Scandinavian Names for Boys
Meaning:"town by the ditch"
Description:Digby is a place-name in Lincolnshire turned surname turned quirky first name that is starting to get some attention.
Origin:Norse and Scandinavian
Meaning:"thunder or brave and daring"
Description:Some sources give Thorin as a variation of the thunder god name Thor, equivalent to Thoren, while others says it comes from the verb að þora, meaning "to dare." This is a dwarf's name that first appeared in the thirteenth century mythology compilation Prose Edda, which, along with the Poetic Edda, represents nearly all of pagan Scandinavian mythology. Tolkien later used the name for character Thorin II Oakenshield of The Hobbit.
Meaning:"son of Jens"
Description:The surname name Jenson is in the British Top 100 thanks to champion race car driver Jenson Button. Jenson might be an honorific for an ancestral John, the English form of Jens or Johannes, or even Jen.
Origin:German, Dutch, Scandinavian, and Estonian variation of John
Meaning:"God is gracious"
Description:An Old World name that might have a chance to rise again with other ancient and worldly forms. Be sure to say yo-HAHN-es.
Origin:English surname and place-name
Description:Kent is a no-nonsense, brief, brisk one-syllable name, almost as curt as Kurt.
Origin:Scandinavian variation of Gunther
Description:A key figure in Norse legend and a traditional Scandinavian favorite making inroads here.
Description:To many people, Ronald is off playing shuffleboard with Donald, though others aren't swayed by its old man image. In the Top 10 in the late 1930s through the mid-1940s, the name later came to be strongly associated with President Reagan, along with his nicknames, Ron and Ronnie—as well as with the McDonald franchise mascot. A more youthful bearer is the likable character Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. In the early days of Hollywood, Ronald Colman was a dashing matinee idol.
Origin:Spelling variation of Eric
Description:Gives a slightly updated feel to the stale Eric.
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.
Origin:Norwegian and Swedish form of Olaf
Description:Simple, friendly, distinctive name heard in several cultures. The a ending may feel more feminine in the US than Ole, though both variations are acceptable in Scandinavia.
Origin:Norse and Scandinavian
Description:As the mythological Thor morphs into a modern baby name, the variations Thoren and Thorin feel like real possibilities, not just in Scandinavia but around the Western world.
Origin:English from 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.
Origin:Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Description:Arvid, a Scandinavian name that's virtually unknown in the US, is one of the top baby names in Sweden. It might make a handsome, unusual choice for a parent in search of an original yet traditional A name.
Description:A name from medieval romance with an endearingly clunky sound, à la Sherlock. The most famous modern wearer was twentieth-century psychologist/sexologist Havelock (born Henry) Ellis.
Meaning:"lord, exalted one"
Description:Frey is the handsome Norse fertility god, a worthy namesake. Frey remains rare in the US even as the similar Freya picks up in popularity.
Meaning:"son of Neil"
Description:Perfect name for TV Frasier's effete brother. In the 2020 film Palm Springs, Andy Samberg plays a character with the updated spelling Nyles.
Origin:Norse, God of law and heroic victory
Description:Tyr is a very early embodiment of a Norse god, typically thought to guide the law, justice, war and victory.
Description:One of those midcentury shortenings that are starting to sound cool again, though we prefer Van.
Description:The last name of Finnish moderne designer/architect makes an original, creative choice with an unexpected water-related meaning.
Origin:Nordic variation of Vladimir
Description:Ten years ago we would have advised people to steer clear of this name (and maybe choose the similar sounding Walter instead); but with the rise of other Nordic and Eastern European names like Viggo and Casimir, maybe its time to re-thing Valdemar. It's a big name, but with enough penache, it could be pulled off. Valdemar was introduced to Scandinavia in the 12th Century by a Danish king named for his Ukrainian grandfather, and is currently in the Danish Top 20.