Iceland is an enchanting island in the Atlantic ocean filled with beauty, grandeur, and mystery. Its active volcanoes erupt in glowing splendor, and geysers shoot water into its azure skies. Australian writer Hannah Kent has said of this captivating country, “In Iceland, we can see the contours of the mountains wherever we go, and the swell of the hills, and always beyond that the horizon. And there's this strange thing: we're never sort of hidden; we always feel [intorduced] in that landscape. But it makes it very beautiful as well.”
Along with its majestic mountains, exquisite landscapes, and breathtaking night skies, this lovely land also boasts some of the most gorgeous baby names of all time. In fact, Iceland has an official naming committee. According to travel writer Michael Chapman, “This small island of just over 300,000 people is regulated by a number of laws that stipulate exactly which names...[are and are not] acceptable for society...Authorization lies at the feet of the Icelandic Naming Committee, a.k.a. Mannanafnanefnd.” The result? Carefully selected and time-honored monikers that have been lovingly passed down from one generation to the next.
Parents-to-be searching for a name that is dazzling, unique, and timeless should consider assigning an Icelandic designation to an impending arrival. The 20 Icelandic names that follow are charming and delightful enough to combat even the harshest winter chill and are sure to melt the hearts of all who hear them.
Agusta is a feminine variation of the name Augustus and means great, magnificent. Also spelled Augusta, this name currently ranks as the 8,118th most popular name for girls in the US. It’s as light and airy as a gentle breeze, but possesses the gusto to fit any strong, sassy little lady perfectly.
According to Namberry.com, “Augusta was the title of honor given to the wives and daughters of Roman emperors, which then morphed into a given name, brought to England by the [princess of Germany] who became the mother of George III.”
Adore Agusta? Similar Icelandic names to consider include Artina and Asdis.
Ari is a dashing diminutive of the Hebrew name Ariel and means lion of God. It ranked 47th in Iceland in 2014, and currently ranks as the 357th most popular name for US boys. In the US, it has risen 39 spots in popularity since 2018.
Nameberry.com states, “This short form of Ariel stands up better as a boys’ name than its progenitor does. It is also short for Aristotle, and is [the name of] a prominent character on TV’s Entourage.”
Those who have fallen hard for the name Ari may also wish to consider the similar Icelandic names Aron or Andri.
Elin is an ethereal variation of the English name Helen and means bright, shining light or moon. Presently, Elin ranks as the 934th most popular name for girls in the US. It has risen an impressive 358 spots since 2018. It ranked as the 40th most popular name for Icelandic girls in 2014, and has since risen into the top 25 most-used names in Iceland.
According to Nameberry.com, “The Elin variation makes an old favorite sleeker and more modern. It entered the US Top 1,000 in 2010.”
Emilia and Anna are similar Icelandic options that may also appeal to those who can’t resist the name Elin.
Elvar is the Icelandic form of the name Alvar, a strong and stunning designation of Old Norse origin that means warrior. It is without a doubt a unique option full of heart and depth that isn’t likely to belong to any other little men on the playground or in kindergarten class.
It ranked as the 27th most popular name in Iceland in 2014 and currently ranks as the 6,907th most popular choice for boys in the US after not even registering on baby name charts in 2018.
Elias and Emil are similar Icelandic options fans of the name Elvar may also wish to consider putting on their shortlists.
Frida is a fetching name from Germany that means peace. It also has origins in Old Norse and means beautiful, beloved.
Nameberry.com states, “The dynamic personality and paintings of the artist [from Mexico] Frida Kahlo have inspired growing numbers of parents to resurrect this form of the name. It does much better in certain countries from Europe, especially in Denmark and Norway.” This darling option is also a hit among Icelandic parents, and one no one will ever regret assigning it to a baby girl born for greatness.
Adore the name Frida? Similar Icelandic beauties to consider include the names Freyja or Fridrika.
Geir is a gorgeous name derived from the Old Norse word geirr, which means spear. It is used in Icelandic and Norwegian countries, but is rarely heard of anywhere else. The last time it made an appearance on baby naming charts in the US was in 2016 when it ranked as the 13,780th most popular name for US boys.
