Norwegian Baby Names: Happy (belated) Birthday, Henrik Ibsen!

Norwegian Baby Names: Happy (belated) Birthday, Henrik Ibsen!

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Last week was the birthday of Henrik Ibsen, the towering nineteenth century Norwegian playwright and poet who was one of the founders of Modernism in the theater.  Known for his realistic exploration of controversial social issues, his plays A Doll’s House  and Hedda Gabler are considered feminist landmarks.

Ibsen‘s twenty-six frequently produced plays are populated by a wide range of characters.  Those listed below offer an interesting selection of Norwegian names of that period (though a few are imports from other cultures), from the familiar (Ingrid, Nora, Finn) to those that are less known.



Anitra—Peer Gynt

AstaLittle Eyolf


Bolette—The Lady from the Sea


DagnyThe Vikings at Helgeland

ElineLady Inger

Ellida—The Lady from the Sea

FridaJohn Gabriel Borkman

HeddaHedda Gabler

HelgaPeer Gynt

IngaThe Pretenders

IngerLady Inger

IngridPeer Gynt

Kaja—The Master Builder

KirstenOlaf Liljekrans

LonaPillars of Society

MajaWhen We Dead Awaken

MargitThe Feast at Solhoug

MargreteThe Pretenders

Netta—Pillars of Society

Nevita—Emperor and Galilean

NoraA Doll’s House

Petra—An Enemy of the People


SigneThe Feast at Solhoug

SigridThe Pretenders

Sira—The Pretenders

TheaHedda Gabler

ThoraThe League of Youth



AndersThe League of Youth

BastianThe League of Youth

Bj**ørn–**Lady Inger

FinnLady Inger

GunnarThe Vikings at Helgeland

IvarThe Pretenders

Jens—Lady Inger

J**örgen—**Hedda Gabler

Jovian—Emperor and Galilean

KarstenPillars of Society

Knut—The Master Builder, The Feast at Silhoug

Maximus—Emperor and Galilean

NilsA Doll’s House, Lady Inger

OlafPillars of Society, Olaf Liljekrans


Torvald—A Doll’s House


Varro—Emperor and Galilean

Do you have a favorite Scandinavian name?

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.