If we were to ask a group of people to draw a Viking from memory, we’d be willing to bet that most of them would sketch a stocky, middle-aged man with red or blond hair, and a long beard to match. He’d likely be wearing some type of metal helmet — perhaps with horns — and be surrounded by dudes on a longboat, where they’re all singing fish songs while one keeps the beat with his fishing spear. OK, maybe not exactly that, but probably close.
But contrary to what we see in a lot of pop culture, women were Vikings, too. Not only that, but they had some pretty great names. (If you’ve ever seen an episode of The Golden Girls, you’ve probably heard at least a few of these in Rose’s St. Olaf stories.) Before we get into those, let’s talk about Vikings.
The first thing to keep in mind is that the term “Vikings” refers to the seafaring Norse people who lived in the southern parts of modern-day Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Eventually, the term “Scandinavian” replaced “Norse,” which should give you a better idea of the part of the world we’re talking about. Although, at the same time, given their propensity for sea travel and exploration, Vikings ended up on all kinds of expeditions in and around Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East, the Arctic, and even all the way to North America (specifically, parts of Canada that they named “Vinland”).
So what do we know about Viking girl names? First of all, Vikings took baby-naming very seriously but did not have the benefit of online listicles for ideas and inspiration. Instead, they often gave children names associated with the qualities they wanted them to have (strength, resilience, grace, etc.), or animals or Norse gods who possessed these qualities. Like in other cultures, it was not uncommon for certain Viking girl names to become popular in a royal family and passed down through the generations.
The Viking Age lasted from approximately 793–1066 A.C.E., and by the end of that era, Christianity was on the rise, and Biblical names began replacing those of Norse deities and animals. But those aren’t our focus today. Here are dozens of popular Viking girl names, including their meaning and origin.
Origin: Ancient Scandinavian, Greenlandic Meaning: Eagle
Origin: Norwegian, Swedish Meaning: God
Origin: Norwegian, Swedish Meaning: As beautiful as a god
Origin: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish Meaning: Beautiful goddess, divine strength
Origin: Norwegian Meaning: Battle fortification
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: A maiden who was rescued by a man pretending to be her husband
Origin: Icelandic, Norwegian Meaning: Mercy
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Old age personified
Origin: Icelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish Meaning: Uncertain
Origin: Swedish Meaning: Mighty ruler
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Love, beauty, war, and death
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Frost giantess
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: A goat that would eat the leaves from the tree of life and produce mead in her udder
Origin: Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, German, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian Meaning: Sacred
Origin: Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish Meaning: Battle
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Spring and immortality
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: A valkyrie
Origin: Swedish, Norwegian, Danish Meaning: Protection
Origin: Faroese Meaning: Raven
Origin: Norwegian Meaning: Warrior
Origin: Ancient Scandinavian, Icelandic, Faroese Meaning: Secret lore
Origin: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish Meaning: Beautiful victory
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Daughter of Sigurd and Gudrun
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Past destiny
Origin: Norse Mythology Meaning: Present destiny
More Viking Girl Names
Looking for some more? Don’t worry: there are plenty of Viking girl names to go around.
Origin: Finish Meaning: Grace, favor, or “my God is an oath.”
Origin: Danish Meaning: Commanding
Origin: Swedish/Scandinavia Meaning: Valley
Origin: Old English Meaning: Deer park
Origin: German Meaning: Peaceful
Origin: Middle English Meaning: Jovial, rowdy, light, pleasant, or merry
Origin: Germanic Meaning: Spear or strength
Origin: Norse Meaning: Gardener
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: fair and beautiful goddess
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Rune or secret lore
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: War or battle
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Half spirited
Origin: Scandanavian or Old Norse Meaning: Guarded by Ing. Ing is also a god of fertility or peace.
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Daughter of night
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Farm near the spring
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Daring or brave
Origin: Italian Meaning: A Valkyrie.
Origin: Scandinavian and Latin Meaning: Follower of Christ
Origin: Old Norse Meaning: Spring or fountain
Even More Viking Names
Viking Goddess Names
Vikings have a strong history and their goddesses are no different. Below, we’ve gathered the names of several female deities from Norse culture that will make you think Vikings are even cooler!
Frigg is Odin’s wife. She was the queen of Asgard and the goddess of beauty, fertility, and fate.
In Norse mythology she is the goddess of sensuality, passion, fertility and beauty. Her sister is Fryre.
This goddess ruled the Norse underworld. She was also referred to as Helheim and had pale skin. Although she is associated with death, she takes care of any soul that enters her realm.
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