Ingrid: Baby Name of the Day


Ingrid: Baby Name of the Day

Ingrid marries Scandinavian cool with Old Hollywood glam.

Thanks to Rocking Fetal for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.

Ingrid: Beautiful and Strong

In an age of flowing, liquid names like Sienna and Ariana, Ingrid has bite.

The name comes from Old Norse. Ing – or Yngvi – was worshiped by Germanic tribes. In Sweden and Norway, the kings claimed him as an ancestor. Ing featured in dozens of names, many of which survive in Germany and Scandinavia today. Think of Ingmar Bergen, the director, or Lars Johan Yngve Lannerbäck – better known as guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.

So that’s the first element, but what about the -rid? Turns out it means beautiful, and appears in plenty of other Scandi names: think Astrid and Sigrid, plus Frida.

Ingrid: She Reigns

Scandinavian royals have kept the name alive.

Queen Victoria’s great-granddaughter Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta was a princess of Sweden, descended from Prince Arthur, Victoria and Albert’s third son. Arthur’s daughter, Princess Margaret of Connaught, married Crown Prince Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, and eventually became queen. She was born in 1910. She’d later marry Prince Frederick, the heir to the Danish throne, and become Queen of Denmark.

Today there’s another little royal with the name: Princess Ingrid Alexandra, born in 2004, daughter of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. That makes her second in line to the throne, right behind Dad.

That would make her the first Queen Ingrid. Or possibly, the second …

Ingrid: Snow Queen

Hans Christian Andersen penned his popular fairy tale “The Snow Queen” in the 1840s.

Despite the lovely title, she’s the villain of the piece. The queen kidnaps Kai, who remains her prisoner until his faithful friend Gerda risks all to free him from her icy clutches.

Disney planned to adapt the tale for decades. When they eventually triumphed, producing the mega-hit Frozen, the story had changed dramatically. Instead of Kai, Gerda, and a villainous queen, the story of sisters Elsa and Anna, princesses of Arendelle, emerged. Elsa became both antagonist and victim; her younger sister’s love melted Elsa’s winter-bringing spell.

So popular was the film that ABC’s Once Upon a Time incorporated it into the series’ fourth season. But this time, they gave us the sisters – Anna and Elsa – as well as their wicked aunt, the Snow Queen – also known as Ingrid.

I can’t tell if the Snow Queen had taken the name previously. Hans Christian Andersen was born in Denmark, meaning the name would have been familiar. My best guess is that Once Upon a Time invented this iteration of the character, and her name, too. Still, Disney has a way of making names stick, so I wouldn’t be surprised if future tellings of the story used this name for the frosty fairy tale queen, too.

Ingrid: Bergman

And then we come to Hollywood royalty: Ingrid Bergman.

Born in Sweden in 1915, her name was inspired by the first princess we mentioned. The Oscar, Emmy, and Tony-award winning actor is best remembered as Ilsa Lund in 1942’s enduring Casablanca. But with a career spanning four decades, she played many an unforgettable part, including the title role in Joan of Arc and Sister Mary Benedict in The Bells of St. Mary’s.

Ingrid: By the Numbers

It seems like a few American girls may have been named after the Swedish princess, just like Bergman. The name peeked into the US Top 1000 a few times, charting in 1913, 1916, 1929, and 1935, the year the princess married Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark.

But it took Hollywood to make this name a mainstream favorite.

Bergman’s first American film was 1939’s Intermezzo, a remake of the Swedish version she’d starred in a few years earlier.

In 1940, the name re-entered the US Top 1000 at #896. It hasn’t left since.

Ingrid peaked at #382 in 1967. Even then, it lagged behind softer names, the Lisa-and-Tammys that dominated the decade.

As of 2016, the name stands at #871. Not obscure, exactly, but far from common. It doesn’t necessarily fit any better with the Emmas and Charlottes of today than it did with previous generations. And really, nothing else sounds like Ingrid.

Or maybe that’s not exactly true. Astrid, fueled by How to Train Your Dragon, ranks higher, coming in at #776. But Astrid leans a little quirky, thanks to the beloved author of Pippi Longstocking.

If you’re after a strong choice, frills-free, and sophisticated, Ingrid belongs on your list. It carries the same Hollywood cachet as Ava or Audrey, but with all the gravitas of Eleanor or Iris.

Does the lack of an easy nickname deters you? There’s a solution for that, too. I’ve heard this name shortened to Indie.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic Scandinavian heritage choice, or just a strong, familiar-but-not-common name for a daughter, Ingrid has plenty to offer.

What do you think of Ingrid? Would you consider it for a daughter?

Originally published on November 9, 2008, this post was revised substantially and re-posted on May 9, 2018.

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35 Comments

Our second daughter is due at the end of May. She’ll be Ingrid Ann. We think it works well with her big sister Ava Jean. Lots of class and some sass.

Alana, I think that’s a great choice for Ava Jean’s sister – and I love the way you’ve described it!

Oh no. Ingrid and Astrid are awful names. Harsh and heavy and ugly to me. Surely others will pipe up and dislike too. Horrible.

Oof! While certainly every name isn’t to everyone’s taste (which is a good thing!), this criticism feels unnecessarily mean spirited.

Sorry, can’t join in the hate. We have an Ingrid. She’s gorgeous, spirited, and fun. Maybe you just haven’t met an Ingrid or Astrid yet. If you ever travel, you’ll probably find plenty of people with “bad” names who manage to be lovely people anyway.

Sorry I didn’t catch this one sooner!

