135 Icelandic Last Names Or Surnames, With Meanings

Icelandic last names are as unique as their geographical location. In Iceland, you can find volcanoes and glaciers standing on the same land. It should also be noted that most Icelanders do not have their hereditary family names as this country follows the Old Norse tradition of carrying their matronymic and patronymic names. It means they use the names of either their mother or father as their surname. Another interesting fact about these names is gender-specific suffixes, -son for sons and -dóttir for daughters. For example, if a man named Karl Sigþór has a son, his surname will be Karlsson, and his daughter would have the surname Karlsdóttir. However, recently, a gender-neutral suffix termed ‘bur,’ which means “offspring,” has been introduced in the country (1). Icelandic surnames do not give away much about their roots or origins, but they provide a sneak peek into the country’s rich history. Read on for a list of the most common Icelandic surnames and their meanings.

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Common Icelandic Surnames Or Last Names

1. Agnarsson

Composed of Norse elements agi and egg, meaning “terror” and “edge of the sword,” Agnarsson means “son of Agnar” or “son of a warrior.”

2. Albertsson

It means “Albert‘s son.” The name Albert is derived from the German names Adalbert and Adelbert, which mean “noble” and “bright.”

3. Alexandersdóttir

The patronymic last name means “daughter of Alexander.” The name Alexander derives from the Greek name Alexandros, meaning “defender of men.”

4. Almr

Almr means “Elm” and is of Old Norse origin. It is the last name suited for most Scandinavian countries due to its scenic beauty brought by Elm trees.

protip_icon Did you know?
The top three Icelandic names for boys are Jón, Sigurur, and Gumundur. They are used in various combinations.

5. Andersen

Ander is equivalent to the English name Andrew, which means “manly.” Andersen means “son of Anders.”

6. Annadóttir

The name means “daughter of Anna.” It is a Hebrew name meaning “grace.”

7. Aradóttir

This last name originated from Latin Ara, meaning “sky’s platform.” The Icelandic version of this name refers to the “female offspring of Ara.”

8. Arason

The matronymic surname, meaning “son of Ara,” is composed of the Latin word Ara, which means “altar of the sky.”

9. Araujo

The name Araujo is topographic in nature and has originated in Portugal and Galicia. It has its roots in the Latin word “Araujo,” which refers to a “climbing plant.” The name is not common among Icelandic natives.

10. Ármannsson

The name Ármann derived from Old German elements harjazand mann, meaning “warrior.” With the suffix, it means son of Ármann.

11. Árnadóttir

Icelandic last names

Image: IStock

Árna in Old Norse means “eagle.” In Norse mythology, Odin was often compared to an eagle, giving this name significance. The last name with its suffixes means “daughter of Árna.”

12. Árnason

The name Árnason means “son of Árna.”

13. Arondóttir

It means “daughter of Aron.” The name Aron or Aaron of Hebrew origin refers to “the strength of a mountain.”

14. Ásgeirsdóttir

Derived from the Old Norse element Ásgeirr, the root word of this name Ásgeir means “spear-God.” This name means “daughter or son of Ásgeir.”

15. Ásgeirsson

It means “Ásgeir’s son.” Ásgeir is also inspired from the Latinized name Ansgarius.

16. Ásmundsson

Ásmund is a Scandinavian origin name and it means “God is my protector.” The addition of the suffix -son refers to the “descendent of Ásmund.”

17. Atlason

Atlas is a Nordic name that means “wild.” The Icelandic addition of the suffix to this first name gives it a meaning “son of Atlas.”

18. Baldvinsson

Baldwin or Baldvin is a name of Anglo-Saxon and Old German origin, meaning “brave.” The name Baldvinsson is the Icelandic last name given to the “successor of Baldvin.”

19. Baltasarsdóttir

It means “daughter of Baltasar.” The name Baltasar refers to one of the three wise men, “the protector of the king.”

20. Beck

Derived from the Old Norse element bekkr, the last name Beck means “brook.” It is similar to the English name Becker and is also a common name in Germany and Denmark.

21. Birgisdóttir

It refers to “the daughter of Birgis.” The name Birgis is said to have English and Old French origins and means “a freeman of a fortified town.”

22. Birgisson

It means “the son of Birgis.”

