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What's in a Name | 5 Scandinavian Boy Names

What's in a Name | 5 Scandinavian Boy Names

Denmark, Finland and Norway are home to some very strong, masculine names that transition very well to English speaking countries. These names are not all “Viking” themed (though those have risen in popularity recently - think Ragnar and Rollo). Maybe these names will appeal to you as you consider names for your sweet baby boy.

  1. Ivar

    I think this is such a beautiful name. Meaning “archer” or “yew/bow”, both which feel both strong and intelligent. Consider the variations: Iver or Ivor. Iver nods to musician Bon Iver and is more French in feeling. Keep in mind, in Norway, Ivar is pronounced “ee-vah”, which doesn’t work as well in North America. Most other nations do pronounced it “ee-var”, though in North America you will most often get “eye-var”. A famous Viking namesake will be found in Ivar the Boneless.

  2. Erik

    Another very old, very Norse name. This name brings in the elements ei (ever/always) and ríkr (ruler/king). Your son will ‘always be your king’. I like the variation on more familiar Eric. Also, have you seen True Blood? I’ll say no more. Look to Erik the Red for the Viking connection.

  3. Leif

    If you like a name with a nature connection, but is not too unusual, then this one should appeal to you. The namesake here is Leaf Erikson (son of Erik the Red), who is considered the first Viking explorer. In it’s native tongue it is pronounced Layf.

  4. Nicolai

    A nice variation of the more common Nicolas. This one lends itself to one of my favourite nicknames, Nico. It spans many languages and has a long history across Europe. Classic and very cool.

  5. Bjorn

    This one means “Bear”, so you’re starting off with a powerful but cuddly meaning (at least as far as a Teddy bear would go). It is probably one of the most recognizably Scandinavian name out there. It also dates back to the Viking days, so truly passes the test of time. Bjorn the Ironside is a past King of Sweden.

When choosing a name from another culture or region, it’s important to research the meaning, popularity and famous namesakes, to better understand the history and reception your child will have when speaking with native speakers of the language. If you can take a ‘sample size’ of any Scandinavians you might be able to come across, your son will be better for it. The above names are all quite common, so I don’t imagine your son will struggle with any of them! Happy naming!

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