50 Swedish Baby Names

Learn the meanings and origins of popular Swedish baby names

Baby with blue eyes in sweater.

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The land of lush, green forests, breathtaking views of the northern lights, lingonberries, Swedish meatballs, the pop group ABBA—Sweden has a long and fascinating history.

Because of mass migration more than 100 years ago, more than 9 million Americans claim Scandinavian ancestry today. That's approximately 3% of the population of the USA.

If you’re looking for a unique and darling moniker, you may want to consider giving your child a Swedish name.

Got a baby on the way? Consider these 50 Swedish baby names.

Popular Swedish Names For Girls

Check out some of the most popular Swedish girl baby names to see if they are right for your child.

Agnes

  • Origin: Greek 
  • Meaning: Pure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Agnija, Agatha, Aggie
  • Famous Namesakes: Agnes of Rome, patron saint of young girls, was martyred around 304 CE.
  • Peak Popularity: In Social Security Administration (SSA) records going back to 1880, Agnes peaked in popularity in the U.S. in 1899 at No. 37. It remained among the top 500 girl names through 1961.

Alice

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Noble
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aalis, Allie
  • Famous Namesakes: The American writer Alice Walker was awarded both a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for her 1982 novel, “The Color Purple.”
  • Peak Popularity: In SSA records, Alice debuted at No. 8 in 1880. After a mid-20th century dip in popularity, Alice returned to the top 100 in 2014, and in 2020 it was at No. 76.

Fun Fact: The books “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass” started out as stories that author Lewis Carroll made up to entertain young Alice Liddell, daughter of the dean of Christ Church college, Oxford.

Alma

  • Origin: Latin (possibly)
  • Meaning: Nurturing, soul
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: n/a
  • Famous Namesakes: Both adored and reviled, Alma Mahler was a Viennese-born composer of nearly fifty songs for voice and piano. She was also known as an author and socialite.
  • Peak Popularity: Alma ranked at No. 51 for several years in the 1890s and remained in the top 100 names through 1927. Since sinking to its lowest point ever in 2011, Alma has rebounded, ranking at No. 567 in 2020.

Fun Fact: Actress Marielle Heller played Alma Wheatley in the breakout Netflix series “The Queen's Gambit.” An estimated 62 million households watched the series in its first month on the streaming service.

Astrid

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Divinely beautiful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ástríðr, Astride
  • Famous Namesakes: Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish author of stories about the pigtailed Pippi Longstocking.
  • Peak Popularity: While Astrid hadn't previously spent much time in the top 1,000 names in the U.S., the renewed interest in international names might have given it a boost in recent years. The name reached its highest ranking ever in 2020, at No. 452.

Clara

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Brilliant
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Claire, Klara
  • Famous Namesakes: Clara Bow was a popular American actress of the 1920s and early 1920s, nicknamed “the It girl” after she rose to stardom for her role in the silent film “It.”
  • Peak Popularity: While Clara had its greatest popularity in the U.S in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it has seen some renewed popularity in recent years, ranking at No. 103 in 2020.

Elsa

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Pledged to God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elisabeth, Elsie
  • Famous Namesakes: Elsa Teresia Andersson, born April 1897 in Strövelstorp, Sweden, was the first female pilot and parachutist in Sweden.
  • Peak Popularity: Elsa was among the top 500 most popular girl names for the first few decades of SSA’s records and has remained among the top 1,000 ever since.

Fun Fact: In 2014, the year after the release of Disney's hit film “Frozen,” featuring the icy queen Elsa, the name Elsa leaped to No. 286. It had last ranked that high in the late 1890s.

Elvira

  • Origin: Spanish
  • Meaning: White, fair
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: n/a
  • Famous Namesakes: The film “Elvira: Mistress of the Dark” comes to mind. So does German Olympic runner Elvira Possekel.
  • Peak Popularity: Elvira was a popular name in the U.S. in the late 18th and early 20th centuries and remained in the top 1,000 until 1976. It ranked No. 51 in Sweden in 2020.

Emma

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Universal
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Emily, Emmie, Ema
  • Famous Namesakes: Take your pick of actresses: Emma Stone, Emma Roberts, Emma Watson, Emma Thompson. And who could forget Jane Austen's legendary Emma Woodhouse?
  • Peak Popularity: Emma currently ranks No. 2 for baby girl names in the U.S. In fact, Emma has been one of the top girls' names in the U.S. for several years now.