23. Björnsdóttir

A common Icelandic name Björn refers to the animal “bear.” This last name means “daughter of Björn.”

24. Björnsson

Bjornsson means son of bear

Image: IStock

The name Björnsson means “son of bear.”

25. Blöndal

It is a common Icelandic name that also spread through England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a topographical name originating from Blöndudalur, located in Húnaþing.

26. Briem

The name Briem is said to be a pseudo-foreign name in Icelandic as it resembles Danish and German names. It is based on the estate of Brjámslækur in Westfjordsf rom where the first Briem family originated.

27. Brynjarsson

It means “Brynjar’s son.” The last name composed of Nordic elements Brynja plus Harjar means “the protection of our leader.”

28. Bui

The Old Norse name Bui means “dweller.” Itis an uncommon, traditional Icelandic name, and could be used by families that aren’t native to the lands.

29. Daníelsson

Daníel is a Hebrew origin name that means “God is my judge.” As an Icelandic last name, it means “offspring of Daníel.”

30. Egilson

In Old Norse and Scandinavian, Egil means “edge of a sword.” This name means “son of Egil.”

31. Einarsdóttir

The masculine last name has Old Norse origins and it means “daughter of Einar.” It is composed of elements einand nar, meaning “one warrior.”

32. Einarsson

It means “son of Einar.” The root name Einar has similar roots to another Norse word einherjar. In Norse mythology, einherjar was an honorary word that was titled to those who have died in battles and who would ascend to Valhalla, the heaven of warriors.

33. Elíasdóttir

Elías is a Biblical name, meaning “the Lord is my God.” Elíasdóttir, in its Icelandic form refers to the “heiress of Elías.”

protip_icon Quick fact
In both professional and casual settings, people in Iceland are addressed by their first name or occasionally by both. The last word (son and daughter of) is never used alone.

34. Emilsdóttir

Of Latin origin, the name Emil means “eager.” This Icelandic last name version of this name means “daughter of Emil.”

35. Erlingsdóttir

The name refers to the “daughter of Erling.” It is of Scandinavian origin, with Erling, which means “heir of the clan chief.”

36. Eyjólfsdóttir

Originating from the Old Norse elements, awiō, meaning island, and ulfr meaning wolf—Eyjólfsdóttir means “the island of Wolves.” With the addition of the Icelandic suffix, this first name becomes the last name, meaning “daughter of Eyjólfsdóttir.’

37. Geirsson

Geir in Norway and Iceland means “spear.” Geirsson, with its suffix refers to the “descendant of Geir.”

38. Gísladóttir

It means”daughter or son of Gísla.” The name Gísla means “pledge.”

39. Gíslason

The name means “son of the pledged or Gísla.”

40. Gray

An uncommon last name to Iceland, Gray is an English origin name. It refers to the “gray color.”

41. Gröndal

Gröndal is a topographical Icelandic name consisting of elements Grön meaning “green” and dal meaning “valley.” It also has Danish origins. Jónsson.

42. Guðjónsdóttir

It means “daughter of Guðjón.” The name Guðjón is a combination of two Old Norse words, gud meaning “God” and jon meaning “John.”

43. Guðjónsson

The name means “son of Guðjón.”

44. Gudmundardóttir

Gudmundur means “the protection of God.” The name is taken by the “daughter of Gudmundur.”

45. Guðmundsdóttir

It means “daughter of Guðmund.“The word Guðmund or Gudmund is of Old Norse origin. It refers to “protection of God”. This popular Icelandic name also has Danish and Swedish variants.

46. Guðmundsson

The name means “son of Guðmund.”

47. Guðrúndóttir

In Icelandic, the name means “daughter of Guðrún,” which means “God’s secret lore.”

48. Gunnarsdóttir

Gunnar is an Old Norse name for “warriors” and represents “victory.” It has also been used to refer to “Vikings.” The suffix word dóttir makes it mean “daughter Gunnar.”

49. Gunnarsson

The suffix -son is added to Gunnar to refer to his son in Icelandic.

50. Hall

Hall refers to a rock

Image: IStock

The Icelandic last name Hall is a modern take on the Old Norse name Hallur, which means a rock.

51. Halldórsdóttir

It means “daughter of Halldór.”The root word hallrin Old Norse, refers to a “flat rock or stone.” It is also derived from another Old Norse word Hallórr, meaning “Thor‘s rock.”

