Danish baby names include many names that are the familiar Danish spins on pan-European names: consider Frederik and Kristen. And then there are the Danish names not usually found outside Copenhagen and environs, such as Bendt (the Danish form of Benedict) or Jesper (an intriguing spin on Jasper).
A small country connected to the European mainland and separated by water from the other Scandinavian lands, Denmark has its own distinct culture including names.
If your family has Danish roots or you have other reasons you're seeking a Danish name for your baby, our complete collection of Danish names for girls and boys is here, ordered by popularity on Nameberry.
Description:This gentle Scandinavian name, soft and sensitive, is being discovered in a major way by parents in the US. It's most closely identified with the nineteenth century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, but there have been modern fictional Sorens as well, in The Matrix Reloaded and the book series Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Charlie and Lola, and Underworld.
Origin:Latinized form of Hugh
Description:Hugo, the Latin form of Hugh, has more heft and energy than the original -- and of course we love names that end (or begin, for that matter) with an o. This one is especially appealing because it's backed up by lots of solid history and European style.
Description:Adolf may have been a Swedish royal name but the terrible dictatorship of Adolf Hitler has ruled out this name Adolf for any sensible parent. In the US last year, there were more than 100 boys' given the Spanish variation Adolfo and a handful given the old school Adolphus, but none named Adolf or Adolph....thank goodness.
Origin:Danish variation of Katherine
Description:Karen is a Danish diminutive of Katherine, an English name derived from the Greek Aikaterine. The etymology of Aikaterine is contested, but generally considered to have arisen from the Greek root katharos, meaning "pure." Kaja is a related name, as it is another Danish variation of Katherine.
Description:Juni is the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finnish form of the month name June. While Juni feels cute and fresh, most Americans would assume it was a nickname or a Joni variation. We prefer Juna or the English June.
Origin:Spelling variation of Jenson and Danish surname
Meaning:"son of Jens"
Description:A variation of Jenson, which is actually more popular than the original in the United States. This spelling also holds the distinction of being the most common surname in Denmark.
Origin:Danish and Norwegian variation of Christine
Description:Kristen may be somewhat past its fashion high point, but it remains forever crystalline clear. Possible problem: confusion with the similar Scandinavian names Kristin, Kirsten, Kirstie, et al.
Origin:Danish variation of Matthew
Meaning:"gift of God"
Description:Mads is a perennial favorite in Germany, the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands, where it is usually to be found in the Top 50. Just remember the D is not pronounced. Famous bearers include Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, the villain of the Bond film "Casino Royale".
Description:Kaj is a name that looks great on paper, but while it's pronounced with to rhyme with rye, it is sure to be pronounced by most people to rhyme with "raj" or, much worse, "Madge".
Meaning:"merciful and gentle"
Description:This surname related to Clement is strongly associated with Major League pitcher Roger Clemens, winner of more Cy Young awards than any other pitcher in baseball history, and has a softer sound than Clement. Some variations are Clemen, Clementio, Clemention, and Clemons.
Origin:Spelling variation of Derek
Meaning:"the people's ruler"
Description:Variation of Derek.
Origin:Diminutive of Elisabeth, Hebrew
Meaning:"pledged to God"
Description:Lise is most often found in the U.S. as the second half of the hybrid name Annalise. Canadian journalist Lyse Doucet bears a pretty alternative spelling, pronounced LEESE.
Origin:Danish variation of Nicholas; Dutch diminutive of Cornelius
Description:Gives middle-aged Neil a new lease on life.
Origin:Danish feminine form of Benedict
Description:Bente, pronounced ben-tah, is a popular girls' name in both The Netherlands and Denmark though largely unknown in the English-speaking world. It suffers by being a near-homonym of the English word bent, not the best dictionary equivalent for a first name. Still, if you're looking for a girls' name that equates to Ben or Benjamin or Benedict, this may be one of your best bets.
Origin:Anglicized form of Danish, Amleth
Description:The "To Be or Not to Be" jokes, via Shakespeare's tortured prince, will get old by Month Two.
Meaning:"variation of Celia"
Description:This Danish variation of Celia / Cecilia is quite popular in Denmark in recent years.
Origin:Spelling variation of Karen, Danish variation of Katherine
Description:Modernized spelling not enough to revive Karen.
Origin:Scandinavian variation of Johanna
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:A Scandinavian short form of Johanna, properly pronounced with a Y sound at the start, but would likely be read as the more prosaic "John-a" in an English-speaking context.