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.
HÅKON m Norwegian
Modern Norwegian form of the Old Norse name Hákon
, which meant "high son" from há
"high" and konr
"son, descendant". This was the name of seven kings of Norway.
HALDOR m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallþórr
, which meant "Thor's rock" from hallr
"rock" combined with the name of the Norse god Þórr
HALLE (1) m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Halli
, a diminutive of names containing the element hallr
HALVARD m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallvarðr
, which meant "rock guardian" from hallr
"rock" combined with varðr
HALVDAN m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hálfdan
, composed of the elements hálfr
"half" and Danr
"Dane", originally a nickname for a person who was half Danish.
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
HEMMING m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Perhaps derived from Old Norse hamr
"shape", and possibly originally a nickname for a person believed to be a shape changer.
HERTHA f German
Form of NERTHUS
. The spelling change from N
resulted from a misreading of Tacitus's text.
HOWARD m English
From an English surname which can derive from several different sources: the Anglo-Norman given name Huard
, which was from the Germanic name HUGHARD
; the Anglo-Scandinavian given name Haward
, from the Old Norse name HÁVARÐR
; or the Middle English term ewehirde
meaning "ewe herder". This is the surname of a British noble family, members of which have held the title Duke of Norfolk from the 15th century to the present. A famous bearer of the given name was the American industrialist Howard Hughes (1905-1976).
HRÓARR m Ancient Scandinavian
Old Norse name, derived from the element hróðr
"fame" combined with either geirr
"spear" (making it a relation of HRÓÐGEIRR
"warrior" or varr
"vigilant, cautious". This is the name of a legendary Danish king, the same one who is featured in the Anglo-Saxon poem 'Beowulf' with the name Hroðgar
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.
IGOR m Russian, Polish, Slovene, Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian
Russian form of Yngvarr
). The Varangians brought it to Russia in the 10th century. It was borne by two Grand Princes of Kiev. Famous bearers include Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), a Russian composer whose most famous work is 'The Rite of Spring', and Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972), the Russian-American designer of the first successful helicopter.
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.
INGEMAR m Swedish
From the Old Norse name Ingimárr
, derived from the name of the Germanic god ING
combined with mærr
INGMAR m Swedish
Variant of INGEMAR
. This name was borne by the Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007).
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.
IVOR m Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English (British)
From the Old Norse name Ívarr
, which was derived from the elements yr
"yew, bow" and arr
"warrior". During the Middle Ages it was brought to Britain by Scandinavian settlers and invaders, and it was adopted in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
KERR m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname which was derived from a place name meaning "rough wet ground" in Old Norse.
KETIL m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Ketill
meaning "kettle, cauldron" (later also acquiring the meaning "helmet"). In old Scandinavian rituals the ketill
was used to catch the blood of sacrificed animals.
KNUT m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Derived from Old Norse knútr
meaning "knot". Knut was a Danish prince who defeated Æðelræd II, king of England, in the early 11th century and became the ruler of Denmark, Norway and England.
LEIF m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Leifr
meaning "descendant, heir". Leif Eriksson was a Norse explorer who reached North America in the early 11th century. He was the son of Erik the Red.
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
LOKI m Norse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Indo-European root *leug
meaning "to break". In Norse legend Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and fire. Over time he became more and more evil, and he was eventually chained to a rock by the other gods.
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.
NJORD m Norse Mythology, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Old Norse Njörðr
, which was possibly derived from the Indo-European root *ner
meaning "strong, vigourous". Njord was the Norse god of the sea, sailing, fishing and fertility. With his children Freyr
he was a member of the Vanir.
ODIN m Norse Mythology, English (Modern)
Anglicized form of Old Norse Óðinn
which was derived from óðr
"inspiration, rage, frenzy". It ultimately developed from the early Germanic *Woðanaz
. In Norse mythology Odin was the highest of the gods, presiding over art, war, wisdom and death. He resided in Valhalla, where warriors went after they were slain.
OLAF m Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Polish
From the Old Norse name Áleifr
meaning "ancestor's descendant", derived from the elements anu
"ancestor" and leifr
"descendant". This was the name of five kings of Norway, including Saint Olaf (Olaf II).
OLEG m Russian
Russian form of HELGE
. The Varangians brought this name from Scandinavia to Russia. It was borne by an important 10th-century Grand Prince of Kiev.
OLGA f Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Latvian, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, Czech, Slovene, Serbian, Bulgarian
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.