52. Halldórsson

It is combined with the common Icelandic suffix ‘son,’ and the name means “son of Halldór.”

53 Hansen

Originating in Danish, Hansen means “son of Hans.” The name Hans also has German origins and it means “God is gracious.”

54. Haraldsdóttir

The root word of this surname Harald is of Old Norse origin and means “powerful or highest leader.” This patronymic surname means “daughter of Harald.”

55. Haraldsson

It means “son of Harald.”

56. Harðardóttir

It is a habitational Icelandic surname, meaning “daughter of Hörður.” It refers to someone who hails from the Hǫrðaland, a place in Norway.

57. Harðardsson

It means “son of Harðard.”

58. Hjálmarsdóttir

The name is of Old Norse origin and composed of the first name Hjalmer, meaning “army’s helmet.” As a last name, it means “daughter of Hjalmer.”

59. Hauksdóttir

It means “daughter of Hauk.”

60. Hauksson

It is derived from the Old Norse word haukr which means “hawk.” The name means “son of Hauk.”

61. Haukurdóttir

The patronymic name, Haukurdóttir means “daughter of Haukur.” It means “hawker.”

62. Heimisson

The Icelandic last name means “son of Heimer.” The name Heimer is of North German origin and is derived from the word Heibert meaning “a bright home.”

63. Helgadóttir

Having originated from Scandinavian and Old German regions, the feminine last name means “Helga‘s daughter.”

64. Helgason

It means “son of Helga.” Helga is common in Nordic countries and it means “holy.”

65. Hilmarson

The root name Hilmar is derived from the North German and Dutch name Hildmer, which means “a famous battle.” It is also inspired by the Middle High German topographic word Hillmeier, meaning “living-near water hole.”

66. Ingimarsson

It means “son of Ingimar.” In Old Danish and Icelandic origin, the root name Ingimar means “the name of God.”

67. Ingólfsson

In Old Norse, Ingolfr means “Ing’s wolf.” Ing or Yngvi is the God of beauty and fertility according to both German and Norse mythology. The last name inspired by it means “Son of Ingolfr.”

68. Jensdóttir

It is a patronymic Icelandic last name meaning “daughter of Jensdóttir.” The name Jens means “God is gracious” and has Danish and Scandinavian origins.

69. Jóhannesdóttir

It means “Jóhannes’ daughter.” Jóhannes is the medieval Latin version of the common name John. It means “God is gracious.”

70. Jóhannesson

The addition of the suffix -son to Jóhannes refers to “son of Jóhannes.”

71. Jóhannsdóttir

The common patronymic Norweigan and Scandinavian last name means “daughter of Jóhan.”

72. Jóhannsson

It is the Icelandic variant of the Hebrew name John, referring to the “son of Jóhan,” which means “noble” and “blessed.”

73. Jóndóttir

Jón is the Icelandic version of the English name John, and it means “graced by God.” The name means “the daughter of Jón.”

74. Jónsdóttir

The suffix -dóttir gives it the meaning “daughter of John.”

75. Jónsson

Jón is the Icelandic version of the Biblical name, John, meaning, “graced by God.” The common last name means “son of Jón.”

76. Júlíusdóttir

The Icelandic last name has the root name Julius, which is of Roman, Latin, and Greek origin. It means “youthful” and refers to the “heiress of Julius” with the addition of the suffix -dóttir as an Icelandic last name.

77. Karlsdóttir

Derived from the Old Norse, Karl means “free man.” The last name in Icelandic means “daughter of Karl.”

78. Karlsson

Karlsson is an Old Norse name, meaning “son of Karl.”

79. Kemp

In Old Norse, Kempa means “warrior.” The name also has German ancestry, with the same meaning.

80. Kristinsdóttir

Kristin is the Scandinavian variant of Christina, meaning “follower of Christ.” This name, with the added suffix, refers to “the daughter of Kristin.”

81. Kristinsson

The Scandinavian last name refers to the “son of Kristin.”

82. Kristjánsdóttir

The common Icelandic patronymic last name means “daughter of Kristján.”

83. Kristjánsson

Derived from the Latin Christianus, Kristján is a patronymic surname meaning “Christian” or “follower of Christ.” The last name Kristjánsson is the name taken by the son of Kristján.

