50 Norwegian Baby Names

Learn the meaning and origins of popular Norwegian baby names

portrait of a 5 month old baby girl

Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images

Norwegian names come from a rich history of Vikings and Norse Mythology. Norway is a mountainous country known for its widespread forests and fjords filled with salmon. Norwegian, a Germanic language derived from Old Norse, has 5 million speakers worldwide. 

Choosing a Norwegian name for your baby is a great way to pay homage to your Scandinavian roots. Even if your family doesn't hail from Norway, one of these names might still be the perfect fit for your little one. Norwegian names tend to connote strength and virtue, like Hilda, which means battle, or Thor, the Old Norse god of strength, thunder, war, and storms.

Popular Norwegian Baby Names for Girls

Here are some of the most popular and unique Norwegian baby names for girls along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information. 

Amalie

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Work
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Amalia, Amala, Amelia, Amaliya
  • Famous Namesakes: Mathematician Amalie “Emmy” Noether, Princess Amalia of Nassau-Dietz, author and feminist Amalie Skram
  • Peak Popularity: Amalie is a rare name that was not listed in the top 1,000

Fun Fact: Charlotte Amalie, located on the island of St. Thomas, is the capital city of the United States Virgin Islands.

Astrid

  • Origin: Ancient Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Beloved God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Asta, Astride, Sassa
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer Astrid Roelants, actress Astrid Allwyn, photographer and artist Astrid Kirchherr 
  • Peak Popularity: Astrid first appeared on the charts in the year 2004, eventually peaking at position 518 in 2019

Fun Fact: Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren was the author of Pippi Longstocking.

Britta

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Exalted one
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Brita, Britt, Birgitta
  • Famous Namesakes: Dutch politician Britta Böhler, painter and illustrator Brita Granström, writer, translator, and anarchist Britta Gröndahl
  • Peak Popularity: Britta is a rare name that was not listed in the top 1,000

Fun Fact: Saint Britta was a 4th century martyr.

Carina

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carin, Karin, Karina
  • Famous Namesakes: Swedish politician Carina Adolfsson Elgestam, volleyball player Carina Aulenbrock, author Carina Axelsson
  • Peak Popularity: Carina declined steadily in popularity after 2000 until 2006 when it began to jump back and forth. In 2019, Carina was at position 948.

Fun Fact: Carina means "cute" in Italian.

Dorothea

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Dorothee, Dorete, Dorothy, Dorthy
  • Famous Namesakes: Social activist Dorothea Dix, first woman doctor in Germany Dorothea Erxleben, novelist Dorothea Gerard
  • Peak Popularity: Dorothea is a rare name that was not listed in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact

Dorothea is the feminine form of Theodoro.

Ella

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Torch
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elle, Ellie, Elsa, Elsie
  • Famous Namesakes: Jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, child actress Ella Anderson, and educator, anthropologist, ethnographer, linguist, and novelist Ella Cara Deloria
  • Peak Popularity: Ella is a very popular name, which hit its peak in 2011 on position 12. It has remained in the top 20 since 2008, and is currently the 13th most popular name. 

Fun Fact: Ella means “she” in Spanish.

Ellinore

  • Origin: Old French
  • Meaning: The other Aenor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eleanor, Eleonor, Eleonora, 
  • Famous Namesakes: Novelist Elinor Glyn, poet Eleanor Anne Porden, queen of Portugal Eleanor of Aragon 
  • Peak Popularity: Ellinore is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: One of the first people named Eleanor was the 12th-century queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Her name was actually Aenor, but to differentiate her from her mother, who was also named Aenor, she was known as “Alia Aenor,” meaning “the other Aenor.” This reference bore the given name Eleanor. 

Evy

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: To breathe
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ava, Eva, Eve, Evie,  
  • Famous Namesakes: Cyclist Evy Van Damme
  • Peak Popularity: Evy is a rare name and is not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Frida

  • Origin: Ancient Germanic
  • Meaning: Peace
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Frieda, Freida 
  • Famous Namesakes: Painter Frida Kahlo, writer and feminist Frida Stéenhoff, alpine skiier Frida Hansdotter 
  • Peak Popularity: Frida appeared on the charts for the first time in 2001. In 2003 it reached its peak at position 648 and it slowly declined until 2015 where it began to grow steadily more popular. 

Fun Fact: Frida Kahlo suffered polio as a child and it left her with one leg shorter than the other. One reason she always wore long, colorful skirts was to hide her leg.

Hanna

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Yahweh is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hanne, Hannie, Janna, Jonna 
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Hanna Alström, runner Hanna Hermansson, soccer player Hanna Ljungberg
  • Peak Popularity: Hanna has steadily declined since the year 2000, excepting a minor revival between 2012 and 2013. Hannah landed at 539 in 2019. 

