Danish boy names: the best male names from Denmark

If you’re looking for an interesting and unusual name for your newborn baby boy, why not take some inspiration from Denmark?

Why not choose a Danish name for your newborn baby boy?
photo by Pxhere (CC)

Rightly or wrongly, lots of people associate the Danes with tall, healthy men who love outdoor pursuits, so you might want to consider some strong Danish boy names.

Perhaps you like the idea of a name with Viking origins, or one that derives from Danish folklore or nature. 

We’ve checked out some traditional old Danish boy names, plus some contemporary cool Danish boy names to give you ideas and inspiration for your baby’s name.

Top 10 Danish boy names

According to Denmark’s Central Population Register, these are the most popular newborn boys’ names, with the number of children who were given that name in the first six months of 2022. 

Under Danish law, parents have six months to register their child’s name, so the figures are not published until at least six months after the end of the period that is being counted.


Danish boy names and their meanings

If you like the sound of some of these names, you’ll want to know a bit about their origins. 

Danish male names suggest a healthy, outdoor lifestyle

So, here are the top ten boys names in Denmark and what they mean.

And if you want to find out more about Danish surnames and how they work, check out this post.


A popular traditional name, William is a variant of the Germanic Wilhelm, which is made up of wil (“will” or “desire”) and helm (“helmet” or “protection”). 

A common Danish variant of this classic name is Vilhelm, as in the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864–1916), known as the “Danish Vermeer”.


The name Oscar comes from the Old Norse name Ásgeirr, which means “divine spear” (áss  means “god” and geirr  means “spear”).

Other sources trace the name’s roots back to Old Irish mythology, where Oscar was a great fighter and the name means “champion warrior”.


The Germanic and Nordic version of Charles, the name Carl has Old Norse origins and means “free man”.

The name and its variations are hugely popular throughout the US, but probably the most prominent Danish Carl is the influential composer, conductor and violinist Carl Nielsen (1865–1931).


A popular Danish boy’s name since the thirteenth century, Malthe (pronounced m ah l t eh) means “rule” or “power”. 

It’s thought to be a shortened version of the Old High German name Helmwald, which comes from helmaz (meaning “helmet” or “protection”) and waldaz (meaning “ruler” or “powerful one”).

So if you’re looking for a strong Danish boy name, this could be a good option.


Emil is a traditional Germanic name, but its origins derive from one of the most powerful families in ancient Roman, called the Gens Aemilia. 

In Latin, Emil means “to strive”, “rival” or “excel”, so it could be a good choice for a hard-working and ambitious child.


No, not Voldemort. The Nordic version of Vladimir, Valdemar is an Old High German name and means “great or famous ruler” and “powerful”. It comes from the German words waltan meaning “to rule” and mari, meaning “famous”.

Valdemar I Knudsen, also known as Valdemar the Great (Valdemar den Store in Danish), was king of Denmark from 1154–1182.

Later his son Valdemar II of Denmark, known as Valdemar the Victorious, took over the throne and ruled from 1202–1241.

Both kings ruled during an era when Denmark was a powerful and influential force in the Nordic region. 


A traditional name of Hebrew origins, Noah means “rest”, “repose” or “peace”.

Danish Pop duo NOAH
Danish Pop duo NOAH / Noahmusicdk (CC)

In Denmark, NOAH was the stage name of Danish singer songwriter Troels Gustavsen (originally part of a duo with Lasse Dyrholm) from 2011–2015.


Aksel, and its variation Axel, is an enduringly popular Danish name of medieval Danish and Old Norse origins. It means “the father is peace”, a gentle name for a boy child.

Guns N Roses singer Axl Rose has a name of Danish origin
Axl Rose, also known as William Bruce Rose Jr. / Ed Vill (CC)

In Denmark it has royal connotations, being the name of Prince Axel of Denmark (1888–1964), but Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses is probably better known internationally (although it’s not his birth name, and he removed the ‘e’).


Although popular in Denmark, August is actually of Latin origin and derives from Latin word augere, which means “to increase”.

Its variation Augustus was commonly bestowed on Roman emperors as an honour, and means dignity, esteemed, respected and admired – well, august really!

Aside from Roman emperors, the Swedish author August Strindberg is probably the best-known Nordic August.


From the ancient Greek word for god, Theo means “gift of god” or “divine gift”. Other sources suggest it has Germanic roots, deriving from the Germanic word theud (people) and means “brave or bold people”.

Most popular Danish boys name overall

Of course, these Danish boy names are not necessarily the most common male names in Denmark overall.

Why not consider a Danish boys' name for your child?
Thomas Dahlstrøm Nielsen (CC)

You’re more likely to find some traditional Danish boy names if you look at at the most popular male names in Denmark as a whole.

According to the Danish Central Population Register (CPR), more men in Denmark are called Peter than any other name, with Micheal coming in a close second. 

So, here are the top ten Danish male names as of January 2023, plus the number of Danes currently registered with that name.


Rare Danish boy names

But you might fancy something a little different, so here are a few more unusual Danish boy names.

How about simply calling your son Dane (meaning “one who is from Denmark”) or Halfdan (literally “half Danish”)?

And if you like names deriving from nature, what about Arne (meaning “eagle”) or Bernte (“brave as a bear”).

Canute (or Cnut), of course, is a famous Danish name that is pretty rare nowadays – it means “kindness” – or there’s Henning, which means “peacemaker”.

And if you want to go really off-piste, how about Lothen (“one who has much hair”) or Vidar (“fighter in the woods”)?

For more ideas of unusual Nordic names, read our posts on Icelandic boy names and cool Viking names.

Danish dog names

And if you’re looking to name your dog, why not chose a Danish name? 

Mads is a popular dog's name in Denmark, after the actor Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen / Gage Skidmore (CC)

It’s popular in Denmark to call dogs by names with natural origins, such as Brede, which means “glacier” and would be good for a Siberian husky. 

Or how about Bjorn, which means “bear” so would suit a large fluffy dog!

Alternatively, Orn means “eagle” and might work well for a very fast dog such as a greyhound, or Lars, which means “crowned by laurels”.

It’s also popular in Denmark to call your dog after a famous Dane. How about Viggo (after the actor Viggo Mortensen), or Mads (meaning “master’s gift”) after the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen?

See also:
Swedish boys names
Norwegian boys names
The best Norse names and their meanings

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