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Top Scandinavian Names for Boys

Scandinavian names for boys have their origins in Sweden, Norway, or Denmark. More popular choices such as Stellan and Soren have migrated to the US in recent years, as parents look for new international sources for unusual names with meaning. Note that Finland is not considered a Scandinavian country so Finnish names are not included in this group of Scandinavian names for boys.

Below, our full roster of Scandinavian names for boys. 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.
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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.

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.

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.
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GunnarHeart

  • Origin:

    Scandinavian variation of Gunther
  • Meaning:

    "bold warrior"
  • Description:

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

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.

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.

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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.