Icelandic baby names mirror the country's rich historical and cultural heritage. Iceland is very strict about baby-naming laws. Parents have to meet certain rules of gender, grammar, and meaning to save the child from embarrassment in the future. Also, the name should contain letters that occur in the Icelandic alphabet. A list of 1853 approved names for girls and 1712 approved for boys is also available. So parents have to select names from the list or seek permission from the special committee if their chosen name is not on the list. The authorities will see if the name is compatible with the Icelandic tradition. The Icelandic Naming Committee, also referred to as the Personal Names Committee in English, is responsible for overseeing an official roster of accepted Icelandic given names. This committee plays a pivotal role in regulating the incorporation of new given names into the Icelandic cultural landscape (1). According to the regulations, an individual can possess a maximum of three personal names followed by a family name. Traditionally, Icelandic names are rooted in Norse mythology. However, many Icelandic names also draw inspiration from Old Norse words and prominent historical figures. Due to the country's conversion to Christianity in the early Middle Ages, Christianity also influences Icelandic names. Hence, many Icelandic names are inspired by saints, biblical names, and Christian virtues and concepts. Even the surnames in Iceland follow an interesting tradition. The surnames are not family names but are patronymic or matronymic. The father's first name becomes the child's last name, along with the suffix -son (for boys) or -dottir (for girls). The law also allows using the parent's name as the last name. If the Icelandic naming system intrigues you and you want to explore Icelandic names, explore the following list. It has several Icelandic names and their meaning to assist you in finding a perfect name for your baby girl or boy.
|Adalheidis||Girl||Noble kind; Of the noble sort|
|Adalward||Boy||The noble guardian|
|Alexander||Boy||Defender of mankind|
|Alfdis||Girl||Goddess; Divine woman|
|Andrea||Girl||Defender of mankind|
|Arnleif||Girl||The eagle inheritor|
|Arthea||Girl||A variant of Artice; Lofty hill; Follower of Thor|
|Artice||Girl||Of lofty hill; The follower of Thor|
|Artina||Girl||A variant of Artice; Lofty hill; Follower of Thor|
|Audbjorg||Girl||A combination of luck and one who saves|
|Bardi||Boy||One who has a beard|
|Berrant||Boy||One who is like a strong bear|
|Birtingr||Boy||A smart, capable and illustrious man|
|Bjarki||Boy||A small bear|
|Boga||Girl||One who is good with a bow|
|Brynhildur||Girl||Armored warrior woman|
|Dagbjart||Boy||Daylight; Bright day|
|Dagbjartur||Boy||Daylight; Bright day|
|Dis||Girl||A beautiful woman|
|Dogg||Girl||The Icelandic word for dew|
|Drifa||Girl||The Icelandic word for snow|
|Dyri||Boy||Deer in the Icelandic language|
|Egill||Boy||Terror; One who terrorizes others|
|Eirikur||Boy||A man of great strength|
|Elisabet||Girl||Devoted to God; My God is an oath|
|Embla||Girl||First woman on Earth|
|Emilia||Girl||Rival; To emulate; Excel|
|Erikur||Boy||Peaceful ruler; A form of Eric|
|Eva||Girl||Life; The living one|
|Eydis||Girl||A Goddess of good fortune|
|Eysteinn||Boy||The stone island|
|Falda||Girl||With folded wings|
|Fannar||Boy||Snow; Warrior; Army|
|Finnur||Boy||One from Finland|
|Fridmar||Boy||Brilliant or shining peace|
|Fridr||Girl||One who is beautiful|
|Fridrik||Girl||One who governs peacefully|
|Frigg||Girl||One who belongs to Iceland|
|Gamli||Boy||Old; Something old|
|Gegn||Boy||The one who is against or versus|
|Geir||Boy||Pointed weapon used in the battle field|
|Gerdur||Girl||Protection; A protective woman|
|Greipr||Boy||A man of great strength|
|Grou||Girl||To grow; A variant of Groa|
|Gudlaug||Girl||One who is a good wife|
|Halldora||Girl||Thunder; Thunder goddess|
|Haraldur||Boy||Leader of an army|
|Harpa||Girl||Icelandic word for harp|
|Helgi||Boy||One who is blessed|
|Hodd||Girl||A woman whose hair is beautiful|
|Holti||Boy||He who comes from the small forest|
|Hrafnhildur||Girl||Raven or battle|
|Hrafntinna||Girl||Raven or flint|
|Idunn||Girl||To renew nature or active in love|
|Isabella||Girl||God is my oath|
|Jokull||Boy||Joyful; Jolly one; Who seeks happiness; Pleasure|
|Jon||Boy||God is gracious|
|Kalfr||Boy||Young cow in Icelandic|
|Kari||Unisex||Black-haired one; Free woman; Strong; Tremendous|
|Kleppr||Boy||A large stone|
|Kolbrun||Girl||Coal or eyebrow|
Exploring the realm of Icelandic baby names is an enthralling voyage that unveils the intricate fabric of a nation's culture. These names, resonating with history, nature, and mythology, encapsulate and celebrate Iceland's essence. From enduring classics that echo the past to innovative choices that embrace modernity, these names reflect a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. So pick a meaningful name from the above list and give your child a beautiful gift that will keep them connected to Iceland's beauty and heritage.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the meaning of the name Ásta?
The name is a diminutive of Ástríðr and means love and beloved God, formed by a combination of Norse elements.
2. What are some popular Icelandic baby names based on Norse mythology?
Atli, from the old Norse term Attila, is a version of the name in the Völsunga saga for the fictional or Norse mythological character of King Atilla the Hun (2). Bragi, meaning first, foremost, or poetry, is another example of a name from Norse mythology. Bragi is believed to be the God of poetry. Furthermore, the name Eir meaning mercy, also comes from mythological relevance, where she is revered as the Goddess of healing and medicine (3).
3. What are some Icelandic baby names that are inspired by nature?
Some Icelandic baby names inspired by nature are Fjall, meaning ‘from the rough hill,’ Vatn, meaning ‘water,’ and Eldur, meaning ‘fire.’ These names reflect the beauty and natural elements of Iceland’s landscape.
4. What are some Icelandic baby names that have a meaning related to strength or courage?
Names such as Nanna, meaning daring or brave; Eirikur and Greipr, denoting a man of great strength; and Gunnar, meaning a brave warrior encompass the essence of courage and strength.
5. How have Icelandic baby names evolved over time?
The evolution in Icelandic baby names may be seen in the changes in their naming system and rules. Now, first names can be chosen without restrictions based on gender. Also, individuals who are officially recognized as non-binary can use the suffix -bur (“child of”) instead of -son or -dóttir in their names.
- The Saga of the Volsungs;
- Michael J. Smith; 2003; Ways of the Ásatrú-Beliefs of the Modern, Northern Heathens;
- What’s In A Name?
Look Up For Many More Names
Do you have a name in mind and want to know more about it? Or want to find names belonging to a particular origin, religion, or having a specific meaning? Use our search tool below to explore more baby names with different combinations.