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Norwegian Baby Names Posted by on Sep 28, 2011 in Culture, History, Language, Norway and the world

Although I am not planning on having barn (children) for some years yet, I often find myself brainstorming options for baby navn (names).  I have always been of the opinion that it must be extremely difficult to choose a navn that will stick with your barn for the rest of his or her life.  First of all, there are so many great names, it seems like it would be so difficult to choose the one you and the other parent like the best.  Secondly, some navn that seem suitable for a barn simply are not suitable for a voksen (adult).  Lastly, a navn might just simply not fit an individual.  I know several people that have changed their birth navn to something else because they really disliked it.


In any case, every barn needs a navn and most turn out just fine.  I have a very traditional and popular Norwegian navn-Kari.  I think it suits me and I like it much better than the 2nd choice my parents were considering-Rebecca (sorry to the Rebecca´s out there-the navn just wouldn´t fit me.

As with most things, navn go through historical cycles as far as popularity.  Names that were popular hundreds of years ago are popular again today.  However, there are of course many navn used today that did not exist hundreds of years ago, or they are spelled differently now.

I encourage you to watch and listen to You Tube video in which a native Norwegian pronounces Norwegian baby gutt og jente navn (boys and girls names).

Interesting navn facts:

-In 1904, the male navn Kristian was the most popular.  In 1953, it was down in the 90s and by 1974, Kristian came back and is still a very popular Norwegian navn.

-1 in 5 Norwegian navn are originate in the Bible.

-Mohammed is the most popular male navn in Oslo.

-Norwegian parents are not choosing names that include the uniquely Norwegian alphabetic characters æ,ø, and å because they are typically difficult to pronounce for non-natives.  I personally think this is a bummer because names with these characters are usually pretty strong names that would be a shame to see disappear (although they will likely come back in the future some time).  I´m thinking of names like Jørgen, Bjørg and Bjørn, Håkon,

Please find here a list of popular navn used in Norway:

M/F Norwegian Baby Names Meaning of Name Origin
F Aasta love Old Norse
M Åge ancestors Norw.
F Ågot good Norw.
M Aksel father of peace Norw.
M Alf lives in the netherworld Norw.
F Alfhild elf battle Norw.
F Alva elf army Norw.
F Alvar elf army Norw.
M Amund bridal gift Norw.
M Anders strong; manly Greek
M Andor eagle of Thor Norw.
F Andras breath Norw.
F Anette grace; mercy Norw.
F Annbjørg eagle protection Norw.
F Anne grace; mercy Norw.
F Anniken favor; grace Norw.
F Annikin favor; grace Norw.
M Anton inestimable Latin
M Aren eagle; rule Norw.
M Aricin eternal; king’s son Norw.
M Arild war chief Norw.
M Arkin eternal; king’s son Norw.
F Arna eagle Norw.
F Arnbjørg eagle protection Norw.
M Arne eagle German
M Arnljot frightens the eagle Norw.
M Arvid tree of eagles Norw.
M Asborn divine bear Norw.
F Ase god Norw.
F Åse tree-covered mountain Norw.
M Åsgeir spear of the gods Norw.
F Åshild fighting woman Norw.
M Askel father of peace Hebrew
F Aslaug god; consecrated Norw.
F Astrid divine strength Norw.
F Asvoria divine prudence Norw.
F Aud prosperity; happiness Norw.
F Audhild fighting woman Norw.
F Audny new prosperity Norw.
F Audun deserted or desolate Norw.
M Audun friend of prosperity Norw.
M Axell father of peace Hebrew
M Bard fight; lovely Norw.
M Baste reverenced Greek
F Beate happy Norw.
M Bendik blessed Latin
F Benedikt blessed Norw.
F Bente blessed Norw.
F Bera bear Norw.
F Bergliot helpful light Norw.
F Berit magnificent Celtic
M Birger rescue Norw.
F Birgit magnificent Celtic
M Bjarne bear Norw.
M Bjarte bright Norw.
M Bjørn bear Norw.
M Bjørg help Norw.
F Bodil penance Norw.
M Borg from the castle Norw.
F Borgny help; new Norw.
M Brede broad; the glacier Norw.
F Brenda flame; sword Norw.
F Brita from Britain Norw.
F Brynhild coat of mail Norw.
F Camilla ceremonial attendant Latin
M Canute knot Norw.
F Catherine pure Greek
M Cort short Norw.
M Dag day; brightness Norw.
M Dagfinn from Finland Norw.
F Dagmar Dane’s joy Teutonic
F Dagny day; brightness Norw.
F Dagrun secret lore Norw.
F Dale valley Old Norse
M Darby deer estate Norw.
M Davin brightness of the Finns Norw.
M Denby village of the Danes Norw.
F Disa active spirit Norw.
M Donalt world ruler Celtic
F Dordi gift from God Greek
F Dorte God’s gift Greek
M Dreng young man Norw.
F Edit wealth Norw.
M Egil awe inspiring Norw.
M Einar warrior; leader Norw.
M Eirik ever-ruler Norw.
F Eldrid fire; lovely Norw.
F Elga pious Norw.
F Eli the illustrious Norw.
F Elise consecrated to God Norw.
F Erica ever powerful Old Norse
M Erik ever powerful Norw.
M Erlend chief; turned Norw.
M Erling descendant Norw.
M Eskil vessel of God Norw.
M Espen divine bear Norw.
F Eva life Hebrew
M Eystein turned toward luck Norw.
M Filip lover of horses Greek
M Finn from Finland Norw.

See this website for much more information on Norwegian navn, including those that signify bravery and heroism.

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About the Author:kari

I attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where I majored in Norwegian and History. During college, I spent almost a year living in Oslo, Norway, where I attended the University of Oslo and completed an internship at the United States Embassy. I have worked for Concordia Language Villages as a pre-K Norwegian teacher and have taught an adult Norwegian language class. Right now, I keep up by writing this Norwegian blog for Transparent Language. Please read and share your thoughts! I will be continuing this blog from my future residence in the Norwegian arctic!


  1. me:

    Hi hi – such cute girl in that video 😉

  2. Norman Anderson:

    Is the Kari in the video the same one that writes the blog?

  3. Heidi:

    Hm. A good deal of those names or spellings were new to me- they may be in use, but they’re not very popular.
    Here are the 10 most popular names for baby girls http://www.ssb.no/emner/00/navn/
    and boys http://www.ssb.no/emner/00/navn/ from 1880-2010. Enjoy!:)

  4. Ulla K.:

    Hei Kari, det er en flott jobb du gjør der 🙂 Har fått kjennskap til den gjennom en australsk FB-venn som digger bloggen din. Where are you going to move? Spitsbergen? Good luck anyway!

    • Bjørn A. Bojesen:

      @Ulla K. Hei Ulla.
      Jeg vet ikke om Kari ser kommentaren din… Hun gifta seg, tror jeg, og overlot derfor bloggen til meg. 😉
      Kind regards,

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