Name and Background

What’s In a Name?

To the Vikings, quite a lot, actually—especially the nickname, of which nearly every man had one. Following are some examples of male and female names common in the eastern portion of Scandinavia, as well as a list of typical nicknames. Be warned! If you don’t select a nickname for yourself, odds are that someone else will, and there’s not guarantee it will be flattering!

Male Names

Sveinn Ulfr Halfdan Gunnarr Geirbjôrn Þorsteinn
Erinmundr Sibbi Þórir Gísmundr Ketilfastr Ásgautr
Ôlvé Arnfast Spjallboði Andvéttr Ragnarr Helgi
Spjallboði Áli Jôfurfast Gísl Ingimundr Gnúpa
Gulleifr Styrlaugr Holmr Þorkell Styrbjôrn Áskell
Þjóðulfr Búi Farulfr Sigviðr Ingifastr Óttarr
Hróðelfr Ketill Bjôrn Ônundr Guðleifr Slagvi
Grímmundr Viðfastr Ulfr Vébjôrn Eyvindr Eivísl
Grímulfr Sigsteinn Brandr Gulli Ásbjôrn Juli
Tóki Smiðr Halfborinn Hróðfúss Oddgeirr Hegbjôrn
Hróðvísl Eysteinn Hrafn Ásviðr Engli Þóraldr


Rúna Sigríðr Ketiley Herþrúðr Eilíkn


(Excerpted from Vikings of Legend.)

Abandoned Coward Fur-trader Laggard Scowler Tax-collector
Ale-Lover Crippled Gash-skull Lamb Scrawny-runt Thin-beard
All-Wise Crooked Gaudy Lame Screamer Thistle
Arsonist Crooked-arse Gelder Large Sea-farer Thorn-foot
Axe Crow Generous Lean Seer Thud-beam
Bad Crow-nose Gentle Leech Serpent-tongue Thunder
Bad-mouth Curly-head Giant Level-head Shaggy-breeches Timberquaker
Bad-poet Cut-cheek Giant-bane Limp-leg Shaggy-head Tinkle-scales
Bald-pate Dandy Girlish Long-chin Sharp Tongue
Bare-leg Dauntless Glad Lucky Sheen-mane Torpid
Barker Deep-minded Gold-beard Lust-hostage Shield Travel-hard
Battle-tooth Desirous-of-beer Gold-bearer Mad Shifty Travel-shirt
Bear-cub Downy-nose Good-cheer Marksman Shipwright Tree-leg
Beardless Dreamer Gossip Mercenary Short Trickster
Bellower Dream-reader Grave-robber Mighty Short-penis Troll
Berserk Drowsy Gray Mixing-horn Shrieking Troublesome
Berserks-bane Duel Great Much-sailing Sickly Trout
Billygoat Eagle Great-slasher Oaken-crook Silk-Beard Trustworthy
Bitch Earl’s-skald Gripe Old Skerry-blaze Twig-belly
Bitter Earth-long Grovelling Oppressed Skinny Twist-foot
Black Elder Hag’s-nose Orphan-poet Skull-cleaver
Black-brows Elegant Hairy Ox-might Sledge-hammer Uninspired
Black-troll Eloquent Hairy-cheek Paunch Sleeper Unjust
Bladder-bald Evil Half-troll Peacock Sleet-nose Unlucky
Blind Excrement Handsome Peevish Slim Unwashed
Blind-snout Fair-hair Hang-stocking Pelt Smith Upright
Blue-tooth Farmer Hard-rule Piglet Smooth-tongued Valiant
Blusterer Far-traveling Haven-key Pock-marked Snake-in-the-eye Very-wise
Boar Cleft-palate Hell-hide Poet Snow-shoe Vicious
Boneless Clumsy-boor Helmet Pouch-back Sorcerer Victorious
Bow-swayer Clumsy-foot Heron Prick Sour Viking
Braggart Codfish-biter Hoary-head Pride-of-the-benches Speedy Virtuous
Brave Cold-mouth Hog-Head Proud Spike Wag-beard
Bristle-beard Coward Honest Raging Split-stick Walker
Broad Crippled Horn-breaker Ram Squinter Weak
Broad-bearded Crooked Horse-fly Rash Stink-fart Whale
Broken Fast-traveller Horse-gelder Raven Stooped Whale-might
Builder Fat Horse-head Red Stout Whiskers
Burned Figurehead Horse-penis Red-cheek Stout-hearted Whistler
Button-arse Filthy Hound Red-cloak Straw White
Cairn-breaker Fish-hook Howler Rich Strong White-cloud
Careless Flat-foot Hump Ring-slinger Stump White-leg
Champion Flat-nose Hunchback Rooster Subtle Wild-man
Chest-butter Foal-forehead Illegitimate Rutter Surprise-attack Winker
Chieftain Foolish Impressive Sad Swarthy-old-man Wise
Child-sparer Forest-nose Insignificant Salmon Swarthy-skin Witch-breaker
Cleft-palate Fork-beard Iron-side Sarcastic Swift-eyed Woe-snout
Clumsy-boor Fortunate Jawbone Scar-leg Swine Wolf
Codfish-biter Fox Keen Scatter-brain Tall Wood-skull
Cold-mouth Fringed-cloak Knob Scoffing Tangle-hair Worm-tongue

Character Gifts

(Excerpted from the AD&D Vikings Campgaign Sourcebook.)

The bulk of characters encountered in a Viking campaign are human. However, Norse belief allows for many differences between men. Some men and women have special talents that separate them from ordinary people. These talents are known as Gifts—a boon or curse bestowed by the Norns at the moment of birth. For some, the Norns have woven a lucky thread in life; others are born without luck. Once these gifts are determined, there is little a man can do to change them.

Not all gifts are bestowed by the gods, however. Some are the result of the deeds of fathers, grandfathers, even ancestors. A hero may inherit a fine piece of land or find himself the target of a blood feud. Unlike the gifts of the gods, though, these can be gained or lost by the character’s bold (or craven) actions.

If a player chooses for his character to be human, he can check to see if his character has a Gift. The check is made by rolling 1d20 and finding the result on the Character Gifts table below. No player is required to make this check. However, once the player makes the die roll he must accept the result, whether it is for good or ill. Not all results are desirable, and some players may choose to not make the roll rather than risk an unpleasant result. If the player refuses to check for a Gift, he cannot make the attempt in the future.

Character Gifts

Die Roll Gift
1 Bad Luck
2 Blood Feud
3 Ugly
4 Family Outlawed
5-12 No Gift
13 Courage
14 Good Luck
15 Handsome
16 Inheritance
17 Rune Lore
18 Second Sight
19 Seer
20 Title

Ask your Judge for details on what these results portend.

Name and Background

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