Gandalf m Norse Mythology, Literature
Means "wand elf"
in Old Norse, from the elements gandr
"wand, staff, magic, monster" and alfr
"elf". This name belongs to a dwarf (Gandálfr) in the Völuspá
, a 13th-century Scandinavian manuscript that forms part of the Poetic Edda. The author J. R. R. Tolkien borrowed the name for a wizard in his novels The Hobbit
(1937) and The Lord of the Rings
Gleb m Russian, Ukrainian
Russian and Ukrainian form of the Old Norse name Guðleifr
, which was derived from the elements guð
"god" and leifr
Göte m Swedish
Swedish form of the Old Norse name Gauti
, derived from gautr
meaning "Geat, Goth"
Grid f Norse Mythology
From Old Norse Gríðr
, probably derived from either gríð "zeal, vehemence"
or grið "peace"
. In Norse myth she was a frost giantess, the mother of Vidar
. She also aided Thor
in his fight against the giant Geirrod.
Gudbrand m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Guðbrandr
meaning "god's sword"
, derived from the elements guð
"god" and brandr
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.
Guiscard m Medieval French
Norman French form of the Norman name Wischard
, from Old Norse vizkr
"wise" and the Old French pejorative suffix -ard
(from Frankish hard
"brave, hardy"). This was the byname of Robert Guiscard, an 11th-century Norman conqueror of Sicily.
Gull f Swedish
Short form of various Scandinavian names beginning with the Old Norse element guð
Gunborg f Swedish
From the Old Norse name Gunnbjǫrg
, derived from the elements gunnr
"war" and bjǫrg
"help, save, rescue".
Gustav m Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, German, Czech
Possibly means "staff of the Geats"
, derived from the Old Norse elements gautr
"Geat, Goth" and stafr
"staff". However, the root name Gautstafr
is not well attested in the Old Norse period. Alternatively, it might be derived from the Slavic name Gostislav
. This name has been borne by six kings of Sweden, including the 16th-century Gustav I Vasa.
Gustave m French
French form of Gustav
. This name was borne by the French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883).
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"
"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"
"rock" combined with the name of the Norse god Þórr
Halfdan m Norwegian, Danish
From the Old Norse name Hálfdan
meaning "half Danish"
, composed of the elements hálfr
"half" and Danr
"Dane", originally a nickname for a person who was half Danish.
Halvard m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Hallvarðr
, which meant "rock guardian"
"rock" combined with varðr
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.
Heimdall m Norse Mythology
From Old Norse Heimdallr
, derived from Old Norse heimr
"home, house" and dallr
"glowing, shining". In Norse mythology he is the god who guards the Bifröst, the bridge that connects Asgard to the other worlds. It is foretold that he will blow the Gjallarhorn to wake the gods for the final battle at the end of the world, Ragnarök. During this battle, he will fight Loki
and they will slay one another.
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.
Hilda f English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Spanish, Hungarian, Anglo-Saxon (Latinized), Ancient Germanic
Originally a short form of names containing the Germanic element hild "battle"
. The short form was used for both Old English and continental Germanic names. Saint Hilda of Whitby was a 7th-century English saint and abbess. The name became rare in England during the later Middle Ages, but was revived in the 19th century.
Hjördis f Swedish
Swedish form of the Old Norse name Hjǫrdís
meaning "sword goddess"
, derived from the elements hjǫrr
"sword" and dís
Hoder m Norse Mythology
From Old Norse Hǫðr
, derived from hǫð
. In Norse mythology he was a blind god, tricked by Loki
into killing his brother Balder
Holger m Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, German
From the Old Norse name Hólmgeirr
, derived from the elements holmr
"island" and geirr
"spear". In La Chanson de Roland
and other medieval French romances, this is the name of one of Charlemagne
's knights, also named Ogier
. He is said to be from Denmark.
Howard m English
From an English surname that 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
Hulda 1 f Icelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, Norse Mythology
Derived from Old Norse hulda
meaning "hiding, secrecy"
. This was the name of a sorceress in Norse mythology. As a modern name, it can also derive from archaic Swedish huld
meaning "gracious, sweet, lovable".
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, Slovak, Czech, Italian, Portuguese
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.
Inga f Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, German, Polish, Russian, Ancient Scandinavian, Ancient Germanic
Strictly feminine form of Inge
Inge f & m Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Dutch, Estonian
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.
Ingegerd f Swedish
From the Old Norse name Ingigerðr
, which was derived from the name of the Germanic god Ing
combined with garðr
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).
Iðunn f Norse Mythology, Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic
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.
Jörmungandr m Norse Mythology
From Old Norse Jǫrmungandr
, derived from jǫrmun
"great, large" and gandr
"monster, magic, wand". In Norse mythology Jörmungandr was an enormous sea serpent, also known as the World Serpent because he was said to encircle the world. He was one of the offspring of Loki
. During Ragnarök, the battle at end of the world, it is said that he will fight his old enemy Thor
and both of them will die.
Kára f Norse Mythology
Probably from Old Norse kárr
meaning "curly, curved"
. In Norse legend this was the name of a valkyrie.
Kerr m Scottish, English (Rare)
From a Scottish surname that 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.
Kirby m & f English
From an English surname that was originally from a place name meaning "church settlement"
in Old Norse. This name briefly spiked in popularity for American girls in 1982 after the character Kirby Anders Colby was introduced to the soap opera Dynasty
Kirk m English
From an English and Scottish surname meaning "church"
from Old Norse kirkja
, ultimately from Greek. A famous bearer was American actor Kirk Douglas (1916-), whose birth name was Issur Danielovitch.
Knut m Swedish, Norwegian, German
Derived from Old Norse knútr
. 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 Norwegian, Swedish, Danish
Derived from the Old Norse name Hlíf
. Its use has been influenced by the modern Scandinavian word liv
Loki m Norse Mythology
Meaning unknown, possibly derived from the Germanic root *luka
meaning "knot, lock"
. In Norse mythology Loki was a trickster god associated with magic and shape shifting. Loki's children include the wolf Fenrir
, the sea serpent Jörmungandr
, and the queen of the dead Hel
. After he orchestrated the death of Balder
, the other gods tied him to a rock below a snake that dripped venom onto his face. It is told that he will break free during Ragnarök, the final battle, and slay and be slain by Heimdall
Magnhild f Norwegian
Derived from Old Norse magn
"mighty, strong" and hildr
"battle". This was the name of an 1877 novel by the Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
Nerthus f Germanic Mythology
Latinized form of Nerþuz
, the Germanic (feminine) equivalent of Njǫrðr
). Nerthus was a Germanic goddess of fertility as described by the Roman historian Tacitus in the 1st century.
Oddvar m Norwegian
From the Old Norse name Oddvarr
, derived from the elements oddr
"point of a sword" and varr