84. Leifsson

The root word of this last name means the same as the meaning of the entire name, which is “son of Leifr.” It is because the word Leifr in Old Norse means “heir.”

85. Magnúsdóttir

The name means “Magnús’ daughter.” It means “great” and was a popular last name used by royalties.

86. Magnússon

Magnús is the Icelandic version of the Latin name Magnus. The last name means “son of Magnús.”

87. Matthíasson

The Icelandic name has the root name Matthías, which is of German, Greek, and Hebrew origin. It means “gift of God,” and with an Icelandic suffix, it means “son of Matthía.”

88. Mikaeldóttir

Mikael is the Icelandic version of the Hebrew name Michael, which means “one who is like God.” This Icelandic name means “daughter of Mikael.”

89. Möller

Möller is the Icelandic version of the popular Danish name Moller and the English name Miller. It is a name based on the occupation, and refers to “one who grinds the grain.”

90. Moreno

It is also another non-Icelandic name uncommon among the natives. It has originated from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The feminine last name Moreno means “brown-haired or brown-skinned.”

91. Nguyen

Nguyen, Icelandic last names

Image: IStock

Nguyen is a popular Vietnamese name that has found its way into the Icelandic last naming traditions. It refers to a “musical instrument.”

92. Ólafsdóttir

It means “daughter of Ólafur.” Olaf is a common Old Norse origin name and means “ancestral heirloom.”

93. Ólafsson

This is a last name that signifies heredity. It means “son of Ólafur.”

94. Olsen

It means “son of Ole.” The name Ole is of Danish and Norwegian origin and is derived from the name Óláfr, meaning “ancestor’s descendent.”

95. Ölvirsson

It means “son of Ölvir.” The Icelandic origin name Ölvir is a habitational one, as it means “olive tree.”

96. Óskarsdóttir

The name means “daughter of Óskar.” The main name Óskar means “spear of God.”

97. Óskarsson

Óskar is derived from Old English. The Icelandic last name means “son of Óskar.”

98. Ottesen

The patronymic surname refers to the “son of Otto.” It means “wealth ” in Old German.

99. Pálsdóttir

In Latin origin, Pál means “small” or “humble.” The last name means “daughter of Pál.”

100. Pálsson

With the suffix -son, this Icelandic last name refers to the “Páls’s son.”

101. Pétursdóttir

It means “daughter of Pétur,” with the root name meaning “stone.”

102. Pétursson

Pétur is the Icelandic version of the English name Peter, which means “stone.” The last name means ‘son of Pétur.’

103. Þórðardóttir

The patronymic Icelandic surname means “daughter of Þórður.”

104. þórðarson

The name Þórður means “beloved thunder” and is also used to refer to the “God of thunder: Thor.” The name with its suffix means ‘son of Þórður.’

105. þórirsson

Composed of two Norse elements, Þórr, and vér, thename órir means “Thor’s warrior.” The entire name means “Þórir’s son.”

106. þorsteinsdóttir

It means “daughter of Þorstein.” From the Old Nordic word orstein, it means “Thor’s stone.”

107. Þorsteinsson

The name Þorsteinsson means “son of Þorstein.”

108. Rastarson

The surname of Icelandic origin is composed of elements Röst, meaning “bird” and her, meaning “army.” The last name version means “Rastar’s son.”

109. Ragnarsdóttir

It means “daughter of Ragnar.” The name Ragnar has Old Norse and German origins.

110. Ragnarsson

The root word of this name is Ragnar and it is made of Old Norse elements ragin, which means “counsel” and hari means “army.” This complete last name means “son of Ragnar.”

111. Rafnar

In Old Norse origins, Rafnar means “judgment or warrior.”

112. Róbertsson

It means “son of Robert.” The name Robert is derived from the Old German name Hrodebert, which means “bright and famous.”

113. Schram

The name refers to a strong-willed warrior

Image: IStock

The topographical Icelandic name refers to the “cleft in a mountain.”

114. Sigurðardóttir

The name meaning “daughter of Sigurð” and it has Old Norse origins. Sigurð means “victory.”

115. Sigurðsson

The root word Sigurð is similar to the Old German name Sigiwart, which also means “victory.” This last name, as per Icelandic naming traditions, means “son of Sigurð.”

