Viking Names

It is interesting that DAS has been around for thirty five years and despite there being few restrictions on names, the same Viking names get regularly recycled. A look at sources reveals a baffling amount of new to us names and components. What can we use?

Whilst there are many names in use in Scandinavia and Iceland which may owe their origin to our period there are difficulties using them as they may have altered over time. The alternative is contemporary literary sources. These are really useful however again have to be used with care. Considerations are:

Original sources written by ecclesiastics, often in Latin. These often Romanise names which make finding the vernacular root difficult.  Similarly foreign sources (e.g. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Annals of Ulster) often render names as a localised forms.  – see the Anglicised forms in the list.

Allegorical references. As many of the written sources feature stories and myth, there may be names which are not what they seem and need to be used with care. Gummi is in my list as a name. It translates in modern Scandinavian languages as ‘man’, it may therefore have been used by the original author to be read as ‘a man’, ‘the man’ or even ‘everyman’ rather than a personal name.

Meanings. Continuing from the previous paragraph, we have to be really careful with meanings. Apart from some nicknames which are clearly observational, meanings of naming elements have to be used with caution. Some authors may have used prose indicating a character’s traits rather than a name or represent a fictional co-incidence (e.g. ‘Vigfastr defended the pass’ does not mean ‘Battlestrong’ was necessarily his name although it could become a nickname should he survive.

Naming conventions. Many of the names conform to the Anglo-Saxon style of compound names with suffix and prefix forms which are interchangeable. This opens up opportunities to speculate on unrecorded combinations. There is also potential for extended formal names to be shortened for general use (e.g. Hygelac = Ygella, Trygvasson = Trygi).

Lack of standard spelling. This leaves us with some speculation as to pronunciation and potential for multiple spellings – e.g. Godfrid, Godfred, Gotefrid. These were of course names to be spoken not written.  We do have to be wary of t/d, c/g, s as ‘s’ or ‘sh’ sounds and rendering of ð and Ð as ‘d’ in translation.

Rhythm of pronunciation. Despite some apparently awkward letter combinations most Viking names are attractive in the way they sound. Often this is due to alliteration in compound names prefix and suffix balance and complement each other. Bear this in mind.

I have selected a range of names mostly from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Saxo Grammaticus, History of the Danes and a few from elsewhere. I have deliberately chosen thase from the 9th century and early 10th. I have added a few names from other cultures in case we need them for guests or scenarios. The sagas have not been used as sources because most of the sagas are late interpretations and have an Icelandic bent. They have also been over many times before.

Enjoy. I do still like Gummibjorn.

Suggestions for Viking Names, circa 9th-10th Century

From Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Saxo Grammaticus and other sources.
(ang. = Anglicised form)

Frankish / Frisian – Female

  • Brunhild

Frankish / Frisian – Male

  • Arnulf
  • Baldwin
  • Childeric
  • Dagobert
  • Gelder (of Saxony)
  • Louis
  • Otto
  • Pippin
  • Plegmund
  • Rudolf
  • Ubbi
  • Wulfheard (ang.)

Welsh Names C9 / 10th – Male

  • Hywel
  • Clydog
  • Cyfeiliog
  • Idwal
  • Oswain
  • Rhys
  • Tremerig

Scottish names C9/10th – Male

  • Iehmarc
  • Macbeth

Irish names C9/10th – Male

  • Glundubh
  • Niall
  • Suibhne

Viking Names – Female

  • Aesa
  • Alvild
  • Asa
  • Asfrid
  • Aslaug
  • Aud
  • Brynhild
  • Dana
  • Drot
  • Esa
  • Eyfura
  • Gerutha
  • Gunnhild
  • Gjalp
  • Greip
  • Gro
  • Grytha
  • Gudrun
  • Gunnild
  • Gunvara
  • Gurith
  • Guthrun
  • Gøtvara
  • Harthegrepa
  • Helga
  • Hetha
  • Hild / Hyld
  • Irpa
  • Nanna
  • Ofura
  • Olof
  • Ragnhild
  • Regnild
  • Rind / Rinda
  • Ruta
  • Sela
  • Signe / Signy
  • Sigrun
  • Sigyn
  • Skathi
  • Skuld
  • Svanhvita
  • Svanild
  • Svanloga
  • Sygrutha
  • Thora
  • Thorild
  • Thyra
  • Thyrrni
  • Ulvild / Ulvilda
  • Unni
  • Vebiorg
  • Visma
  • Visna (Slav)

