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Scandinavian Names

Scandinavian Names
Scandinavian baby names are a hot group, attracting new interest from parents beyond the Scandinavian countries. The Scandinavian names here include names with origins in all the Scandinavian countries — Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, but not Finland.

If you want more names from one of the individual Scandinavian countries, check out our master lists of Swedish baby names, Norwegian baby names, and Danish baby names.

Here, our master list of Scandinavian baby names. The top names below rank among the current US Top 1000 Baby Names and are ordered by popularity. Unique names rank below the Top 1000 and are listed alphabetically.

MiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian word name or Scandinavian short form of Maria
  • Meaning:

    "mine or bitter"
  • Description:

    Mia originated as a short form of Maria, which ultimately derived from the Hebrew name Miryam. In modern times, Mia has been used as a nickname for names including Amelia, Emilia, and Miriam. Mia is also an Italian and Spanish word meaning 'mine.'

AxelHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Absalom
  • Meaning:

    "father of peace"
  • Description:

    A classic in its native Scandinavia, Axel has a cool rock 'n' roll flavor in the US, thanks to Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose (born William). Axel is a popular Scandinavian form of the Biblical Absalom, who was a son of King David, and is the name of the title character of William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom.

AndreaHeart

  • Origin:

    Feminine variation of Andrew, Greek
  • Meaning:

    "strong and manly"
  • Description:

    Andrea — a feminine form of Andrew (and a male name in several European cultures) — comes with a good selection of pronunciations — ANN-dree-a, AHN-dree-a, or ahn-DRAY-a — each with a slightly different image: girl next door/slightly affected/downright mysterious

KaiaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, Scandinavian, or Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "to rejoice or sea"
  • Description:

    The new Maia, the next Kayla, Kaia has been on the charts since the year 2000. You might see it as a female form of the also-rising Kai, which means sea in Hawaiian and is sometimes used for girls as well, or as a Kardashianization of the ancient goddess name Caia.

AndersonHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "son of Anders"
  • Description:

    Anderson shot up quite a bit on the popular names list in the 2000's, no doubt in large part due to the prominence of white-haired cable newsman Anderson Cooper. Perhaps surprisingly though, Anderson was even higher on the list in 1880. Actress Edie Falco named her son Anderson in 2005. Though there haven't been many first-named Anderson namesakes, there have been countless notables bearing the surname, including Hans Christian, Marian, Maxwell, Sherwood, Gillian, Laurie, and Pamela.

GunnerHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Gunther
  • Meaning:

    "bold warrior"
  • Description:

    The kind of nouveau macho name favored by NRA-leaning parents. Killers' frontman Brandon Flowers gave it to his son in 2009. Gunnar is another spelling that makes the name a bit less militaristic.

DahliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Swedish surname
  • Meaning:

    "Dahl's flower"
  • Description:

    One of the flower names, used occasionally in Britain (where it's pronounced DAY-lee-a). It seems to have recovered from what was perceived as a slightly affected la-di-dah air. The flower was named in honor of the pioneering Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl, which means dale.

EmanuelHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Emmanuel, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is with us"
  • Description:

    Fewer letters does not always mean easier—the traditional spelling is the one most people will recognize.

ErikHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Eric
  • Meaning:

    "eternal ruler"
  • Description:

    Gives a slightly updated feel to the stale Eric.

GunnarHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Gunther
  • Meaning:

    "bold warrior"
  • Description:

    A key figure in Norse legend and a traditional Scandinavian favorite making inroads here.

KarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian, German, Polish, and Russian variation of Carina
  • Description:

    This sweet and loving name, favored in recent years by a mix of Hispanic-American parents and Bob Dylan fans, was chosen for her daughter by TV actress Melina Kanakaredes.

MikaelaHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish and Finnish variation of Michaela, Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "who is like God"
  • Description:

    Variation of Michaela often used in Scandinavian countries.

AxlHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Axel, Scandinavian version of Absalom
  • Meaning:

    "father of peace"
  • Description:

    Guns 'n' Roses musician Axl (born William) Rose created this name by dropping a vowel, a la Barbra Streisand. The traditional Axel is more popular, though celebrity parents Fergie and Josh Duhamel deliberately chose the Axl spelling to honor her rock hero.

ValentinHeart

  • Origin:

    French, German, Russian, Czech, Scandinavian variation of Valentine
  • Meaning:

    "strength, health"
  • Description:

    Romantic name used throughout Europe, though sure to lead to pronunciation problems here. Though it's never been too widely used in the US, it's quite popular in Switzerland, France, Austria, and Romania.

KaiHeart

  • Origin:

    Hawaiian
  • Meaning:

    "sea"
  • Description:

    This appealing multi-cultural name, pronounced KYE, is beginning to be used for girls as well as boys. Among its many derivations and meanings: "sea" in Hawaiian, "forgiveness" in Japanese, "willow tree" in Navajo, "food" in Maori, and "earth" in Scandinavian. For girls, it debuted on the US Top 1000 in 2010.

KristianHeart

  • Origin:

    Danish and Greek variation of Christian
  • Description:

    Variation of Christian.

AndersHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Andrew
  • Meaning:

    "strong and manly"
  • Description:

    Friendly, unusual, but a decidedly Old Country version of Andrew and one of the classic Scandinavian names. It made a brief appearance in the US Top 1000 in 2006 and then reentered in 2010. Its rising popularity could be attributed to the interest in Anderson, which has been gaining steadily over the last fifteen years.

    Trivia tidbits: The patronymic Andersson is the second most popular surname in Sweden, and in Denmark, Donald Duck is called Anders.

LeifHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "heir, descendant"
  • Description:

    Leif is one of the most recognizable Scandinavian names, thanks to Icelandic explorer Leif Erikson, and is still one of the best, with a pleasant aural association with the word leaf.

HaroldHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "army ruler"
  • Description:

    The name of the last Anglo-Saxon king of England before the Norman conquest, and a name that's long been associated with a pipe-smoking, bespectacled grandpa or uncle.