Freja

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Lady
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Freyja
  • Famous Namesakes: Freya is the ancient Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility.
  • Peak Popularity: While not incredibly popular in the U.S., Freja ranks in the top 10 in Sweden. Freyja ranked No. 958 in the U.S. in 2020.

Greta

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Pearl
  • Famous Namesakes: Dr. Greta Guttman was a character on “Mad Men” and Greta Gerwig, of “Lady Bird” fame, is an actress and director. 
  • Peak Popularity: The name peaked in 1932, thanks to Greta Garbo's soaring performance in “Grand Hotel.” In 1933, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in “Anna Christie.”

Fun Fact: Greta Thunberg is a Swedish environmental activist who is internationally known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change.

Leah

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Weary
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lia, Leigha
  • Famous Namesakes: In the Old Testament, Leah was the first wife of Jacob and the mother of seven children. She is considered one of the most important biblical matriarchs. 
  • Peak Popularity: Leah has been near the top of the chart in the 21st century and is now among the most popular girls' names starting with L.

Fun Fact: Leah Clearwater of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” fame is the Beta of the Black pack and the only known female shape-shifter in Quileute history!

Lilly

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: The English flower name, Lily, pure, passion, rebirth
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lillian, Lilion, Lily, Lillie
  • Famous Namesakes: Lilly Pulitzer, American socialite and fashion designer and Emily in Paris actress, Lily Collins
  • Peak Popularity: Lilly has long been a fairly popular name in the U.S., though it was out of the top 1,000 names through much of the mid to late 20th century. Its popularity rose again starting in the mid-1990s, and in 2020 it ranked at No. 231.

Linnea

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: Lime tree, twinflower
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Linnean, Linnaeus
  • Famous Namesakes: Derives from the renowned 18th-century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who developed the Linnean system of classifying plants and animals. 
  • Peak Popularity: The name Linnea first appears in SSA baby name records in 1894, at No. 1,608. It made occasional appearances in the top 1,000 in the early to mid 20th century, and ranked at 1,649 in 2020.

Lovisa

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Renowned Warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lova
  • Famous Namesakes: Lovisa Augusti was an 18th-century soprano and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
  • Peak Popularity: Lovisa has only made occasional appearances among U.S. baby names, peaking at No. 895 in 1880, then swiftly disappearing from the top 1,000 names. Lova was ranked the 37th most popular girls' name in Sweden in 2020, and Lovisa at No. 57.

Maja

  • Origin: Arabic, German, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Splendid
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Meja
  • Famous Namesakes: Maja Einstein was Albert Einstein's younger sister. Also, Maja is often associated with Francisco de Goya's famous paintings "The Clothed Maja" and “The Naked Maja.”
  • Peak Popularity: Maja is a very popular name in Sweden. In the U.S., it peaked at No. 2,313 in 2011.

Matilda

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Battle mighty
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tilda
  • Famous Namesakes: Matilda Wormwood is the protagonist of Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda.”
  • Peak Popularity: While the name Matilda saw its greatest popularity in the U.S. in the 19th century, only dropping out of the top 500 in 1937, it ranked at No. 478 in 2020.

Mila

  • Origin: Slavic, Russian
  • Meaning: Gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ludmila, Milena, and Milica
  • Famous Namesakes: Ukrainian-born “Bad Moms” actress Mila Kunis.
  • Peak Popularity: After emerging into the top 1,000 girl baby names in 2006, Mila has grown in popularity and it’s been in the top 20 for several years in a row.

Molly

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Bitter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Molli, Mollie, Mary
  • Famous Namesakes: Iconic 80's actress Molly Ringwald, who starred in “16 Candles” and “Pretty in Pink.”
  • Peak Popularity: Molly took off in the 1980s, landing on America’s top 100 list for the first time ever in 1987. Mollie with an “-ie” was the preferred spelling more than 100 years ago at the turn of the 20th century. 

Nellie

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Sun Ray
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Nelly, Nelli, Cornelia
  • Famous Namesakes: Australian coloratura soprano Dame Nellie Melba (born Helen Porter Mitchell in 1861) was famous not only in her native country, but also in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Peak Popularity: In the U.S., Nellie is one of the most popular unique girl names, coming in just beneath the Top 1000, ranking 868.