Fun Fact: The name Hanna is derived from Johanna, but the alternate spelling “Hannah” has a different meaning and origin.

Heidi

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Noble type
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alida, Heida, Heide
  • Famous Namesakes: Lead character in the classic children’s novel, Heidi, German model Heidi Klum, American missionary in Africa Heidi Baker
  • Peak Popularity: The name Heidi began to be used in the English-speaking world shortly after the 1937 Shirley Temple movie adaptation of the novel Heidi. Over the past twenty years, it has hovered around position 300-400. 

Fun Fact: Johanna Spyri wrote the novel Heidi for her son, incorporating real people and places from her own life into the plot.

Hilda

  • Origin: Ancient Germanic
  • Meaning: Battle
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hylda, Hilde
  • Famous Namesakes: Princess Hilda of Nassau; author, artist, and anti-apartheid and women's rights activist Hilda Berstein
  • Peak Popularity: Hilda is a rare name that was not listed in the top 1,000. 

Fun Fact: A group of asteroids called the Hilda group is named after one of the discoverer's daughters.

Josefine

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: He will add
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Josefin, Josefina, Josephine
  • Famous Namesakes: Austrian-American actress Josefine Balluck, jazz vocalist and songwriter Josefine Cronholm, world-champion skier Josefine Cronholm
  • Peak Popularity: Josefine is a rare name that was not listed in the top 1,000.

Kaia

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Kaja, Kaisa
  • Famous Namesakes: Tennis player Kaia Kanepi, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford Kaia Jordan Gerber
  • Peak Popularity: Kaia has grown in popularity over time, hitting its peak in 2018 at position 313. 

Karolina

  • Origin: Ancient Germanic
  • Meaning: Warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Carolina, Caroline, Karoline
  • Famous Namesakes: Polish first lady Karolina Kaczorowska, volleyball player Karolína Bednárová, gymnast Karolina Nowak, model Karolína Kurková
  • Peak Popularity: Karolina is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name. 

Katarina

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Catharina, Katrina, Katharina,
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Katarina Ewerlöf, Queen of Bosnia Katarina Kosača, figure skater Katarina Wolfkostin
  • Peak Popularity: Katarina peaked in popularity in the year 2000 at position 646 before dropping off the charts in 2006.

Katja

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Katia, Katya 
  • Famous Namesakes: Supermodel Katja Shchekina; novelist, journalist, columnist, and screenwriter Katja Kallio; actress Katja Medbøe
  • Peak Popularity: Katja is a rare name and not listed in the top 1,000

Fun Fact: 1113 Katja is an asteroid discovered in 1928 in the outer regions of the asteroid belt.

Linnea

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: A flower
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Linn, Nea
  • Famous Namesakes: Figure skater Linnea Ceder, artist Linnea Glatt
  • Peak Popularity: Linnea is a rare name not listed in the top 1,000 names.

Fun Fact: The Linnea flower is also called the “twinflower” because each step has two blossoms at its top.

Mikaela

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Who is like God?
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Makayla, Micheala
  • Famous Namesakes: Singer and actress Mikaela (mononym), skier Mikaela Shiffrin
  • Peak Popularity: The name Mikaela was most popular in the year 2000 at position 381. After declining in popularity for a few years, it jumped up again between the years 2008 and 2011 before declining again. 

Nora

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Honor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Norah, Lenora
  • Famous Namesakes: Gymnast Norah Flatley, children’s advocate Nora Gibbons
  • Peak Popularity: Nora is a very popular name, having always been in the top 1,000. It broke into the top 100 in 2013 and has grown in popularity since, reaching position 29 in 2019. 

Randi

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Beautiful counsel
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Randie, Randy
  • Famous Namesakes: Toy inventor Randi Altschul, illustrator Randi Monsen 
  • Peak Popularity: Randi ranked at 858 in 2000 and fell off the charts in 2002. 

Storm

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Storm
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Stormr
  • Famous Namesakes: Actress Storm Reid
  • Peak Popularity: Storm is a rare name and not listed in the top 1,000. 

Sylvi

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Strength of the sun
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Silva, Silvia, Silvie
  • Famous Namesakes: Norwegian politician Sylvi Graham, canoer Sylvi Saimo
  • Peak Popularity: Sylvi first appeared on the charts in 2016 before dropping off shortly thereafter in 2019. 

Fun Fact: Rhea Silvia is the name of the vestal virgin who gave birth to the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus.

Vera

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Faith
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Vjera, Viera
  • Famous Namesakes: Harpist Vera Ðurašković, writer and activist Vera Francis
  • Peak Popularity: After first appearing on the charts in 2009, Vera has climbed steadily in popularity, putting the name at position 252 in 2019. 

