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Viking Names

October 26, 2023 7 min read

Cool viking names

Famous Viking Names and Their Meanings

Thor, Ragnar, Odin, and Lagertha, just hearing these Viking names brings to life the greatness and power of these mythical characters. Moreover, every Viking name carries a certain magic, an ancient energy that still resonates today.

Indeed, whether they are names of heroes, warriors, or Viking gods, they continue to inspire and influence popular culture thousands of years later. They carry through the ages the splendor of the history of Nordic civilization.

Thus, Viking names are a legacy of the wealth of Scandinavian civilization and Germanic mythology. However, to fully understand their true depth, an overview of their meaning is essential.

Perhaps by understanding the meaning of a Viking name, one can better grasp the magic it holds!

Formation of Viking Names | Viking Name Ideas

 

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Before revealing the meaning of Viking names that marked this civilization, an explanation of their origin is necessary. Generally, the names come from Norse mythology or have an older Germanic root.

Furthermore, parents often name their children after their ancestors' names. Sometimes, they add the suffix "-sson", which means "son" in Old Norse.

Overall, a Viking name can be simple or complex, but its meaning is always surprising.

Legendary Viking Warrior Names

Warriors, explorers, and legendary kings, the Viking civilization has shaped the world and continues to inspire it. Just mentioning certain male Viking names evokes magical feelings in some.

Discover the meaning of Viking names borne by the most glorious warriors, rulers, and Norse gods!

Harald or Harold

Harald is a very famous mythical Viking name that many Scandinavian kings of Denmark and Norway have borne. This name, which comes from Old Norse "Haraldr", means "the glorious king".

In fact, this name comes from the combination of two distinct words "hariar" and "valdr". "hariar" means warrior or warlord in Old Norse, while "valdr" signifies strength and power.

The most famous Scandinavian character to bear it is the 1st king of Norway, Harald Fairhair (Haraldr hárfagri).

Additionally, it's worth noting that the modern male name Harold derives from this old Viking name.

Ivar

Rooted in the history of Scandinavian civilization, Ivar is an ancestral male Viking name. It is composed of "Iv", which comes from the Germanic term "If", a tree revered by the Nordic peoples, and "var", meaning protector.

It's the name of one of the famous Viking king Ragnar's sons, Ivar Ragnarsson, commonly known as Ivar the Boneless. It's a very popular Viking name, even today.

Björn

Björn is a Scandinavian name and nickname that means "Bear". Originating from Viking and Germanic culture, it's also the name of one of Ragnar's children, the renowned Bjorn Ironsides.

Furthermore, it's still widely used in Nordic countries, and the French name Bernard is derived from this Scandinavian name.

Sigurd

Sigurd is the name of a hero in Norse mythology who slays the dragon Fafnir. This legendary warrior name comes from the combination of "sigr" (victory) and "vǫrðr" (guardian).

The name of Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, Ragnar's prophesied son, comes from this Norse hero, who is, among other things, his grandfather.

Ragnar

Ragnar is a legendary Viking warrior name and that of one of the most famous Viking kings, RagnarLodbrok. This illustrious Viking name has several meanings in Germanic languages, all related to the life and exploits of this hero. Thus, it means both ", advisor of the gods", "

Indeed, the name Ragnar comes from the combination of two Germanic terms, "ragina" and "hariz". "ragina" means advisor or sage, while "hariz" means army.

Erik or Eric

Erik is one of the most commonly used Viking names in Scandinavian civilization. It originates from the Old Norse name "Eirìkr", which means "eternal king". Indeed, this name is composed of "ei" meaning unique or eternal and "ríkr" meaning "ruler".

Famous Vikings bore this name, including the renowned Erik the Red. Moreover, Eric is a spelling variant of this Viking name.

Floki

Originally from Norway, Floki is a Nordic name that means "heroic Viking". Although it's not very common, the adventures of the famous navigator Floki Vilgerðarson will etch this name into Viking civilization history.

It goes without saying that Floki recalls the name of the god of mischief, Loki. However, there isn't a direct relation between the two Scandinavian names.

Thor

Thor is the name of the god of thunder in Norse mythology. The origin of this name comes from the Old Norse "þónr", an ancient word meaning thunder. As the son of the god Odin, he is one of the main deities of the Germanic civilization.

The worship of the god Thor was so significant that his name was sacred, such that mortals could not bear it. However, some Viking names are inspired by the god of thunder, like Thorfinn.

Thorfinn Karlsefni is a famous Icelandic explorer who colonized North America in the early 11th century.

Olaf or Olav

Typically of Nordic origin, Olaf or Olav is a common male Viking name in Norway. It comes from the Old Norse "ólafr", built from "anu", which means ancestor, and "laibaz", meaning legacy or descendant. Thus, Olaf would mean "family" or "ancestor", or "kinship"; it's also a surname.

Furthermore, Olav was traditionally used in reference to royalty in Norway.

Gustaf, Gustav, or Gustave

Of Swedish origin, Gustaf or Gustav, or Gustave in French, is a male Viking name widely used in Scandinavian countries. It's a Germanic name derived from Old Norse "Gautr" (Chosen or God) and "stafr" (Scepter or Glory).

