The Best Old Norse Names For Girls
The Best Old Norse Names For Girls –
What are the best old Norse names for girls, and is it more than just Viking names? Almost everyone has seen Lagertha, the Viking Shield Maiden, warrior, regent, and mother. The History Channel series about the vikings was an interesting, if not wholly accurate walk through history. Despite the literary license taken, the real stories, customs, traditions, and history of the women of the north is just as fascinating.
In fairness to the history channel, they may have taken many of their tales from the works of Saxo Grammaticus (circa 1150 – circa 1220), also known as Saxo cognomine Longus. Saxo was a Danish historian, Christian, and a believer that the old ways were antithetical to his Christian beliefs, and thus demonic and worthy of some scorn, even if respectfully recorded. That being said, he apparently had a greater appreciation for war rather than peace, which may account for some of the respect given to the warriors of old.
Saxo recorded much of his version of Viking traditions in the Gesta Danorum, a series of 16 tomes regarding Danish history. While this work remains in many eyes, a patriotic and accurate accounting of Danish history, there are many Academics and Scholars who believe much of his work to be laden with prejudice and perhaps not just a little fanfare and hyperbole.
Part of the evidence for this is his accounting of claims that some among the shield maidens could literally take flight, or cast spells to weaken their enemies. Two parts that are, by all accounts, still true, are that Lagertha was indeed a fierce warrior, and the first wife of Ragnar Lothbrok.
Ragnar and Lagertha only had two daughters and one son. The name of the son is Siward while the names of the daughters were never officially recorded. Despite all that, the culture and history of the Nordic women remains fascinating and worth learning about.
Women Warriors And Other Roles Of Females Among The Norsemen
There are plenty of official accounts that do note the presence of the Shield Maidens among the Nordic women. However, there are no indications that platoons or divisions of women marched in formation alone.
The likely reality was that some women accompanied their husbands, while others may have just been inclined to travel, raid, and battle with the men. There did not seem to be taboos preventing women from fighting and raiding, but neither was there any organized effort to create large divisions or battalions of female warriors either.
Viking women would often marry young, usually between the ages of 12 to 15. While that may sound outlandish by modern standards, little more than a hundred years ago in the United States, a girl was considered to be an “old maid” and relegated to a life alone if she was not wed by the ripe old age of 16.
Many women would stay home and tend to the house and family. Large families were not uncommon, and child-bearing tended to last for years, during which time it would be challenging to partake in extended voyages. While the men were away, the women would often run the family business, conduct trades, manage farms, and at the same time raise children.
Among those women who did travel with the men, all of them would have their own reasoning for doing so. As was noted, many were merely accompanying their husbands. Some would travel to ply their trades and their wares, often finding passage on the knarr or viking cargo ships of the day.
Despite modern efforts to glorify specific periods throughout known human history, the fact remains that life was always much harder before the age of the first Industrial Revolution, not only for men, but for women and children as well.
For the poor women and girls, marriage was often a hope for a better life. Unlike in other cultures of the time, the girl or woman often had a say in the negotiations for her marriage. There is no doubt that girls would have been pushed to strive to marry up, but ultimately, it was still up to them to determine whether or not they would accept a proposal.
Being a housewife and mother also seemed to lack the same stigma it may have had in other civilizations of the day, even by modern standards. Most of the heroines and even the goddesses would marry and raise a family at some point in their lives, even if they did move back into the more fiercely contested professions afterwards.
The housewife would also be tasked with the management and oversight of both the private home and any business that the man may be involved with during his absence. Thus, it was not uncommon to see women working the fields, or trading, or in other occupations.
The Best Old Norse Names For Girls
Aaricia – To start the show, this royal name for girls is the first selection for the best Old Norse names for girls. Aaricia means a princess who is proud, distinguished, and noble. Given the pride of those from the North, even those who know that “winter is coming”, are certainly a proud people. The descendants of vikings and other Nordic tribal people are no exception.
Abelone – This old Norse name is a variant of the ancient Greek name for girls Abellone. The name in its original Greek meant a woman who was manly. In the Nordic translation, it may or may not mean manly, but indicates a woman who is strong and who has the power to destroy others. It does not get more viking than that.
