Scandinavian Names Are Ready to Travel the World
Scandinavian baby names are very much in style at the moment. As we turn to Nordic countries for decor and lifestyle inspiration, so many parents look there for names. You may want to honor Scandinavian heritage, be inspired by pop culture – whether that’s Frozen or Ragnarok – or simply be looking for something different.
Top 10 Names in Norway and Sweden
Even at the top of the charts, each country has its own favorites. Five boys’ names appear in both countries’ Top 10 – Lucas, Oscar, Oliver, William and Noah – and there are three shared girls’ names: Ella, Olivia and Maja.
There are some very wide taste gaps. Jakob, Henrik, Sofie, Ada and Ingrid are in Norway’s Top 10 but in Sweden don’t even make the Top 50. Matteo, Alice, Vera, Ebba and Wilma are in the Swedish Top 10 but not in the Norwegian Top 50.
Here are the full Top 10 lists for both countries. (Norway’s list combines spelling variations.)
Norway: top girls’ names
Norway: top boys’ names
Sweden: top girls’ names
Sweden: top boys’ names
Looking further down the charts, there are more differences between the neighboring countries than you might expect. Norway and Sweden share less than half the names on their Top 50 lists: 18 for girls and 22 for boys. Sometimes this is because names take different forms in the two languages: Swedish parents use Liv and Matteo, while Norwergian parents prefer Live and Matheo. Both countries like a mixture of internationally popular names and local specialties, but often different ones.
These names are popular in both Norway and Sweden, but not so well-known in the rest of the world. (Their ranks are in brackets.)
These are our favorite names that are in the Top 50 in Norway, but not in Sweden.
Olav (20): not to be confused with the snowman, this is an absolute classic in Norway.
Tobias (22): this biblical choice is in the US Top 300, but Norwegian parents love it even more.
Here’s our pick of names in the Top 50 in Sweden, but not in Norway.
Albin (41): a sweet little name meaning “elf-friend”.
Freja (13): an extra-Scandi twist on a rising goddess name.
Liv (49): this mini-name, meaning “life”, has become popular in the States in recent years.
Loui (33): an interestingly spare spelling, Loui is unisex but more popular for boys in Sweden.
Vidar (46): from Old Norse roots, this would make a fresh and underused mythological choice.
Which of these names do you like best? And does your style lean more Norwegian or Swedish?