10 Nordic Bear Names

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1 Björn/Bjørn

The typical one! It is the Icelandic and Swedish (Björn) and Danish, Norwegian and Faroese (Bjørn) word for a bear. In the Nordic countries, it is important not to write a simple o in the middle of the name, which is a totally different letter with a different sound than an ö (Swedish, Icelandic, Finnish) or ø (Danish, Faroese, Norwegian). The Old Norse spelling is Bjǫrn or Biǫrn.

2 Karhu

Less known but also a Nordic bear name is Karhu. It is the Finnish vocabulary word for a bear and, like Björn/Bjørn used as a given name.

3 Nanoq

The Greenlandic vocabulary word for a polar bear is also used as a given name. The older spelling is Nanoĸ.

4 Bjarne

This is a variant form of Björn/Bjørn used in all Nordic countries. The Faroese and Icelandic form is slightly different: Bjarni.

5 Bijáš

A Sami variant form of Bjarne is Bijáš. The Sami languages are spoken in the very north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

6 Birna

This female form of Björn/Bjørn is mainly used in Iceland and on the Faroe Islands.

7 Otso

This name derives from the Ancient Finnish word for a bear. It has become quite popular in the last few years.

8 Bernhard

Originally German, this name has been used in the Nordic countries for more than 1,000 years. The meaning is 'strong bear', a combination of the Germanic name elements BJÖRN and HARD.

9 Bierdna

This name derives from the Sami vocabulary word for a bear. A variant form is Bienná.

10 Bjarnhild

A younger form of the Old Norse name Bjarnhildr, mostly used in Norway and on the Faroe Islands. The combination of the Germanic name elements BJÖRN and HILD means 'bear battle' or 'bear fight'.