116. Sigurðurdóttir

Sigurð meaning “victory” means “daughter of Sigurð or the warrior.”

117. Sigurjónsdóttir

A name of German and Hebrew origin, Sigurjóns means “victory of God.” The last name means “daughter of Sigurjóns.”

118. Sigurjónsson

It means “son of Sigurjóns,” and is of German and Hebrew origins.

119. Smáradóttir

This Icelandic last name consisting of the element Smára is derived from the Norse word Smári, which means “white clover.” This last name is taken by the “daughters of Smára.”

120. Stefánsdóttir

It means “daughter of Stefan.” The name Stefan refers to “crown” in German origins.

121. Stefánsson

The name Stefánsson refers to the “son of Stefán.”

122. Steinsson

It means “son of Stein.” Of German origin, Stein refers to “rock.”

123. Strom

The Icelandic name Strom is an arbitrary habitational name as it means “current” and refers to a person living near a “stream.” It also has Danish, German, and Swedish origins.

124. Sveinsdóttir

The patronymic name Svein is a common last name in most Norwegian countries. It means a “daughter of a young warrior, Svein”

125. Sveinsson

The root word Svein means “young warrior.” By adding the suffix son, the last name refers to the progeny of Svein.

126. Thorlacius

The name originated from órður, which means “beloved thunder.”

127. Tómasson

It means “son of Tómas.” The root name Thomas, of Aramaic origin, means “twins.”

128. Torfason

The root word of this name Torfa means “school of fish,” and with the suffix, this last name means “descendent of Torfa.”

129. Traustason

The last name is of Old Norse origin and the root word Traust derived from Norse word Tristi means “strong.” The name Traustason means “heir of Traust.”

130. Tristandóttir

It means “Tristan’s daughter.” Tristen is a Welsh origin name, meaning “noise of the arms.”

131. Valsdóttir

In Latin, Scandinavian and Scottish origins, the name means “daughter of Val.” The root word Val of this name, derived from Valerie, means “strong” and “healthy.”

132. Vídalín

The name Vídalín originated from a place in Vestur-Húnavatnssýsla, Víðidalur.

133. Vilhjálmsson

The name means “son of Vilhjálmur,” the root name is the Icelandic version of William. The name William refers to “a strong-willed warrior.”

134. Waage

It is an occupational name as it means “scales” and was used to refer to merchants. It is also said to be derived from another Norweigan term Voge, meaning “skillful.”

135. Westfjordsdóttir

The topographical Icelandic surname means “daughter of Westfjords,” which is in the North West of Iceland.


Discover More Names

When you have to choose a name for your baby, a few hundreds of names may not be just enough. Keep digging our mine of baby names until you find that one precious gem.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do Icelandic last names differ from other Nordic countries?

In Iceland, last names are based on one’s father’s first name or, occasionally, the mother’s first name. This differs from other Nordic countries, where surnames are typically based on a family’s occupation, location, or physical characteristics.

2. How have Icelandic last names evolved?

Icelandic last names have evolved over time from a patronymic system to a more standardized system of surnames.

3. Can Icelanders change their last name?

Yes, Icelanders have the option to change their last name. In Iceland, individuals can legally change their surname by adopting a new name or modifying the existing one through a specific legal process.

4. What is a nonbinary Icelandic surname?

In Iceland, individuals who identify as nonbinary can choose a gender-neutral surname. In 2019, a new suffix -bur, meaning offspring, was introduced in 2019 to select a surname that does not explicitly indicate gender, deviating from the traditional patronymic or matronymic naming conventions used in the country (1).

Iceland is a beautiful country with a unique naming tradition. Their interesting surnames make them stand out and act like a portal to the country’s ancestry. Recently, there have been a few alterations in the Icelandic last names system that allows a child to have surnames of both the mother and the father. In addition, the appearance of some unisexual names can also be seen quite often. Nevertheless, the above names are as common as the new ones and are a tribute to the country’s rich heritage.

Infographic: Icelandic Last Names Or Surnames

Icelandic surnames are written differently and have a unique sound; also, most of these last names are an extension of the father or mother’s name. Here is an infographic that lists some enchanting Icelandic surnames for your perusal.

enchanting Icelandic surnames (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Iceland has unique conventions when it comes to naming their babies. Learn more about it and discover the meaning behind Icelandic names and their importance in culture.


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