ALFHILD f Norwegian, Swedish
From the Old Norse name Alfhildr
which was composed of the elements alfr
"elf" and hildr
"battle". In Norse legend Alfhild was a maiden who disguised herself as a warrior in order to avoid marriage to king Alf. Her life was perhaps based on that of a 9th-century Viking pirate.
ALWILDA f History
Latinized form of ALFHILD
. This was the name of a legendary female Scandinavian pirate, also called Awilda.
ÅSA f Swedish
Short form of Old Norse feminine names beginning with the element áss
ASLAUG f Norwegian
Derived from the Old Norse elements áss
meaning "god" and laug
possibly meaning "betrothed woman".
BERGLJOT f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Bergljót
, which was composed of the elements berg
"protection, help" and ljótr
BIRGITTA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish
Most likely a Scandinavian form of BRIDGET
via the Latinized form Brigitta
. Alternatively it could be a feminine derivative of BIRGER
. This is the name of the patron saint of Europe, Birgitta of Sweden, the 14th-century founder of the Bridgettine nuns. Her father's name was Birger.
BRENDA f English
Possibly a feminine form of the Old Norse name Brandr
, meaning "sword", which was brought to Britain in the Middle Ages. This name is sometimes used as a feminine form of BRENDAN
BRYNHILDR f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse cognate of BRÜNHILD
. In the Norse legend the 'Volsungasaga' Brynhildr was rescued by the hero Sigurd
in the guise of Gunnar
. Brynhildr and Gunnar were married, but when Sigurd's wife Gudrun
let slip that it was in fact Sigurd who had rescued her, Brynhildr plotted against him. She accused Sigurd of taking her virginity, spurring Gunnar to arrange Sigurd's murder.
DAGRUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Dagrún
, which was derived from the Old Norse elements dagr
"day" and rún
DUSTY m & f English
From a nickname originally given to people perceived as being dusty. It is also used a diminutive of DUSTIN
. A famous bearer was British singer Dusty Springfield (1939-1999), who acquired her nickname as a child.
EDDA (2) f Icelandic, Ancient Scandinavian
Possibly from Old Norse meaning "great-grandmother". This was the name of two 13th-century Icelandic literary works: the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. This is also the name of a character in the Poetic Edda, though it is unclear if her name is connected to the name of the collection.
ERIKA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Czech, Slovene, Croatian, English, Italian
Feminine form of ERIK
. It also coincides with the word for "heather" in some languages.
FREYA f Norse Mythology, English (British, Modern), German
From Old Norse Freyja
meaning "lady". This was the name of the goddess of love, beauty, war and death in Norse mythology. She claimed half of the heroes who were slain in battle and brought them to her realm of Fólkvangr. Along with her brother Freyr
and father Njord
, she was one of the Vanir (as opposed to the Æsir). Some scholars connect her with the goddess Frigg
FRIDA f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Ancient Germanic
Germanic name, originally a short form of other feminine names containing the Germanic element frid
meaning "peace". This is also the Scandinavian equivalent, from the Old Norse cognate Fríða
. A famous bearer was Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954).
FRIGG f Norse Mythology
Means "beloved" in Old Norse, ultimately derived from Indo-European *pri
"to love". In Norse mythology she was the goddess of the earth, air and fertility, and the wife of Odin
. Some scholars believe that she and the goddess Freya
share a common origin.
GRID f Norse Mythology
Means "peace" in Old Norse. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Víðarr by Odin
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
GUDRUN f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Guðrún
meaning "god's secret lore", derived from the elements guð
"god" and rún
"secret lore". In Norse legend Gudrun was the wife of Sigurd
. After his death she married Atli, but when he murdered her brothers, she killed her sons by him, fed him their hearts, and then slew him.
GUNBORG f Swedish
From the Old Norse name Gunnbjörg
, derived from the elements gunnr
"war" and björg
"help, save, rescue".
GYTHA f English (Archaic)
, an Old Norse diminutive of GUÐRÍÐR
. It was borne by a Danish noblewoman who married the English lord Godwin of Wessex in the 11th century. The name was used in England for a short time after that, and was revived in the 19th century.
HEIDRUN f Norse Mythology, German
Derived from Old Norse heiðr
meaning "bright, clear" and rún
meaning "secret". In Norse mythology this was the name of a goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder.