Popular Norwegian Baby Names for Boys

Here are some of the most popular and unique Norwegian baby names for boys along with their meanings, origins, and other interesting information. 

Anders

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Manly
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Andreas
  • Famous Namesakes: Astronomer, physicist, and mathematician Anders Celsius; tennis player Anders Järryd; politician Anders Fogh Rasmussen
  • Peak Popularity: Anders first appeared on the charts in 2006, becoming more and more popular until its peak at 749 in 2014. It has gradually dropped in rank since. 

Fun Fact: In Denmark, Donald Duck’s name is Anders And.

August

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Exalted, venerable
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Auguste, Augustus, Augustine, Gus
  • Famous Namesakes: Photographer August Sander, playwright August Strindberg
  • Peak Popularity: August appeared on the charts in 2000 and it started to gain popularity in 2008. Since then it has steadily increased in rank, peaking in 2019 at position 167. 

Fun Fact: Princess Eugenie and Mandy Moore both named their babies August in 2021. 

Björn

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Bear
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Bjoern
  • Famous Namesakes: Comedian and actor Björn Gustafsson, guitarist Björn Ågren
  • Peak Popularity: The name Bjorn made it onto the charts in 2017 and it has become more popular each year. The peak year on record is 2019 at position 868.

Fun Fact: BabyBjörn (or “baby bear”) is a Swedish family-owned company that makes baby products.

Casper

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Treasurer
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caspar, Jasper, Jesper
  • Famous Namesakes: Landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich, entomologist Caspar Stoll
  • Peak Popularity: Casper is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Casper is a version of the name Jasper, the name of one of the three wise men who was said to have visited the baby Jesus. 

Erik

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Ever ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Eirik, Eric, Erich, Erick, Erikk
  • Famous Namesakes: Developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, actor Erik Estrada
  • Peak Popularity: Erik has steadily dropped in popularity since the year 2000, with the most recent data placing it at 385 in 2019. 

Fun Fact: Many kings of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway were named Erik. 

Espen

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Bear god
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Asbjorn, Esben
  • Famous Namesakes: Jazz musician Espen Aalberg, chess player Espen Agdestein, movie director Espen Sandberg
  • Peak Popularity: Espen is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Hollywood director Espen Sandberg was a breakdancer as a young man.

Finn

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Person from Finland
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Finnr, Finnur
  • Famous Namesakes: Novelist Finn Alnæs, illustrator Finn Graff, Olympic rower Finn Pedersen
  • Peak Popularity: A top 10 name in Germany and the Netherlands, Finn has been gradually becoming more well used in the US. It hit its peak in popularity in 2018 at position 166.

Frans

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Frenchman
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Franciscus, Francis, Franz
  • Famous Namesakes: Dutch golden age painter Frans Hals the Elder, primatologist Frans de Waal
  • Peak Popularity: Frans is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Dutch golden age painter Frans Hals was instrumental in the evolution of 17th-century group portrait painting.

Fredrik

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Peaceful ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Frederick, Frederik
  • Famous Namesakes: Crown prince of Denmark Frederik André Henrik Christian, social anthropologist Fredrik Barth, musician Fredrik Nordstrom
  • Peak Popularity: Fredrik is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Hans

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Yahweh is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hanns, Hannes, Hawns
  • Famous Namesakes: Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, Pediatrician Hans Asperger for whom Asperger syndrome is named
  • Peak Popularity: Hans is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: The main characters in the movie Frozen, Hans, Christoff, Anna, and Sven are a play on the name Hans Christian Andersen. He wrote the story The Snow Queen, which inspired the movie.

Henrik

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Home ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Heinrik, Hendrik
  • Famous Namesakes: Playwright Henrik Ibsen
  • Peak Popularity: A top 10 name in Norway, Henrik was first seen on the charts in 2014. Since then it’s stayed roughly around the 800 position. 

Ivan

  • Origin: Slavic
  • Meaning: Yahweh is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ioann, Ioan, Ivano, Jovan, Yoan
  • Famous Namesakes: First czar of Russia “Ivan the Terrible”, tennis player Ivan Lendl
  • Peak Popularity: Since Ivan hit the charts in 2000, it has stayed pretty steadily around rank 125-145. Ivan peaked in the year 2012 at position 113. 

Fun Fact: Ivan the Terrible was said to have asked Queen Elizabeth I for her hand, which she politely declined. 