OLIVER m English, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Slovak
, a Norman French form of a Germanic name such as ALFHER
or an Old Norse name such as Áleifr
). The spelling was altered by association with Latin oliva
"olive tree". In the Middle Ages the name became well-known in Western Europe because of the French epic 'La Chanson de Roland', in which Olivier was a friend and advisor of the hero Roland.... [more]
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]
ORVAR m Swedish, Norse Mythology
Means "arrow" in Old Norse. Orvar Odd is a legendary Norse hero who is the subject of a 13th-century Icelandic saga.
OSBORN m English
Derived from the Old English elements os
"god" and beorn
"bear". During the Anglo-Saxon period there was also a Norse cognate Ásbjörn
used in England, and after the Norman conquest the Norman cognate Osbern
was introduced. It was occasionally revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OSCAR m English, Irish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, French, Irish Mythology
Possibly means "deer friend", derived from Gaelic os
"deer" and cara
"friend". Alternatively, it may derive from the Old English name OSGAR
or its Old Norse cognate ÁSGEIRR
, which may have been brought to Ireland by Viking invaders and settlers. In Irish legend Oscar was the son of the poet Oisín
and the grandson of the hero Fionn
mac Cumhail.... [more]
OSMOND m English (Rare)
From the Old English elements os
"god" and mund
"protection". During the Anglo-Saxon period a Norse cognate Ásmundr
was also used in England, and another version was imported by the Normans. Saint Osmund was an 11th-century Norman nobleman who became an English bishop. Though it eventually became rare, it was revived in the 19th century, in part from a surname that was derived from the given name.
OVE m Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Probably a modern form of the Old Danish name Aghi
, originally a short form of names that contain the Old Norse element ag
"edge of a sword" or agi
ØYVIND m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Eyvindr
, which was derived from ey
meaning "island" or "good fortune" and vindr
possibly meaning "victor".
RAFE m English
Variant of RALPH
. This form became common during the 17th century, reflecting the usual pronunciation.
RALPH m English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German
Contracted form of the Old Norse name RÁÐÚLFR
(or its Norman form Radulf
). Scandinavian settlers introduced it to England before the Norman conquest, though afterwards it was bolstered by Norman influence. In the Middle Ages it was usually spelled Ralf
, but by the 17th century it was most commonly Rafe
, reflecting the normal pronunciation. The Ralph
spelling appeared in the 18th century. A famous bearer of the name was Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), an American poet and author who wrote on transcendentalism.
RANDOLF m English
From the Germanic elements rand
meaning "rim (of a shield)" and wulf
meaning "wolf". The Normans brought this name to England, where there existed already an Old Norse cognate Randúlfr
, which had been introduced by Scandinavian settlers. Randolf
became rare after the Middle Ages, though it was revived in the 18th century (usually in the spelling Randolph
RANULF m Scottish
Scottish form of the Old Norse name Randúlfr
, a cognate of RANDOLF
. Scandinavian settlers and invaders introduced this name to Scotland in the Middle Ages.
REIDAR m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hreiðarr
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and arr
REIDUN f Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hreiðunn
which was derived from the elements hreiðr
"nest, home" and unnr
"to wave, to billow".
ROALD m Norwegian
Modern form of the Old Norse name Hróðvaldr
, composed of the elements hróðr
"fame" and valdr
"ruler". This name was borne by the children's author Roald Dahl (1916-1990).
ROLF m German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English
From the Germanic name Hrolf
(or its Old Norse cognate Hrólfr
), a contracted form of Hrodulf
). The Normans introduced this name to England but it soon became rare. In the modern era it has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world as a German import.
ROLLO m English
Latinized form of Roul
, the Old French form of ROLF
. Rollo (or Rolf) the Ganger was an exiled Viking who, in the 10th century, became the first Duke of Normandy. It has been used as a given name in the English-speaking world since the 19th century.
RONALD m Scottish, English
Scottish form of RAGNVALDR
, a name introduced to Scotland by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. It became popular outside Scotland during the 20th century. A famous bearer was American actor and president Ronald Reagan (1911-2004).
RONALDO m Portuguese
Portuguese form of RONALD
. A notable bearer is the retired Brazilian soccer player Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (1976-), who is commonly known only by his first name.
RUARC m Irish
Probably an Irish form of HRŒREKR
, introduced by Scandinavian settlers and invaders. Alternatively it may be derived from Irish ruarc
RUDOLF m German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Croatian, Russian, Armenian
From the Germanic name Hrodulf
, which was derived from the elements hrod
"fame" and wulf
"wolf". It was borne by three kings of Burgundy, as well as several Habsburg rulers of the Holy Roman Empire and Austria. Anthony Hope used this name for the hero in his popular novel 'The Prisoner of Zenda' (1894).