Nova

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: New
  • Famous Namesakes: Nova Pilbeam, the star of one of Hitchcock's early British films, had family ties to Nova Scotia.
  • Peak Popularity: Nova was popular at the turn of the last century and into the early 1930s. The energetic name is currently making a comeback and is ranked in the top 100 girl baby names in the U.S.

Olivia

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Olive Tree
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alivia
  • Famous Namesakes: British-Australian singer Olivia Newton-John is best known for her iconic role in “Grease” alongside John Travolta.
  • Peak Popularity: Since SSA baby name records began in 1880, Olivia has remained one of the top 500 names except for a brief period in the 1960s and 1970s. It was the top girl name in 2020.

Tuva

  • Origin: Swedish
  • Meaning: Tuft of grass
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Tove
  • Famous Namesakes: Tove Edfeldt is a Swedish actress. 
  • Peak Popularity: In 2020 Tuva ranked 62 in Sweden and 34 in Norway.

Tyra

  • Origin: Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Beautiful
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Ty
  • Famous Namesakes: Tyra Banks is an American supermodel, entrepreneur, and actress. She was the first African American woman to appear on the covers of GQ and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
  • Peak Popularity: In 2020 Tyra ranked No. 52 in Sweden. The name briefly entered the top 500 U.S. girl names at the end of the 20th century.

Vera

  • Origin: Russian
  • Meaning: Faith
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Viera
  • Famous Namesakes: American fashion designer Vera Wang and English “We’ll Meet Again” singer Dame Vera Lynn.
  • Peak Popularity: Vera was in the top 100 U.S. names for baby girls from 1891 to 1930, peaking at No. 65 in 1915 and again in 1919. In 2020 it was No. 246.

Wilma

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Resolute protection
  • Alternate Spellings & Variations: Wilhelmina
  • Famous Namesakes: Wilma Mankiller was the first woman to become the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
  • Peak Popularity: Wilma had a moment in the U.S. from 1912 to 1940, coming in as a top 100 girls' name. It's still a top 10 in Sweden.

Fun Fact: The Flintstones premiered on September 30, 1960. The cartoon character Wilma was Fred’s wife and Pebbles’ mom. Yabba Dabba Doo!

Popular Swedish Names For Boys

Here are some of the most popular Swedish baby names for boys, along with their origins, meanings, and popularity.

Adrian

  • Origin: Latin
  • Meaning: Man of Adria
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Adrien, Adrienne, Adrianne, Adriano
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Adrian Grenier, best known for his starring role in the HBO series “Entourage,” is also a director, producer, musician, and environmentalist. 
  • Peak Popularity: Adrian first entered the U.S. top 100 boy names in 1985, and in 2020 it was at No. 58.

Alfred

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Wise Counselor
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Alf, Alfie, Fred
  • Famous Namesakes: English director Alfred Hitchcock, the “Master of Suspense,” directed more than 50 films, starting in the silent era. His influential works include such classics as “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (two versions), “North by Northwest,” and “Psycho.”
  • Peak Popularity: Alfred was in the top 50 U.S. baby names from the late 19th century until the early 1930s, and remained in the top 100 until 1950. In 2020 the name ranked at No. 902. 

Aron

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: High mountain, exalted, enlightened
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Aaron
  • Famous Namesakes: Aaron was Elvis Presley’s middle name. Aron Nimzowitsch was a chess grandmaster and is best known for his 1925 book, “My System,” which explains his approach to chess.
  • Peak Popularity: Aron ranked No. 763 in the U.S. in 2020, and Aaron ranked at No. 63.

August

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Great, magnificent
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Auguste
  • Famous Namesakes: Swedish writer August Strindberg, best known for his plays, influenced later playwrights as Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neill, as well as filmmaker Ingmar Bergman.
  • Peak Popularity: While August had its greatest U.S. popularity in the 19th century (it was at No. 74 in 1880), it has regained some popularity in recent years, ranking at No. 155 in 2020.

