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Norwegian Baby Names: Happy (belated) Birthday, Henrik Ibsen!

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By Linda Rosenkrantz

Last week was the birthday of Henrik Ibsen, the towering nineteenth century Norwegian playwright and poet who was one of the founders of Modernism in the theater.  Known for his realistic exploration of controversial social issues, his plays A Doll’s House  and Hedda Gabler are considered feminist landmarks.

Ibsen‘s twenty-six frequently produced plays are populated by a wide range of characters.  Those listed below offer an interesting selection of Norwegian names of that period (though a few are imports from other cultures), from the familiar (Ingrid, Nora, Finn) to those that are less known.

GIRLS

AgnesBrand

Anitra—Peer Gynt

AstaLittle Eyolf

Aurelia–Catiline

Bolette—The Lady from the Sea

Catiline—Catiline

DagnyThe Vikings at Helgeland

ElineLady Inger

Ellida—The Lady from the Sea

FridaJohn Gabriel Borkman

HeddaHedda Gabler

HelgaPeer Gynt

IngaThe Pretenders

IngerLady Inger

IngridPeer Gynt

Kaja—The Master Builder

KirstenOlaf Liljekrans

LonaPillars of Society

MajaWhen We Dead Awaken

MargitThe Feast at Solhoug

MargreteThe Pretenders

Netta—Pillars of Society

Nevita—Emperor and Galilean

NoraA Doll’s House

Petra—An Enemy of the People

Regine–Ghosts

SigneThe Feast at Solhoug

SigridThe Pretenders

Sira—The Pretenders

TheaHedda Gabler

ThoraThe League of Youth

BOYS

AlfBrand

AndersThe League of Youth

BastianThe League of Youth

Bjørn–Lady Inger

FinnLady Inger

GunnarThe Vikings at Helgeland

IvarThe Pretenders

Jens—Lady Inger

Jörgen—Hedda Gabler

Jovian—Emperor and Galilean

KarstenPillars of Society

Knut—The Master Builder, The Feast at Silhoug

Maximus—Emperor and Galilean

NilsA Doll’s House, Lady Inger

OlafPillars of Society, Olaf Liljekrans

Oswald–Ghosts

Torvald—A Doll’s House

UlrikRosmerholm

Varro—Emperor and Galilean

Do you have a favorite Scandinavian name?

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