Jonathan

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Yahweh has given
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Johnathan, Johnathon, Jonathon
  • Famous Namesakes: Rapper Jonathan “Lil Jon” Smith, political satirist Jonathan Swift
  • Peak Popularity: Jonathan was a top 50 name from 2000-2015, hitting the top 20 and peaking in 2005 at position 19. It has steadily and slightly declined since. 

Fun Fact: Jonathan Browning was the inventor of the "sliding breech" repeating rifle, also called a Harmonica gun.

Kai

  • Origin: Dutch
  • Meaning: Spear
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Cai, Caj, Cay, Kaj, Kay
  • Famous Namesakes: Trombonist and jazz composer Kai Winding, software designer Kai Krause
  • Peak Popularity: Kai has been steadily growing in popularity over the past 20 years. It broke into the top 100 in 2019 when it sat at position 100. 

Fun Fact: Kai means ocean in Hawaiian and it is a popular baby name in Hawaii.

Leif

  • Origin: Norwegian
  • Meaning: Descendant, heir
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Leiv
  • Famous Namesakes: Norse explorer Leif Erikson, mycologist Leif Ryvarden
  • Peak Popularity: Leif made it to the charts in 2016 and 2017 before falling off again. With cottagecore names on the rise, it is possible that we will see Leif back on the charts soon. 

Fun Fact: Leif is the name of a sloth character in the game Animal Crossing.

Leo

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Lion
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Leon
  • Famous Namesakes: Author Leo Tolstoy, Pope Leo VIII
  • Peak Popularity: Leo has been rising in popularity since it first showed up on the charts in the year 2000. It broke into the top 100 in 2014 and peaked at 40 in 2019. 

Fun Fact: Leo the Lion is one of the earliest recognized constellations.

Markus

  • Origin: Ancient Roman
  • Meaning: God of war
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Marco, Marcus, Mark
  • Famous Namesakes: Vocalist Markus Feehily, DJ and musician Markus Löffel
  • Peak Popularity: Markus has had mixed popularity over the years. As of 2019, Markus is no longer a top 1,000 name. 

Fun Fact: Marcus Aurelius was born Aurelius Antoninus before adopting the name Marcus as a symbol of the Roman god of war. 

Matheo

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift of Yahweh
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Matteus, Matteo
  • Famous Namesakes: Racing driver Mathéo Tuscher 
  • Peak Popularity: Matteo is a rare name and is not listed in the top 1,000.

Fun Fact: Matteo Ricci was an Italian Jesuit missionary who, in the 1600s, gained entrance to the interior of China. At this time it was rare for China to accept foreigners, but Matteo was allowed in because he adopted the Chinese language and culture.

Max

  • Origin: Ancient Roman
  • Meaning: Greatest
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maximilian, Maximus
  • Famous Namesakes: Sociologist and political economist Max Weber, theoretical physicist who discovered energy quanta Max Planck
  • Peak Popularity: A top 10 name in New Zealand, Max broke into the top 100 in 2010 before falling out again in 2012. Currently, Max is slowly losing popularity. 

Oskar

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Deer friend
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Oscar
  • Famous Namesakes: Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, Prince Oskar of Prussia 
  • Peak Popularity: Oskar is a top 10 name in both Estonia and Slovenia, but it is a rare name in the US, and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Oscar, a “deer friend,” is a figure in the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology.

Otto

  • Origin: Germanic
  • Meaning: Wealth, fortune
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Audo, Odilo, Odo
  • Famous Namesakes: First Holy Roman emperor Otto the Great, German chancellor Otto von Bismarck
  • Peak Popularity: Otto first appeared on the charts in 2011 and has been swiftly gaining popularity since. In 2019 it was at position 427.

Fun Fact: Four German kings were all named Otto.

Rasmus

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Beloved
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Erasmus
  • Famous Namesakes: Linguist and philologist Rasmus Rask, racing cyclist Rasmus Quaade
  • Peak Popularity: Rasmus is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Sander

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: To defend
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Xander, Zander
  • Famous Namesakes: Electrohouse DJ Sander van Doorn, American politician Sander Martin Levin
  • Peak Popularity: Sander is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was the first independent to be elected to the House of Representatives in 40 years.

Thor

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Thunder
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tor
  • Famous Namesakes: Adventurer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl, bicycle racer Thor Hushovd 
  • Peak Popularity: Thor is a rare name and not listed as a top 1,000 name.

Fun Fact: Thor was the Norse god of strength, thunder, war, and storms.

Tobias

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Yahweh is good
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Toby, Tobiah
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor and film producer Tobias “Toby” McGuire, Scottish poet and author Tobias George Smollett
  • Peak Popularity: A top 10 name in Austria, Tobias grew in popularity from 2000-2006 in the US before experiencing a setback lasting until 2012 when it began to increase again. As of 2019, Tobias is at position 272.
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