Casper

  • Origin: Scandinavian, Persian
  • Meaning: Bringer of treasure
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Caspar, Cas
  • Famous Namesakes: According to western Christian tradition, Caspar was the name of one of the Magi who came from the east to Jerusalem to worship the King of the Jews. (The Gospel of Matthew doesn't mention the names of the Magi.)
  • Peak Popularity: Casper ranked No. 64 in Sweden in 2020, and No. 1,219 in the U.S.

Fun Fact: Casper the Friendly Ghost was the protagonist of a theatrical cartoon series in the 1940s and 1950s. Unlike other ghosts, he was more interested in making friends with people than scaring them.

Colin

  • Origin: Scottish, Irish, French
  • Meaning: Pup
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Collin
  • Famous Namesakes: English actor Colin Firth won an Academy Award for his portrayal of King George VI in the 2010 movie “The King’s Speech.”
  • Peak Popularity: Colin peaked in 2004 at No. 84, and Collin peaked at No. 115 in 1996. In 2020 they were at No. 285 and No. 464, respectively.

Edvin

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: Wealthy Friend
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Edwin
  • Famous Namesakes: The music of Ukrainian-born Hungarian violinist and composer Edvin Marton has been used by several prominent figure skaters in their programs.
  • Peak Popularity: In 2020, Edvin ranked at No. 45 in Sweden.

Elliot

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Jehovah is God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Elijah or Elias
  • Famous Namesakes: Actor Elliot Page has appeared in movies such as “Juno” and “Inception,” and in the TV series “The Umbrella Academy.”
  • Peak Popularity: Elliot peaked at No. 161 in the U.S. in 2017, and in 2020 was at No. 164.

Gabriel

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: God is my strength, strong
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gavri’el,
  • Famous Namesakes: Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez was awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • Peak Popularity: Gabriel has ranked in the top 50 boy names in the U.S. since 2000. In 2020 it ranked at No. 38.

Gustav

  • Origin: Scandinavian 
  • Meaning: Royal staff, staff of gods
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Gustave, Gus
  • Famous Namesakes: English composer Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite “The Planets,” composed between 1914 and 1916, remains popular.
  • Peak Popularity: While Gustav was among the top 500 names in the late 19th century, it ranked at No. 3,063 in 2020.

Fun Fact: Gustav the Giant first appeared in a 1938 animated adaptation of “The Brave Little Tailor” by the Brothers Grimm, starring Mickey Mouse.

Hjalmer

  • Origin: Norse, Scandinavian
  • Meaning: Army helmet
  • Famous Namesakes: Hjalmar and Ingeborg were a legendary Swedish couple and Hjálmar is an Icelandic reggae band.
  • Peak Popularity: Hjalmer was last among the top 1,000 names in the U.S. back in 1902, and Hjalmar in 1889.

Harry

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Estate Ruler
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Henry
  • Famous Namesakes: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, grandson of Queen Elizabeth, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. Harry Potter and Harry Styles (“Watermelon Sugar”) come to mind, too.
  • Peak Popularity: Harry was among the top 20 boy names in the U.S. from the late 19th century to 1917 and remained in the top 100 through 1956. In 2020 it ranked No. 720.

Hugo

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Mind, intellect
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Hugh
  • Famous Namesakes: Hugo Chavez, the late president of Venezuela, and the fashion world's Hugo Boss.
  • Peak Popularity: Hugo peaked at No. 263 in the U.S. in 1881. As of 2020, it was at No. 424.

Fun Fact: In the seventh “Harry Potter” novel, Ron and Hermione bestow the name Hugo on their son.

Isak

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Laughter
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Isaac
  • Famous Namesakes: Isak Martinsson is a game designer and composer in Sweden.
  • Peak Popularity: As of 2020, Isak was No. 19 in Sweden and No. 4,141 in the U.S. Isaac, though, was at 39 in the U.S.

Jack

  • Origin: English
  • Meaning: God is gracious
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: John, Johnkin to Jankin to Jackin
  • Famous Namesakes: American actor Jack Nicholson has starred in such iconic movies as “Easy Rider,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and “A Few Good Men.”
  • Peak Popularity: Jack has been in the top 100 boy names in the U.S. for most of the past 140 years. It peaked at No. 14 in 1929–1930 and was at No. 21 in 2020.

Fun Fact: The nursery rhyme “Jack Sprat” appeared in the book “Mother Goose’s Melody” in the 18th century, but it is probably older.