Viking Names – Male

  • Alf
  • Aggi
  • Agnar
  • Agner
  • Agni
  • Aki
  • Aleif
  • Ali
  • Alver
  • Ambar
  • Amleth
  • Amlothi
  • Andvan
  • Angantir/Angantyr
  • Angul
  • Ani
  • Anlaf
  • Ansgar
  • Ari
  • Arinbiorn
  • Arngrim
  • Asmund
  • Asvith
  • Athisl
  • Audun
  • Aurvandil
  • Olaf Triggvason
  • Anund
  • Athulf
  • Agmund (ang.)
  • Bagsecg
  • Bari / Barri
  • Beigardr / Beigarthr
  • Beri
  • Bersi
  • Benesing (ang.)
  • Biarbi
  • Biarki
  • Biarni
  • Bild
  • Biorn
  • Blihar
  • Bo
  • Bodvar
  • Bodvild
  • Borkar
  • Brak
  • Bram
  • Brand
  • Brander
  • Brat
  • Brodder
  • Broddi
  • Bruni / Bruno
  • Buchi
  • Bugi
  • Burgar
  • Busli
  • Buthli
  • Bok
  • Cnut
  • Dag
  • Dan
  • Danpr
  • Dian
  • Ebbi
  • Egil
  • Egther
  • Eirik / Erik
  • Ella
  • Elrik
  • Enar
  • Ennignaup
  • Erlingnar
  • Erp
  • Esbern
  • Esbiorn
  • Evindar
  • Eilaf
  • Eohric (ang.)
  • Eowils (ang.)
  • Estrith
  • Eystein
  • Fengi
  • Fialler
  • Fin / Fyn
  • Findar
  • Floki
  • Flokk
  • Folki
  • Frakk
  • Framar
  • Fridlef
  • Froda
  • Froger
  • Frogferth
  • Frothi
  • Frovin
  • Gambara
  • Gardh
  • Garmund
  • Gautrek
  • Gerbiorn
  • Gerik
  • Gerth
  • Gevar
  • Glomer / Glumer
  • Gnepia
  • Gnisli
  • Godfred / Godfrid / Gotefrid etc.
  • Gorm
  • Goti
  • Gram
  • Grani
  • Grensli
  • Grep
  • Gretir / Grettir
  • Grim / Grimi
  • Grimar
  • Grip
  • Grombar
  • Gromer
  • Grubbi
  • Grunder
  • Gummi
  • Gunbiorn
  • Gunnar/Gunner
  • Gunnolm
  • Gunthiof
  • Gusi
  • Guthferth
  • Guthfrith
  • Guthmund
  • Guthorm
  • Guthrum
  • Gøtar
  • Gøttrik
  • Hadding / Hading
  • Haddir
  • Haesten (ang.)
  • Hafli
  • Hagal
  • Hagbarth
  • Hagmund
  • Haki / Hako
  • Hakon
  • Haldan
  • Halfdan
  • Halfred
  • Halsten
  • Hamthir
  • Hamund
  • Hani
  • Har
  • Harald/Harold
  • Hardegon
  • Harthbren
  • Harthacnut
  • Hastin
  • Hather
  • Hauk
  • Heidrek
  • Helgi / Helgo
  • Helvin
  • Hemming
  • Hendil
  • Herlvar
  • Heroth / Herruthr
  • Hethin
  • Hial
  • Hialti
  • Hiarni
  • Hiarrandi
  • Hiarvarth
  • Hildebrand
  • Hildiger
  • Hiorvarth
  • Hithin
  • Hjalmar
  • Hjalti
  • Hladgerd
  • Hogni
  • Holmar
  • Holti
  • Horik
  • Hort
  • Hothbrod
  • Hraerek
  • Hrethric
  • Hroald
  • Hroar
  • Hrok
  • Hrolf
  • Hugleik
  • Humbli
