of the names carried double meanings, like Ingeborg, where borg refers to a fortress.

The origin of Ing has been debated over the years — some experts believe it comes from the Old Norse god Yngvi, who was later called Freyr.

Female Viking Names

Ingrid

Another name beginning with Ing, this name has been popular throughout Scandinavian countries ever since the Viking age — actress Ingrid Bergman and Norwegian Princess Ingrid are only a few examples of the famous carriers of this name.

As mentioned, Vikings liked to give their baby girls names that refer to beautiful and heavenly things, and Ingrid is no exception as it means “heavenly goddess”.

Kari

The name Kari, which is common as a girls’ name in Norway and Iceland and as a boys’ name in Finland, most likely comes from the word kárr, which meant “curly hair” in Old Norse, although some sources cite its meaning as “purity” or “chastity”.

In English-speaking countries, such names as Carrie (often used as a nickname for Caroline or Carolyn) or Keri/Kerri are pronounced similarly and likely originally derived from Kari.

Liv

The name Liv means “of life” and derives from the Old Norse term hlíf, which refers to shelter or protection.

Liv has remained a fairly popular name in Scandinavia for years and is perhaps best known due to the actresses Liv Tyler and Liv Ullman.

Revna

Revna, which means raven, is believed to refer to the two ravens that assisted the Viking god Odin on his path. Although this name is not particularly popular in modern times, it is an interesting choice for parents who are hoping to find a more unusual Viking girl name.

Selby/Shelby

Selby derives from the words selja (willow) and by (farm) and can be used as either a first name or a surname. After the Vikings roamed Northern England in the early 1000s, Selby became a common name in those areas as well.

Such movies as The Woman in Red and Steel Magnolias have featured characters called Shelby, but the name has never reached mainstream success as a girls’ name in English-speaking countries.

Sif/Siv

Sif/Siv was the wife of Thor, the most famous Viking god. Because of this, the name became synonymous with bride or wife in Old Norse. This name is not very well known outside of Scandinavia but is common in Norway and Denmark.

Signe/Signy

Signe (sometimes spelled Signy) is a name that comes from the Old Norse words sigr (victory) and nýr (new) and thus means “new victory” or, according to some sources, “the one who is victorious”.

In Old Norse mythology, Signe was the wife of the hero Sigmund. Today, the name is particularly popular in Sweden but has gained interest in other Scandinavian countries in the last few decades as well.

Female Viking Names

Sigrid/Sigfrid

Another name starting with the popular Sig (derived from the Old Norse word sigr or victory), this particular one is quite common in modern Scandinavia. The second part of the name comes from the word fríðr, which means beautiful.

“Beautiful victory” is a lovely meaning for a name and Sigrid is a popular choice for girl babies for that reason.

In many Norse sagas, the character of Sigrid/Sigfrid was described as one of the most powerful Viking women — in fact, some sources describe the meaning of the name as “victorious horsewoman”.

The name Siri derives from Sigrid/Sigfrid and is, of course, best known as the Apple virtual assistant.

Thurid

Thurid is another Viking name that derives directly from the god Thor and, as the aforementioned Sigrid, from the Old Norse word for beautiful. Since Thor stands for thunder, this name technically means “beautiful thunder”.

Thurid is not as popular today as it was during Viking times, but it remains a solid choice for those seeking a powerful Viking girl name for their baby.

Thyra

The name Thyra is another powerful Viking girls’ name, meaning “thunder warrior”. Thyra comes from the words thor and víg, which means fight or battle.

The name was popular in Sweden in the late 1800s but has since become more marginalized. In Norway, Thyra has become more popular than ever in the 2000s.

Tora

Tora is another name that derives from the name Thor; in this case, meaning “of Thor”. Vikings believed that naming their children after gods gave them strength and perseverance, and Tora was undoubtedly a good choice as it is so similar to Thor.

Tove

Most people probably think of the Moomins creator Tove Jansson or the singer Tove Lo when they hear this name, but it actually traces back to Viking times. It is usually considered a female name, but a man named Tove is not a rarity in Scandinavia either.

The name is very popular in Nordic countries, especially Sweden, and is believed to mean “dove”. Some experts have argued that it derives, as many other Viking names, from the god Thor in the form of Thorfrithr, “beautiful Thor”.

Ulfhild

The Viking boys’ name Ulf (also spelled as Ulv or Ulfr) comes from the word for wolf, úlfr. Ulfhild, the girls’ version, combines Ulf with the word hild, which means battle.

Although not particularly popular in modern times, Ulfhild is a name that carries a lot of powerful meaning and could very well be making a comeback soon. The names Hilde and Hilda are more common derivations of the word hild.

Yrsa/Ursa

This female Viking name refers to a wild female bear — quite a unique meaning for a baby name! These days, Yrsa/Ursa is most popular in Iceland.

Of course, the name Ursa may bring to mind the Ursa Major (Greater Bear) and Ursa Minor (Lesser Bear) constellations.

Åse/Åsa

Åse is a name that was used by Vikings only for female babies — in fact, the name means “goddess” — but has become unisex throughout the subsequent centuries.

Åsa Haraldsdottir, a Viking queen regnant and the mother of the legendary king Halfdan the Black, was a famous carrier of this Viking name.

Female Viking names, a recap

Viking names for girls are still popular today, hundreds of years after the Vikings roamed northern Europe.

Parents use female Viking names to pay homage to their own heritage, to give their children names that are more unusual than the most common names, or simply because they like the sound of the names.

In Nordic countries, female Viking names have been common choices for centuries, but in other parts of the world, they have gained popularity more recently due to television shows and movies revolving around Vikings, such as the show Vikings or the movie The Northman.

If you are considering naming your baby after a Viking warrior princess or an Old Norse word for beauty, hopefully this list is helpful in narrowing down your choices among Viking girl names.

Scandification: Discovering Scandinavian.

Now read these:
Your guide to Viking names for men
Popular Nordic names and origins

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