Speaking of battles, wars, conquests, and expeditions, a tribe and a nation of people stand out as major champions. The crusade embarked upon by the Viking warriors will always stand out in history. This group of people, having quite dogged and firm names thrived and reveled in warfare. So, looking at these epic Viking names can give you clues as to the culture and personality of the Viking tribe.
As common with ancient communities of people, there is a strong attachment of Viking baby names to mythology and tradition. This is heavily represented in the kinds of Viking baby names there were and are still used today. Also, their epic battles and reverence to gods created links with their naming pattern.
Though, in recent years, these Viking traditions have to a large extent faded and become less popular. This might have some bearing on civilization and the advent of Christianity. However, this has not led to the complete extinction of Viking baby names. Most Viking names are still very much in use today and are growing in popularity.
Accordingly, in this article, the focus is to give you a few details about the origin of these Viking baby names and the tradition of naming in the Viking era. Therefore, below are some relevant information and Viking baby names you might be interested in.
Basis of Viking Naming Traditions
During the Viking era, many boys were named after the god Thor, like Toke and Thorsten. Animal names were also used to name Viking children. Names like Orm (Serpent), Ulf (Wolf), and Bjørn (Bear), were very prevalent among Viking people. Names paying obeisance and celebrating gods such as the Midgard serpent and the wolf Fenrir – beasts that the Norse gods had to defeat at Ragnarök, were quite naturally assigned to kids.
Names attributed to special powers and traits were also rampant. For instance, Frida means “peace” and Astrid “beautiful and loved”, Hilda, which means “the fighter”. The names gave the Vikings strength and protection in life.
In the Viking Age especially, the names of the Norse gods and mythological animals gained ground. Certain names gained a foothold in individual families, like Harald, Svend and Knud in the Danish royal family in the late Viking Age and early Middle Ages.
Many names from the Viking Age are still in use today. There are still people called Rune, Erik, Sigrid and Tove in Denmark.
The Viking people had a specific area of domination and habitation. A few foreign sources mention the names of the Vikings. Many of these names are specific to Scandinavia. We therefore can distinguish them from names used in other regions.
Evidently, as it was mainly the men who went on expeditions, we find more men’s than women’s names. This can be seen from the Viking communities in England, for example.
Male names from the Viking Age
1. Aesir – Norse Mythology, a Norse god
2. Åge – man that ploughs; ancestor
3. Alex – means “defender”
4. Alf – means, “elf”; Norse Mythology, Alf was a king who pursued a reluctant maiden who later changed her mind
5. Alvis – Norse Mythology, a dwarf who was to marry Thor’s daughter Thrud.
6. Aren – Danish, means “eagle”
7. Aric – Swedish, Old Norse, means “eternal ruler”
8. Arkyn – Old Norse, means “eternal king’s son”
9. Arne – means “eagle”
10. Asbjorne – Norwegian, Danish, means “bear”
11. Audor – Ancient Scandinavian, means “wealth”
12. Birger – keeper
13. Bjarke – Danish, means “bear”
14. Bjarne – Ancient Scandinavian, Faroese, means “bear”
15. Bjoern – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, means “bear”
16. Bjørn- bear
17. Bo- the resident
18. Bragi – Icelandic, means “first”; Norse Mythology, Norse god of poetry
19. Ebbe – Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, means “wild boar”
20. Erik – absolute ruler
21. Erling – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, means “heir of the clan, chief”
22. Espen – Danish, Norwegian, means “bear”
23. Fenrir – Norse Mythology, a giant, monstrous wolf – Loki’s son by the evil giantess Angrboða – who was destined to kill the god Odin at the final battle of Ragnarök
24. Freyre – Norse Mythology, Norse god of fertility, sunlight, and rain
25. Frode- wise and clever
26. Gandalf – Old Norse, means “wand elf”
27. Gender-Neutral Viking Names
28. Gisli – Icelandic, Faroese, Ancient Scandinavian, means “pledge”
29. Gorm – he who worships god
30. Gunnar – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, means “he who stands alone”; Norse Mythology, husband of Brynhildr, a maiden rescued by another man who pretended to be Gunnar
31. Halfdan – the half Danish
32. Hanne – Danish, Norwegian, means “Yaweh is gracious”
33. Harald: lord and ruler
34. Helge – Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, means “holy, blessed”
35. Henny – Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, means “home ruler”
36. Herleif – Norwegian, means “warrior descendant”
37. Hrafen – Ancient Scandinavian, means “raven”
38. Inge – Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, means “ancestor”
39. Ivar – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, means “bow warrior, archer”
40. Jo – English, German, Dutch, Norwegian, means “Yaweh is gracious”
41. Kåre: with curly hair
42. Knud: knot
43. Leif: descendant
44. Loki – Norse Mythology, the trickster god
45. Magnus – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, means “great, mighty”
46. Mille – Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, means “rival”
47. Njal: giant
48. Njord – Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, means “strong, vigorous”
49. Ødger: wealth and spear
50. Odin – Norse Mythology, the highest of the Norse gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death
51. Olaf – Norwegian, Danish, means “ancestor’s descendent”
52. Ragnar – Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, means “army rule”
53. Roar: fame and spear
54. Rune: secret
55. Selby – English, means “willow farm”
56. Sindri – Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic, means “sparkling”; Norse Mythology, dwarf who made magical items for the gods
57. Skarde: with cleft chin
58. Sten: stone
59. Storm – Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, means “storm”
60. Sune: son
61. Svend: freeman who is in the service of another
57. Verdandi – Norse Mythology, Norn of the present, one of three goddesses of destiny
58. Yrsa – wild or she bear
As you can see above, Viking names are simply great. They carry both power and strength, which are wonderful features any name can be. Maybe you are contemplating what names to give your kids, Viking baby names will be a very nice option.
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