Gustave means god's scepter, glorious chosen one, or royal staff. Presumably, this Viking name refers to royalty and prosperity, which is why 8 kings of Sweden have successively borne it.

Sven or Svein

Sven or Svein is one of the most popular Viking names in Europe today. Derived from the Old Norse term "Sveinn", this Scandinavian name means "young man" or "youth".

During the Viking Age, many kings and warriors bore this illustrious name, including Sven I of Denmark, a renowned Nordic king known for conquering Norway and then England.

Magni or Magnus

In Norse mythology, Magni is the name of Thor's son who inherits his Mjöllnir hammer. This Viking name originates from the Germanic term "magina", which means power or authority. Thus, this Scandinavian name translates as "Strong or Invulnerable".

Magnus is a variation of Magni. It's a male Viking name particularly used in Scandinavian royalty and nobility. Indeed, many kings bore this name.

Magnús Óláfsson, better known as Magnus the Good, was the most famous. He ruled over Norway and Denmark until his death.

Names of Viking Warrior Women

Just as with male Viking names, women's names can reflect their strength, attributes, or a specific character. Often, a Viking woman's name highlights her position in Scandinavian civilization.

Here is the meaning of the most iconic Viking women's names in Norse culture.

Astrid

Astrid is a name used since the 10th century among Scandinavian royal women. Comprising two terms, "asa" and "trud", which respectively mean "goddess or divinity" and "faithfulness or beauty", Astrid translates as "beautiful goddess".

However, some associate it with the old Scandinavian name "Astrithr" which means "divine beauty" or "divine rider". Indeed, it's the name given to some valkyries, the renowned Viking warriors.

Aslaug

Aslaug is a unique and rare Scandinavian female name. Of Norwegian origin, this Scandinavian name is composed of the prefix "áss", which in Old Norse means "god", and the prefix "laug", meaning "betrothed". Thus, Aslaug could translate as God's chosen.

Besides, it's the true name of Ragnar's wife, Queen Aslaug, who descended from the legendary line of the hero Sigurd.

Lagertha

Lagertha or Lathgertha is a Viking warrior woman's name. Of Nordic and Germanic origin, this name is a Latinization of "Hlaðgerðr" (Hladgerd), derived from the Old Norse terms "hlad" and "ger". Likely, Lagertha translates as the long-haired protector.

Moreover, Lagertha is the name of the famous Viking warrior and skjaldmö who left her mark on Norse civilization with her courage and determination.

Freya

Freya is a Viking female name of Germanic origin meaning "noble woman". It derives from the Old Norse name "Freyja", the name of a major goddess in Norse mythology.

Goddess Freya is the symbol of love, beauty, and fertility in Viking civilization. She is also the foremost valkyrie, possessing power equal to that of the god Odin.

Moreover, Freya might be a feminization of the male Viking name "Frey".

Liv or Livunn

Liv is one of the most beloved Viking names in that civilization. Very unique, this name comes from Old Norse "hlif" which means protection. However, in modern Scandinavian regions like Denmark or Sweden, the term "liv" means "life".

Moreover, there's a legend about Liv (Líf) who is one of the last survivors of Ragnarök in Norse mythology.

The variant Livunn is a name formed from "Liv" and "unna" (love).

Erika or Erica

The name Erika or Erica is the feminine form of the Viking name Eric, both of which derive from the Scandinavian name "Eiríkr". Originating from Old Norse, this name combines the term "ei" (unique or eternal) with "ríkr" (king or ruler).

Thus, Erika translates in the Germanic language as "mighty sovereign".

Frida

Frida is a unique and relatively rare Viking female name. Of Germanic origin, this name comes from the Old Norse term "Fríðr" which means "beautiful" or "love". Its Germanic root "frid" translates as peace and friendship.

Hilda

Hilda is one of the Viking female names derived from the name "Hild". This name comes from Old Norse hildr which means "battle or fight". It's also the name of a valkyrie or goddess in Norse mythology, who carries the souls of Vikings to Valhalla.

Furthermore, Helga could also originate from the Germanic term "Helgah" which means "saint".

Aude

Aude is a Scandinavian female name of Germanic origin derived from the term "Alda", which in turn comes from Old Norse "Ald". The Viking name translates as "wealth" or "prosperity".

On the other hand, Aude might come from the rune "odal". This magical character of the futhark alphabet means "homestead" or "eldest", explaining the popularity of the name Aude throughout Scandinavia.

Today, Aude is a name rooted in French culture, even though it's of Nordic origin.

Ingrid

Ingrid is a Viking female name of Germanic origin which means "beloved woman" or "goddess beauty". This name originates from Old Norse "Ingfríðr", a name composed of "Ing" and "fríðr".

Ing is a theonym, meaning it's the name of an ancient Norse god, while "fríðr" simply translates as "beautiful".

However, the name Ingrid might have its origin in the term "fridh" which means hero's daughter.

Gunhild

Gunhild is a Viking woman's name that means "warrior" or "valkyrie". Indeed, this Scandinavian name is derived from Old Norse Gunnhildr, composed of "gunnr" (war) and "hildr" (battle).

In Norse mythology, many legendary princesses and valkyries have been named Gunhild over the ages. If you want to go further, discover our article with the TOP 50 Viking Names.


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