HEL f Norse Mythology
In Norse mythology this was the name of the daughter of Loki. She got her name from the underworld, also called Hel, where she ruled, which meant "to conceal, to cover" in Old Norse (related to the English word hell
HERTHA f German
Form of NERTHUS
. The spelling change from N
resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
IDONEA f English (Archaic)
Medieval English name, probably a Latinized form of IÐUNN
. The spelling may have been influenced by Latin idonea
"suitable". It was common in England from the 12th century.
INGE f & m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch
Short form of Scandinavian and German names beginning with the element ing
, which refers to the Germanic god ING
. In Sweden and Norway this is primarily a masculine name, elsewhere it is usually feminine.
INGRID f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
From the Old Norse name Ingríðr
meaning "Ing is beautiful", derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with fríðr
"beautiful". A famous bearer was the Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982).
IÐUNN f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian
Probably derived from Old Norse ið
"again" and unna
"to love". In Norse mythology Iðunn was the goddess of spring and immortality whose responsibility it was to guard the gods' apples of youth.
LIV (1) f Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Derived from the Old Norse name Hlíf
meaning "protection". Its use has been influenced by the modern Scandinavian word liv
MAGNHILD f Norwegian
Derived from Old Norse magn
"mighty, strong" and hildr
"battle". This was the name of a novel by the Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
NERTHUS f Germanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz
, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njörðr
). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
OLGA f Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian, Greek
Russian form of HELGA
. The Varangians brought it from Scandinavia to Russia. The 10th-century Saint Olga was the wife of Igor I, Grand Prince of Kievan Rus (a state based around the city of Kiev). Following his death she ruled as regent for her son for 18 years. After she was baptized in Constantinople she attempted to convert her subjects to Christianity.
OLIVETTE f Literature
Feminine form of OLIVER
. This was the name of the title character in the French opera 'Les noces d'Olivette' (1879) by Edmond Audran.
OLIVIA f English, Italian, Spanish, German, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
This name was first used in this spelling by William Shakespeare for a character in his comedy 'Twelfth Night' (1602). Shakespeare may have based it on OLIVER
, or perhaps directly on the Latin word oliva
meaning "olive". In the play Olivia is a noblewoman who is wooed by Duke Orsino but instead falls in love with his messenger Cesario.... [more]
REIDUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hreiðunn
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and unnr
"to wave, to billow".
SAGA f Norse Mythology, Swedish, Icelandic
Possibly means "seeing one" in Old Norse. This was the name of the Norse goddess of poetry and history, sometimes identified with the goddess Frigg
. This is also a modern Swedish word meaning "story, fairy tale".
SKAÐI f Norse Mythology
Means "damage, harm" in Old Norse. In Norse mythology she was a mountain giantess associated with the winter and skiing, the wife of Njord
and later Odin
SKULD f Norse Mythology
Means "future" in Old Norse. She was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was also one of the Valkyries.
SOLFRID f Norwegian
From the Old Norse elements sól
"sun" and fríðr
"beautiful". This name was apparently coined in the 19th century.
SOLVEIG f Norwegian, Swedish
From an Old Norse name which was derived from the elements sól
"sun" and veig
"strength". This is the name of the heroine in Henrik Ibsen's play 'Peer Gynt' (1876).
SVEA f Swedish
From a personification of the country of Sweden, in use since the 17th century. It is a derivative of Svear
, the Swedish name for the ancient Germanic tribe the Swedes. The Swedish name of the country of Sweden is Sverige
, a newer form of Svear rike
meaning "the realm of the Svear".
ÞÓRA f Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
Either a feminine form of Þórr
) or else a short form of the various Old Norse names beginning with the element Þór
. In Norse myth Thora was the wife of the Danish king Ragnar Lodbrok.
TORHILD f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Þórhildr
, which meant "Thor's battle" from the name of the Norse god Þórr
) combined with hildr
TORNY f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Þórný
which was derived from the name of the Norse god Þórr
) combined with ný
URD f Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Urðr
meaning "fate". In Norse mythology Urd was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny. She was responsible for the past.
VALKYRIE f Various
Means "chooser of the slain", derived from Old Norse valr
"the slain" and kyrja
"chooser". In Norse myth the Valkyries were maidens who led heroes killed in battle to Valhalla.
VERDANDI f Norse Mythology
From the Old Norse Verðandi
meaning "becoming, happening". Verdandi was one of the three Norns, or goddesses of destiny, in Norse mythology. She was responsible for the present.