10 unique Nordic baby names and their meanings
So you are having a baby, congratulations! If you are looking for some Nordic name inspo then look no further. From norse gods to landscapes and even mythical creatures, the names from up north are rich in mythology and meaning. Making them great inspo for parents looking for something a little bit different. So gör dig redo, as we say in Sweden, for 10 unique Nordic names. Who knows you may just find the one you are looking for…
We start our journey in Norway with Sunniva. Meaning ‘sun gift’ or ‘sun beam’, the name originates from a 10th century princess. According to the legend, the Irish born Sunniva arrived on the shores of Norway after fleeing persecution. Said to be guided by divine intervention her boat was led to a hidden cave on the western coast. Her and her followers were later discovered by two farmers that claimed to witness a supernatural light over the island with relics that had a sweet smell. Causing Sunniva to become a Patron Saint that is still revered to this day.
If you are looking for a boy’s name that’s rare even up north, then you’ve hit the jackpot with Runar. While you may understandably assume this is from the Viking era, Runar is actually a modern invention combining two older words. Rún, meaning ‘secret lore, rune’ and herr, meaning ‘army, warrior’. And although this striking name has multiple origins and interpretations, a running theme seems to be ‘holder of secrets’. So if you are looking for a name that gives a feeling of trustworthiness and mystery, Runar might be the perfect choice.
Next is an other worldly name with many potential origins. Alva is said to be taken from the Old Norse word 'alf', meaning elf. Naturally the unisex name is commonly associated with magical beings from beyond our mortal realm. However, it also has roots in Hebrew that are just as incredible. The name ‘Alvah’ translates to ‘his highness’, ‘brightness’ or simply the word ‘sublime’. Whether you take one interpretation or both, your Alva is destined to radiate a light so bright, it could be considered out of this world.
Want to raise a force of nature? Then Thora may be the name for you. The feminine version of Thor, Thora translates to ‘thunder’ or ‘the goddess of thunder’. As a symbol of strength and the protector of humanity, there are many powerful connotations attached to the name. Your Thora is bound to be a source of awe-inspiring potential as powerful as lightning.
If it’s true that there’s always light after the storm, then it’s very fitting for the name Dag to come next. Meaning ‘day’ or 'daylight’ this boy's name is said to originate from the Norse god Dagr. In Norse mythology Dagr’s task was to bring daylight and warmth to the world. Which he would do by travelling through the sky on his horse and chariot. There’s no doubt that your Dag would light up your world, but maybe he would also remind others to look on the brighter side of life.
If you are a fan of Norse mythology, then good because there is more coming your way. The name Eir itself can be translated to ‘mercy’ or ‘peacefulness’ and originates from the goddess of healing. A goddess and/ or valkyrie, Eir was said to have lived and died in battle armed with her incredible medical skills. Despite the star of this story being a heroine, the name Eir is actually gender neutral. So no matter the gender of your baby, if you are wanting a future doctor or caregiver, Eir may be the best name to guide them in that direction.
pronounced: eh-ee-ru or ayr
Translated from Old Danish, Lykke means ‘happiness’ or ‘good fortune’. Although Lykke is a popular name for girls in Scandinavia, this prosperous name is yet to make its way to English speaking countries. Meaning it’s still a unique choice for parents wanting to bless their baby with some good fortune through their life.
Next we are off to Finland with Illmari. Meaning, ‘air’ or ‘space’, it’s most commonly used as a boys name. It originates from ‘The Kalevala’, the national epic of Finland that depicts the creation of the world. A key player to the story is Ilmarien, an immortal blacksmith who forged a pillar that holds and supports the sky. With a name like Ilmari, even the sky isn’t the limit for what they can do.
‘She who sees everything’, the girl's name Saga is steeped in the mythology of a goddess known for her foresight. A prophet, Saga would drink everyday from a waterfall that contained memory and wisdom. Bestowing her with the ability to recall all history. Her job would then be to observe, record, and spread information as well as act as a muse for poets and storytellers that crossed her path. If you look to the future and see a baby girl with a wise and discerning mindset, then Saga may be the right name for you.
We’re finishing off strong with the unisex name Lumi. Originating from Finland and Estonia, Lumi is heavily associated with all things cold, as it translates to ‘snow’. But there’s another side to Lumi beyond Finland's wintery landscape. As it can be interpreted as meaning ‘glow’ or ‘light bringer’. This interesting mix of cold and light means some relate the name to the beauty of the northern lights. Just like this rare phenomenon, your Lumi could be a natural wonder all of their own.