Its one-syllable sound makes it a moniker that will flow well with nearly any middle and last name, and its air of mystery and sophistication ensures that while it is rarely used, once heard, it will never be forgotten.
Gunnar and Georg are similar stunners that may also strike the fancy of those who can’t get enough of the name Geir.
Greta is a treasured name from Germany, that comes from the word Margarethe, and means pearl. Today, it ranks well within the top 1,000 as the 802nd most popular name for girls in the US.
According to Nameberry.com, “Greta returned to the top 1,000 in 1999, and hasn’t been this popular since the 1970s. Her highest point was at Number 318 in 1932...Greta is a sweet spot name — sophisticated with a touch of retro glamour.”
Gyda and Groa are similar Icelandic options that fans of the name Greta may also wish to put on their shortlists.
Ivar is an irresistible name of Norse origin that means yew wood or archer. It presently ranks as the 1,573rd most popular names for boys in the US and has risen an impressive 763 spots in popularity since 2018.
Nameberry.com explains that the name Ivar is “part of a small group of similar names with similar roots—Igor, Iver, Ivo, Ives, which are all worth looking at.” The site also states, “Used throughout Scandinavia, Ivar is currently a Top 100 name in Sweden.” It is also a beloved choice among Icelandic moms and dads.
Isak and Ingi are among the top 100 names for boys in Iceland and are also worth a second look.
Johanna is a lovely, lilting name of Hebrew origin that means God is gracious. Pronounced Yo-HAHN-ah or Joe-HANN-ah, this time-honored name is a winner however parents choose to say it. Today, Johanna ranks as the 1,327th most popular name for US girls, and is also a popular choice around the world. It currently ranks as the 10th most popular choice for Icelandic girls.
According to Nameberry.com, “Johanna is the version of this name used in Holland, Germany, and Scandinavia. The extra h makes Johanna a slightly more dignified version of Joanna.”
Love Johanna? Similar practically perfect Icelandic options induced the names Jonina and Julia.
Jonas is a gorgeous variation (from Greece) of the name Jonah and means dove. Presently, it ranks as the 429th most popular name for boys in the US and 55th for boys in Iceland.
According to Nameberry.com, “Jonas has a slightly more grandfatherly image than the English version of this name, but that only adds to its retro appeal...[While] It may lag behind Jonah in [the US], Jonas is riding a huge wave of popularity in Europe, where it ranks highly in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Norway.”
Johan and Jon are similar beauties that may also appeal to fans of the name Jonas.
Lara comes from the name Larissa (from Russia) and means citadel. Currently, Lara ranks as the 239th most popular name for girls in the US and is up 30 spots in popularity since 2018. In Iceland, Lara currently ranks as the 61st most popular name for little ladies.
This elegant name is one with a rich history. According to Nameberry.com, “[Lara] is an alternative to Laura or Lauren made romantic by Dr. Zhivago...In mythology, Lara was a nymph in Ovid’s Fasti known for her beauty and inability to keep [things hush-hush]."
Lilja and Linda are similarly stunning names that may also appeal to those who can’t help but fall in love with the name Lara.
Magnus is a magnificent name of Latin origin that means greatest. Today, it ranks as the 744th most popular name for boys in the US and the eighth most popular name for boys in Iceland.
Nameberry.com states, “Magnus, a powerful name with a commanding presence, is one of the newly unearthed ancient artifacts...A royal appellation in Scandinavia, Magnus was the name of six early kings of Norway and four of Sweden; it is still a highly popular name in Denmark and Norway.”
The similar Icelandic names Matthias and Mikael may also appeal to those who adore the name Magnus.
Marta is a variation of the name Martha, a name of Aramaic origin that means lady. Presently, Marta ranks as the 1,667th most popular name for girls in the US and has risen 165 spots since 2018. In Iceland, it currently ranks as the 78th most popular choice
This sophisticated option puts a fresh twist on its outdated and stuffy predecessor Martha. According to Nameberry.com, “Marta is often added to lists like ‘Classic Baby Names with a Twist’...[it] sounds perennially Olde Worlde.”
The similar Icelandic charmers Maria or Margret may also appeal to those who have fallen hard for the name Marta.
