The name (Old Norse: Urðardalr and Hurðardalr) is an old district name. (The name of the church site is Gjøing.) The first element is the genitive case of an old river name (later called Gjøingelva which means "Gjøing river"), probably Urð which means "stony river" (from urð which means "scree"). (The sideform Hurðardalr has an addition of a false /h/.) The last element is dalr meaning "valley" or "dale". Prior to 1918, the name was spelled "Hurdalen".