Josef

  • Origin: German, Scandinavian and Czech
  • Meaning: Jehovah increases
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Joseph
  • Famous Namesakes: Swiss sprinter Josef Imbach set an Olympic record, and unofficial world record, for the men’s 400 meters at the 1924 Summer Olympic quarterfinal. In the final, he tripped and wasn't able to finish.
  • Peak Popularity: Unlike Joseph (which has been in the top 20 for most of the past century), Josef peaked at No. 663 in 1984, and in 2020 was at No. 2,158.

Levi

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Joined, attached
  • Famous Namesakes: The Bavarian-born Levi Strauss, who came to the U.S. at the age of 18, patented the familiar style of denim pants that bear his name in 1873, along with his partner Jacob W. Davis.
  • Peak Popularity: Levi became one of the top 100 U.S. boy names in 2009, at No. 85, and has steadily become more popular, reaching No. 18 in 2020.

Louie

  • Origin: German and French
  • Meaning: Renowned Warrior
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Lewie, Louis
  • Famous Namesakes: Prince Philip's uncle and Prince Charles's mentor, the late Lord Louis Mountbatten. The name of Prince William and Princess Kate’s son, Prince Louis, is pronounced Lew-ee.
  • Peak Popularity: Louie peaked in the U.S. in 1901, at No. 230. In 2020 it was at No. 771. 

Max

  • Origin: English and German
  • Meaning: Greatest
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Maxx, Maximilian, Maxwell
  • Famous Namesakes: Max Weber, author of “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,” was a key figure in the development of sociology.
  • Peak Popularity: Max has stayed within the top 500 U.S. names since 1880. It peaked at No. 96 in 2011 and was at No. 147 in 2020.

Fun Fact: The wolf-suited boy Max in the classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” channels his anger into creating an imaginary world of “wild things” with “terrible teeth” and “terrible claws.”

Melker

  • Origin: Scandinavian, Swedish
  • Meaning: City of the king; "king of light"
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Melchior, Mel
  • Famous Namesakes: Melker comes from Melchior—according to western Christian tradition the name of one of the Magi mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Peak Popularity: Though the name Melker doesn't show up in U.S. baby-name records, there have been 48 baby boys named Melchior since 1915.

Noah

  • Origin: Hebrew
  • Meaning: Rest
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Noach
  • Famous Namesakes: Noah Hawley created and wrote the TV series “Fargo” and “Legion.”
  • Peak Popularity: Noah only entered the U.S. top 100 baby names in 1995, and by 2013 it had reached No. 1. In 2020 it was at No. 2.

Fun Fact: The adjective “Noachian” relates to the biblical Patriarch Noah, as well as to his time and the flood from which he saved a sample of every kind of bird and “every creeping thing of the ground.” It is also used figuratively to describe more modern weather events.

Noel

  • Origin: French
  • Meaning: Christmas
  • Famous Namesakes: English wit Sir Noël Peirce Coward wrote more than 50 plays and hundreds of songs. He was knighted in 1970.
  • Peak Popularity: Noel reached its peak of popularity in the U.S. in the 1930s. In 2020 it ranked at No. 415.

Otis

  • Origin: German
  • Meaning: Wealthy
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: n/a
  • Famous Namesakes: In his short career American singer Otis Redding performed such classics as “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” and “Try a Little Tenderness.” Aretha Franklin's reworked version of Redding’s song “Respect” became one of her signature songs. Redding died in a plane crash in 1967.
  • Peak Popularity: Otis was out of the top 1,000 names from 1995 to 2014 and now sounds like a fresh choice. It returned to the top 1,000 in 2015, perhaps due in part to Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis naming their son Otis. In 2020 it was No. 649.

Theodor

  • Origin: Greek
  • Meaning: Gift of God
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Theodore, Theo
  • Famous Namesakes: Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, was passionate about the conservation of natural resources. He established many national forests, national monuments, national parks, and bird and game preserves.
  • Peak Popularity: “Theo” stands at No. 243 on the official United States list of popular names, given to more than 1,500 baby boys in 2018

Vide

  • Origin: Old Norse
  • Meaning: Willow
  • Alternative Spellings & Variations: Víðir
  • Peak Popularity: There is no record of any newborn boys in the U.S. being named Vide (yet), but in 2020 this name ranked No. 88 in Sweden.
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