Oskar is a variation of the English name Oscar and means divine strength or champion warrior. Oskar currently ranks as the 28th most popular name for boys in Iceland and the 877th most popular name for lads in the US. In the US, it has risen a whopping 214 spots since 2018.
When spelled with a 'K' instead of a 'C'. this name transforms from grouchy Sesame Street character to sophisticated stud. Nameberry.com states, “Oskar is to Oscar as Jakob is to Jacob: more distinctive and continental.”
Those who love the name Oskar may wish to put the similar Icelandic options Olav and Olvir on their shortlists.
Rakel comes from Scandinavia and is resplendent from then name Rachel, a name of Hebrew origin that means ewe. Rakel currently ranks as the 38th most popular name for Icelandic girls and ranked as the 21,719th most popular name for US girls in 2018. It hasn’t been used for a little lady in 2019 in the US yet...but the year is still young!
Along with being a form of the biblical beauty Rachel, Rakel is a feminine, fetching variation of the name Raquel in France.
Love Rakel? Rosa and Rebekka are similar names that may also fit a little lady born to stand out perfectly.
Reynir is a strong, stately name, coming from Germany. It is a derivative of the English name Rayner and means counsel, advice or army, warrior. Today, Reynir ranks as the 73rd most popular name for boys in Iceland and the 13,201st most popular name for little men in the US.
According to BabyNamespedia.com, “[Reynir] was introduced by the Normans to English speakers in the 11th century where it remained in general till the 14th century... The name Rayner is used to a great extent; it has 28 variants that are used in English and other languages.”
Love Reynir? Similar Icelandic names to consider include the beautiful options Runar and Ragnar.
Soley is a sunny, delightful diminutive of the Spanish name Solana, which means sunshine. This bright, happy option is sure to warm hearts wherever and whenever it is spoken. It’s light, airy and as vibrant as the Icelandic sky at sunset.
Soley hit its peak of popularity in Iceland in 2014, when it ranked as the 21st most popular name for girls. Today, it ranks as the 63rd most popular name for girls in Iceland and the 10,430th most popular name for little ladies in the US.
Sara and Sigrun are similar Icelandic stunners that are also worth considering.
Stefan is a name coming from Scandinavia, Germany, and Russia. It's coming from the variation from Greece, Stephen, and means crown. Presently, Stefan ranks in the top 10 Icelandic names for boys as the 9th most popular choice. In the US, Stefan is gaining popularity. It currently ranks well within the top 1,000 as the 669th most popular choice.
Nameberry.com describes the name Stefan as “an elegant, continental name for the post-Steven era.” The site also explains, “It debuted on the US top 1,000 [list] in 1949 and has been on the list every year since except for a year off in 2008.”
Svend and Sindri are other unique options that may appeal to those who adore the name Stefan.
Sunna is a friendly, fun name coming from Germany that means sun. In 2014, it was within the top 50 most popular names for girls in Iceland and ranked as the 41st most popular choice. Its popularity has fallen a bit, but it still ranks well within the top 100 names for girls at number 76. In the US, it hasn’t ranked since 2014, when it was the 15,929th most popular choice for babies made of sugar, spice, and everything nice.
According to BabyNamespedia.com, “[Sunna] was born in mythology [from Germany] by the goddess of the sun.”
Sandra and Sofie are other simply adorable names that may appeal to those who simply can’t get enough of the name Sunna.
Tomas is a Portuguese version of the biblical name Thomas and means twin. This charmer currently ranks as the 627th most popular name for boys in the US and the 35th most popular name for boys in Iceland.
Pronunciation of this dapper designation varies depending on parent preference. According to Nameberry.com, “The pronunciation may be slightly different—toe-Mahs—though some parents use this as a phonetic spelling of Thomas.”
Tryggvi and Bjarni are other Icelandic names that aren’t nearly as mainstream as the name Tomas, but may appeal to parents searching for an Icelandic name that will stand out in the best of ways.
Sources: Nameberry.com, BabyCenter.com, BehindTheName.com, BrainyQuotes.com, GuidetoIceland.is, BabyNamespedia.com