  • Hunchy
  • Hvirvil
  • Hvitserk
  • Hygelac
  • Hømi
  • Høther
  • Ibor
  • Ing
  • Ingel
  • Ingeld
  • Inghen
  • Ingi / Yngi
  • Ingware / Ingvar
  • Ismar
  • Ivar
  • Jamerik
  • Jormunrek
  • Karl
  • Kelther
  • Kerr
  • Kervil
  • Ketti
  • Ketil
  • Knut / knud
  • Koli
  • Koller
  • Kraka
  • Krok
  • Lenni / Lenno
  • Ler
  • Lesy
  • Levy
  • Liotar / Lothar
  • Loker
  • Lothen (ang.)
  • Magnus
  • Manna (ang.)
  • Matul
  • Mevil
  • Mithothyn
  • Mundus (ang.)
  • Nep
  • Ohtar / Ohtor / Othar / Ottar
  • Odda / Odd / Oddi
  • Odinkar
  • Ohthere
  • Olaf
  • Oli
  • Olimar
  • Oller
  • Olvir
  • Omoth
  • Omund
  • Orvendil
  • Osbern (ang.)
  • Osferth Hlytte
  • Oscytel
  • Oslac
  • Oslaf
  • Osten
  • Ostmar
  • Othrik
  • Pallig (ang.)
  • Rafn
  • Rafnkil
  • Ragemar
  • Ragnar
  • Randver
  • Rani
  • Rathbarth
  • Rathi
  • Ref
  • Reghall
  • Regin
  • Reginfrid
  • Regnald / Raegnald
  • Regner
  • Regni
  • Rethyr
  • Rig
  • Ring
  • Roar
  • Roas
  • Roe
  • Rognvald
  • Rokar
  • Roldar
  • Rolf
  • Roller
  • Rostiof
  • Rurik
  • Rørik
  • Saevil
  • Salgarth
  • Sali
  • Sambar
  • Sibbi
  • Sifka
  • Sigar
  • Sigemund / Sigmund
  • Siggir / Siggier
  • Sigifrid
  • Sigurd
  • Sihtric (ang.)
  • Sivald
  • Sivard / Siward
  • Skalk
  • Skarth
  • Skat
  • Skiold
  • Skuld
  • Skumbar
  • Snio
  • Sorli
  • Soti
  • Starkather
  • Stein
  • Steinbiorn
  • Stikla
  • Storverk
  • Strumik
  • Stur
  • Svarin
  • Sven / Svein
  • Sverker
  • Svipdag / Svipdagr
  • Tander
  • Tetar
  • Thengil
  • Theudebert
  • Thidrek
  • Thokk
  • Thorald
  • Thorbiorn
  • Thored / Thord
  • Thorgerd
  • Thorgisli
  • Thori / Thorir
  • Thorias
  • Thorir
  • Thorulf
  • Thrond / Thronder
  • Thuning
  • Thurcytel
  • Thurferth
  • Thurkil / Thorkil
  • Tirvingar
  • Toglos (ang.)
  • Toki
  • Torvil
  • Torving
  • Tosti / Tostig
  • Tovi
  • Trann
  • Trygir
  • Tummi
  • Ubba
  • Ubbi
  • Uffi
  • Ulf
  • Ulfcytel
  • Ungvin
  • Valdemar
  • Vali
  • Valsten
  • Vemund
  • Vermund
  • Veset
  • Vetmar
  • Vifil
  • Vigfastr
  • Viggi / Vigi
  • Viglek
  • Vikar
  • Vithserk
  • Vitolf
  • Vogg
  • Wig
  • Ymi
  • Yngi
  • Yrling
  • Ysopa
  • Øgrim
  • Ønef

From the 2011 DASmag article by Ceolred Monger, Thegn

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