It’s totally fine to not like a name. Thank goodness that we don’t all love the same dozen choices, or we’d live in a world of confusion.

But there’s truly no such thing as a horrible name. Just names that aren’t our personal style. Bianca, I appreciate that your comment isn’t mean-spirited – simply an honest, strongly negative, reaction. So I’m letting it stand. (Anything snarky or rude is deleted.)

I do encourage everyone to comment with a generous spirit. (More on that here: https://appellationmountain.net/peace-on-earth-good-will-towards-men/) It took me time to learn this, because when I started writing I thought that running a site about names meant judging them. I’ve been doing my best to clean up any of those statements, and I appreciate everyone who calls me on them. (Because, yes, they’re still out there. And I go crimson when I find them.)

I’m a real person, and I imagine all of you as real people, too, some of whom have named your daughters Ingrid or Astrid. Or might be named Ingrid or Astrid, or might be pondering those names for future use. You’re warmly welcome here, as are people who have very different naming styles.

I’m happy to talk about names with everyone, as long as we can do so with kindness.

I absolutely love Ingrid! If our recent son would have been a girl, he would have been Ingrid. Since we had to write down a girl’s name on the name form (we’re in the Czech Republic, it’s required), even though we knew he would be a boy, it was Ingrid 🙂 It’s surprisingly popular in the Czech Republic too – I’ve met several 20 something Ingrids here. It wears so well!

Wait, what?! You have to put down a girl’s name … even if you have a boy? That’s fascinating! Now I need to learn Czech, fly to Prague, and convince someone to give me access to birth records so I can read pages + pages of almost names …

Yes you do! Even after the fact (can’t leave the space blank)! It’s fascinating because there is literally an official name lady with the official name book (I have a copy of it – it’s the one and only one name book available in book stores). You have to go to her office and then she pulls open her book to make sure the name is in there (if it isn’t, then you have to prove that it’s a recognized name somewhere in the world). More leeway is given to foreigners than Czechs (we are half & half – my hubby is Czech, I’m American). There are also no middle names, but you can have a double first name. But since the US has a spot for middles, my son has different names for his different nationalities – he has two firsts and a middle (my maiden name) on his US birth certificate, but only two first for his Czech). Naming a baby here was truly a name-nerd adventure!! It would have been even more complicated for a girl (that -ova). I’ve only found a full list for 2014 – It’s fun to peruse!

I’ve never thought about how for every recorded name here, there is an almost name as well – would be fascinating to see those records!

I looove this one, and Astrid too! I’m a sucker for names with an unconventional “shape” to them, and yes — names with bite, and Ingrid is just so effortlessly cool, chic, and a little bit severe.

What a great name! 🙂 FYI I’ve never really had a nickname but its not really a problem because my name is pretty unique. I do love my name – no spelling variations (aka catherine with a c), recognised but not common, exotic, princessy but not frilly. I would recommend it.

I’m intrigued by Ingrid! Hubby thinks it sounds old fashioned (which it does–but that’s not a bad thing, especially given today’s trends) but I think it has class. We have Scandinavian heritage so it’s appealing to me on that level. I worry about there being no good nn though–I don’t like Inga or Grid…maybe Indie?

We named our baby Ingrid. We were looking for a Norwegian name to go with our last name (although I liked that it’s also German, as am I). I love frilly names but they’re just not for us. We get a lot of compliments on her name–and a few weird looks, too!

I concur, Ingrid is one of the few harsh-sounding names that I really like, lol to Lola’s comments about the Birkenstocks! 🙂 I would be really interested in hearing more about Gretchen too…

Verity – I wrote to you about Brigid, but EmmyJo brought up another interesting one: Gretchen. Please look up Gretchen! Please, please?

Oh, I love Ingrid! She’s one of those rather harsh-sounding names I find quite appealing (along with Imogen, Gretchen, and Bridget).

Hey, it’s Catherine. I’ve started a new blog, and I wanted to add you to my blogroll, but I’m not sure on the protocol, so I thought I’d ask first. Do you mind if I add you? Thanks!

I love Ingrid. Some may think large overbearing women in metal bras, but I think of movie-star cool in a trenchcoat, ala Ingrid Bergman, just like you mentioned. I think she fits right in with all the old-lady chic-ers, but with a tougher edge. I also get a pioneer feel from it…a tad Little House on the Prairie…petticoats, boots, lunchpails and horsedrawn wagons. Anyway, I love it. And I’d salute any parent with the cajones to use it.

I quite like Ingrid. I used to hate it, but now I can definitely see the appeal. Like Lola said, she’s got the adorable bit of clunk that I like in most of my names. I also really enjoy I names. Hm. I probably wouldn’t use her but would love to see Ingrid on a kid nowadays!

I really adore Ingrid! I went to school with a girl named Ingrid Elsdoerfer. She was a bit German 😉 She went by Reeda sometimes. It sounded a bit like Rita, but a bit more gutteral.

I think Ingrid’s neat. She’s not for me, but I can easily see her appeal. She’s strong & spare and has the teensiest clunk.. It makes her cute, in a dark rimmed glasses and birkenstocks sort of way. I thoroughly dig Ingrid. She’s awesome. She is a bit spare in the nickname department, Inga’s all my brain can come up with but honestly, does she really need one? I don’t think so. Ingrid’s lovely all by herself!

RF, I can easily see an Ingrid with your rockin’ boys!

Thanks so much for this! Ingrid has become one of my very favorite names. I pray I will be able to use it some day. You summed her up perfectly with “Scandinavian cool and Old Hollywood glamour.” That’s how I see her completely.