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Category: Norse names

20 Best Scandinavian Celeb Names

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Scandinavian names have been slow to enter the American stockpot of names.  Maybe it’s because they’re not as romantic as the Italians, as genial as the Irish, as energetic as the Russians, or as instantly chic as the French.

But there are a lot of great, neglected Swedish, Norwegian and Danish names to be discovered, and those of internationally known Scandinavian celebrities have provided a pathway in.  Here are the names of some such notables, both past and present, which are both appealing and accessible– and definitely worth considering.

Astridthe prolific Swedish author Astrid Lindgren is best known as the creator of Pippi Longstocking.  Her royal Scandinavian name has been neglected here in favor of the more familiar Ingrid, but is just as attractive.

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Valentine Day Names: Heart-felt baby names

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A baby born around Valentine‘s Day automatically gets an extra measure of love, which can also be boosted by choosing an apropos name. Options include cutting straight to the heart of the matter with something like Valentine or Valentina, or picking a name that embodies love in its literal meaning, or looking back to the appellations of ancient mythological goddesses of love. Here are some such choices that could make a child feel especially loved.

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norse

As Thor thundered onto multiplex movie screens last week, Appellation Mountain‘s Abby Sandel was inspired to check out the other gods in the Norse mythology pantheon.

Even if you haven’t hit the multiplex lately, you’ve probably heard that the hammer-wielding Thor is winning critical acclaim and drawing in crowds.  Could the movie inspire parents to look north to Norse mythology names for baby name inspiration?

After all, we’ve borrowed from Greek and Roman mythology for generations.  From classics like Diana to current favorites like Luna, there’s no shortage of appealing options.  Pierce Brosnan has a son called Paris, and Chris Noth named his firstborn Orion.

Norse mythology names are not as well known, and many of them are awkward in English.  (Frigg would be downright cruel, no matter how noble the figure.)  Most of the list below comes from the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, two compilations dating to the thirteenth century, but including much older oral traditions.

The movie is based on Marvel Comics’ superhero version of Thor, not the literary works.  It takes some liberties with the original storyline, like transporting the god to New Mexico.

Whether you’re a fan of the comic or looking for a name that celebrates your Scandinavian heritage, there are some interesting possibilities to be found.

GIRLS

Astrilde – Invented in the sixteenth century invention as a Norse equivalent of Cupid, she’s not part of the original pantheon, but appears in plenty of poems.

Atla – A minor water goddess.

Edda – Several theories explain why Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson chose to name his collection the Prose Edda.  One of the most popular theories is that it comes from a Latin phrase meaning “I compose.”  The Edda Awards are Reykjavik’s answer to the Oscars.

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Icelandic Baby Names: And the name is…

International Baby Names

Today’s guest blogger ALANA ODEGARD describes the joys and unique challenges  of naming a baby in Iceland.

A version of this entry originally appeared on Iceland Review Online (http://icelandreview.com), an online magazine that Alana contributes to weekly.

When I first came to Iceland from Canada nearly six years ago, little did I know that it would be here, on this little island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, where I would not only meet the man who would become my husband, but that I would give birth to my first child.

Life is full of surprises, as they say, and I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out.

With my due date just around the corner, my husband and I are as prepared as any new parents can hope to be. We’ve taken the prenatal courses, set up the change table, the crib, the stroller, and have a drawer full of diapers at the ready.

So, what else do we need? Well, aside from the baby, of course, it would seem we need a name.

Naming your child may sound straightforward enough, but as it turns out, what should be simple tends to get complicated when one person is Icelandic and the other is, well, not.

Although I am pleased to say that my experience of being pregnant in a foreign land has been a positive one, certain restrictions, regulations, committees, ceremonies and language barriers have made choosing a name quite the eventful task.

Being from Canada, it’s not unheard of for parents to have chosen and announced the name of their baby months before it’s born. In the cases where the parents decide to keep the name to themselves until after birth, the name is among the very first bits of information that is passed along to friends and family.

But in Iceland, things are done quite differently. Generally a baby’s name is not revealed until its official naming ceremony (often accompanied by a baptism). Legally, parents have up to six months to name their baby and it’s not uncommon for a child to be “nameless” for this period of time.

Of course the parents may call their baby by its first name if they have chosen one, but it’s kept a secret from other people. Everyone including grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, best friends, and even siblings must wait until the naming ceremony to find out the little one’s name.

So, what do you call a baby with no name? Up until the naming ceremony babies are often referred to as drengir (boy), stúlka (girl), and elskan (an affectionate term like “honey” or “sweetheart”). The baby may also be called by its last name which is determined according to the Old Norse naming system. For example, if the father’s first name is “Gunnar”, the child’s last name would either be Gunnarsson or Gunnarsdóttir depending on if it is a boy or a girl (the suffix “son” (son) is used if it is a boy and “dóttir” (daughter) if it is a girl).

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