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.
Bolette—The Lady from the Sea
Dagny—The Vikings at Helgeland
Ellida—The Lady from the Sea
Kaja—The Master Builder
Lona—Pillars of Society
Maja—When We Dead Awaken
Margit—The Feast at Solhoug
Netta—Pillars of Society
Nevita—Emperor and Galilean
Petra—An Enemy of the People
Signe—The Feast at Solhoug
Thora—The League of Youth
Anders—The League of Youth
Bastian—The League of Youth
GunnarThe Vikings at Helgeland
Jovian—Emperor and Galilean
Karsten—Pillars of Society
Knut—The Master Builder, The Feast at Silhoug
Maximus—Emperor and Galilean
Torvald—A Doll’s House
Varro—Emperor and Galilean
Do you have a favorite Scandinavian name?
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on March 25th, 2014 at 1:12 am
I quite like Scandinavian names in general. My favourites for boys are Rasmus and Pontus. For girls I Iike Pernilla, Linnea and Hilma.
on March 25th, 2014 at 8:48 am
My grandmother was born in Bergen — and her mother was one of thirteen, with the following names: Berentine, Ottar, Ketil, Gudrun, Einar, Erling, Sofie-Katarine, Anna, and Solveig; all Ibsen era names. Growing up, I had cousins with names like Julianne, Kaj-Erik, Karl-Erik, Leif, Tobias, Thomas, Kristian, Janne, Kjersti, and Mai.
My favourite names include Solveig, Bertil, Ivar, Rune, Kai, Kirsten, Per, Magnus, Erling, Astrid (pronounced the Norwegian way), and Maud.
on March 25th, 2014 at 9:18 am
Fun blog post today! Ragnar is my favorite Scandinavian name; it was our top boy name pick this pregnancy, but we had a girl. I also love Viggo and Leif for boys. For girls, Dagny, Sunniva, and Iverine.
on March 25th, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Good timing on this one as I was just thinking about an impending trend for Norwegian names with the love of all things Frozen. I like so many of these!
on March 25th, 2014 at 1:34 pm
I love so many Norwegian names, and names from the general area. I particularly like these from today’s post:
Anitra—I was in my German classes with a girl named Anitra 🙂
Aurelia– I like it under a different nationality
Signe—This one was in a combo until recently
Thea— but I like it under it’s Greek meaning
Anders—as a nickname
Bastian — we considered this once
on March 25th, 2014 at 3:08 pm
My grandfather was of Danish decent and named Thorvald. It was shortened to Tom in the English speaking country I live in. We will probably use it if we have a boy.
on March 25th, 2014 at 4:21 pm
Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristof, hehehe! (Frozen!)
on March 25th, 2014 at 4:26 pm
Solveig for a girl, and Bjorn for a boy.
We live in Minnesota and I have met both Solveigs and Bjorns. I love these two names, and they are on the very top of my guilty pleasure list. I didn’t have the guts to actually use them for my kids. I am always trying to talk my very Scandinavian looking friends into using them though…I would love to see little Soveigs, Bjorns (and Leifs, and Kjerstis,…) running around the playground!
on March 25th, 2014 at 7:05 pm
I think it’s appropriate to name the two talented and funny Norwegian brothers that make up ‘Ylvis’ (“What Does the Fox Say?” fame) – Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker. I think both of those names are great!
on March 25th, 2014 at 8:32 pm
Viggo for boys, Eldrid (meaning ‘fiery spirit’) and Petra for girls
on March 25th, 2014 at 8:37 pm
I had MANY MANY MANY Knute’s, Ottos, Ott’s and OLA’s in my family.
on March 26th, 2014 at 7:32 am
My favorite Scandanavian name at the moment is Annika. I recently read Annika’s Secret Wish, by Beverly Lewis, to my boys. and I secretly wish for a girl. Don’t tell my husband.
on March 27th, 2014 at 10:02 am
My sister in law is Norwegian & Cuban. She wanted first names that worked in English and Spanish and used the middle spot for the Norwegian names. My nephews names are Christian Aleksander and Lucas Anders.
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