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

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

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 Scandinavian 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


Dagny—The Vikings at Helgeland

Eline—Lady Inger

Ellida—The Lady from the Sea

FridaJohn Gabriel Borkman

Hedda—Hedda Gabler

Helga—Peer Gynt

Inga—The Pretenders

Inger—Lady Inger

Ingrid—Peer Gynt

Kaja—The Master Builder

Kirsten—Olaf Liljekrans

Lona—Pillars of Society

Maja—When We Dead Awaken

Margit—The Feast at Solhoug

Margrete—The Pretenders

Netta—Pillars of Society

Nevita—Emperor and Galilean

Nora—A Doll’s House

Petra—An Enemy of the People


Signe—The Feast at Solhoug

Sigrid—The Pretenders

Sira—The Pretenders

Thea—Hedda Gabler

ThoraThe League of Youth



Anders—The League of Youth

Bastian—The League of Youth

Bj**ørn–**Lady Inger

Finn—Lady Inger

GunnarThe Vikings at Helgeland

Ivar—The Pretenders

Jens—Lady Inger

J**örgen—**Hedda Gabler

Jovian—Emperor and Galilean

Karsten—Pillars of Society

Knut—The Master Builder, The Feast at Silhoug

Maximus—Emperor and Galilean

Nils—A Doll’s House, Lady Inger

Olaf—Pillars 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

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.