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What are some examples of Viking names?

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Quick Answer

Ten popular Viking girls' names still in use in Scandinavia are Astrid, Gudrun, Gunnhild, Gunnvor, Hilde, Ingrid, Ragnhild, Sigrid, Solveig and Turid, and 10 popular boy's names still in use in Scandinavia are Arne, Bjorn, Eirik, Gunnar, Harald, Knut, Leif, Magnus, Olav and Rolf. Viking names often consist of two parts. The first part is the name of an ancestor. The second part is the name of a Norse god, an animal, a desirable trait or a common noun.

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Full Answer

Vikings used the names of relatives in the names of their children, not only to honor the ancestors' memory, but in hopes that the children take on some of the positive attributes of the ancestors. Often, parents did not use their ancestors' names directly, but rather employed alteration or variation. So in the same Viking family, there might be the names Hallbiorn, Halldor and Hallfreor, or Hallbiorn, Finnbiorn and Gunnbiorn.

By using the name of a god, animal or noun, Vikings hoped the child would take on its traits, as well.

Common animals Vikings used in names were Bjorn (bear), Ulf (wolf) and Refr (fox). Common nouns Vikings used are Drifa (snowdrift), Auor (treasure) and Steinn (rock).

Some famous Vikings names from Norse history are Leif Eriksson, Eric Thorvaldsson (Erik the Red), Gardar Svavarsson, Sigrid the Haughty, Thorfinn Karlsefni, Ragnar Lodbrok, Oleg of Kiev and Guthrum.

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