Alfrun – This entry comes from the list of names for girls that mean secrets and literally translates as an elven secret. In the ancient Nordic mythology, there were Dökkálfar or “Dark Elves” and Ljósálfar or “Light Elves” who competed and were believed to be responsible for the fortunes and misfortunes of the people.
Alvilda – We stay with the elves for a little while as we travel on to the next name in this list of Old Norse names for girls. This name means someone who is like an elf, and seemingly endowed or gifted with supernatural powers that allow for them to be very successful in battle.
Arnhild – Moving on from the supernatural for a moment, this Old Norse girl’s names that mean an eagle, though there is more. It should be noted that this name generally indicates an eagle that has been equipped for battle. While the god Odin was said to take the form of a Raven, hawks have been used in battles throughout history, so why not an eagle?
Berrit – This is an entry for the best Old Norse names for girls that means someone who is exceptionally beautiful or magnificent in appearance. While it may be true that everyone knows they have the most beautiful baby in the world, someone gifted with this name may outshine them all if the meaning of the name holds true in life.
Camilla – This is an interesting name choice, not least due to the irony involved with the origins of the name and modern events in recent history. In Roman mythology, Camilla was the attendant to Diana. Apparently, she was not only a queen, but also a warrior and fought in the Trojan war. In Roman rituals, the acolytes were known a Camilli for boys and Camillae for girls.
Dagmar – This girl’s name in German means someone who is a day maid. While the origins of the girl’s name are German, the name may often be associated with the Czechs and Slavs. This is a rather obscure name for girls in the modern age, but it has a rich history and tradition.
Ditte – This is an Old Norse name for girls that means someone who is rich in war. In the ancient Greek language it may also have indicated someone who was considered to be a gift from God. In the English names for girls, this name may also be a derivative of the name Edith.
Dyveke – This pick is from the list of girls names that means a dove though technically, it is a bit more specific. The literal translation is one who is like a little, white dove in particular. The implications may be that this person is petite, gentle, and likely kind, if not a little distant, perhaps due to being more shy in nature.
Estrid – This is another beautiful entry into the list of the best old Nordic names for baby girls and means someone who is divinely beautiful. Even among the Norse people, no matter how beautiful someone may be as an infant, some will grow to become even more beautiful than others in their own way.
Gala – Perhaps it is not the best time to start the ball just yet. This old Nordic name means someone who is single, wealthy, and calm or relaxed and comfortable in their position. Given the traditions and culture of the times, it is likely that this would have been the name for an adventurer or one of the female warriors.
Gudrun – This selection comes from the list of girl’s names that mean a heroine or conqueror. The actual name translates more into an iteration of someone who is wily in battle, an excellent strategist and not prone to succumbing to pressure. This type of person would likely have been strong, perhaps stoic, and intelligent.
Gundis – This is an entry from the list of girl’s names related to battles and war and means someone who is a battle maiden. While the actual mention of Shield Maidens is rare, even in viking lore, there are many recorded instances of women in battle and who may have been considered to be battle maidens.
Gunnlod – This name literally means an invitation to war or to battle. The name is based on Old Norse mythology. Gunnlod was the daughter of Suttung, the son of Gilling and the owner of the Mead of Poetry. Gunnlod was later seduced by Odin and lost a portion of her father’s holdings.
Hjördis – This is an entry from the collection of girl’s names from goddesses and means a goddess of swords. The name is a compound name comprised of two parts. The first part is Hjorr which means a sword. The second part is from the word dis which means a goddess.
Kyler – This old Nordic name for baby girls means someone who is an Archer. While it is not often portrayed in film, there are many old viking songs singing the praises of their archers. The viking archers were an important part of their armies and success on the battlefields. The name Kyler can also be used as a boy’s name making an ideal unisex name for use in the modern era.
Lovisa – This is an old Norse name for girls that means a loud and famous warrior. It is not clear whether or not this person was always loud and by modern standards, perhaps pushy. It may be that their fame arose from their abilities to engage and win while in combat.
Mette – This name was given to a female warrior who was mighty in battle. Given the challenges in the world these days, it may not be a bad idea to raise our daughters as fiercely strong and independent as possible. When the vikings praise someone as being mighty in battle, it is a relatively safe bet that this person would be exceptionally skilled, athletic, and capable.
Nordis – We end up this list of the best old Norse baby names for girls with one that is exceptionally appropriate. This entry comes from the list of baby girl names for Northerners and means quite simply, a Northern woman.