Names of Iceland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

There are numerous different names for Iceland, which have over the years appeared in poetry or literature.

The names of Iceland[edit]

In Icelandic[edit]

Many names have been used to refer to Iceland in the Icelandic language. These names include colloquial, formal, and poetic forms:

  • Eylenda, fem.—island, that is to say Iceland
    Stephan G. Stephansson
    Fjarst í eilífðar útsæ
    vakir eylendan þín.
    Far in the eternal yonder sea
    your island wakes.
  • Fjalladrottning, fem.—queen of the mountain or Iceland
  • Fjallkonan, fem. with definite articlelady of the mountain, a figure representing Iceland
  • Frón, neu.— old Norse word for land, Iceland
    Heima á Fróni.
  • Garðarshólmi, masc.—Iceland, named after Gardar Svavarsson
  • Hrímey, fem.
  • Hrímgrund, fem.
  • Hrímland, neu.—(the book Crymogaea occasionally uses “Hrímland”)[1]
  • Ísafold, neu.
  • Ísaland, neu.
    ...og flykkjast heim að fögru landi Ísa.
  • Ísland - Iceland's official and most common name
  • Jökulmær, fem.—Young woman of the glacier, Iceland
  • Klakinn, masc—literally the iceberg or the ice cover
  • Norðurey, fem.— literally meaning "northern island", used in jest in the Westman Islands since Iceland is north of them
  • Skerið, neu-literally the skerry
  • Snjóland, neu.—Snowland
  • Snæland, neu.—the name that the Viking Naddoddr reputedly gave to Iceland in the 9th century meaning "snow land"
  • Thule, neu.—some scholars claim Iceland was the land of Thule.[2]
  • Týli, neu.—Thule
  • Þyli, neu.—Thule

Icelanders also have several nicknames for themselves, including Frónbúi or Frónverji ("an inhabitant of Frón") and Landi ("fellow countryman").

In Latin[edit]

Iceland has prominently been called by three names in Latin:

  • Islandia - directly from Icelandic language "Ísland"
  • Snelandia - a Latinization of the more poetic name Snæland
  • Insula Gardari - literally meaning "Island of Garðar", compare Garðarshólmi

In Norwegian[edit]

  • Sagaøya - "Saga Island"


  1. ^ Ræður og greinar < Ráðherra < Forsætisráðuneyti
  2. ^ Strabo, Geographica, book 2, chapter 5, start of paragraph 8: Ὁ μὲν οὖν Μασσαλιώτης Πυθέας τὰ περὶ Θούλην τὴν βορειοτάτην τῶν Βρεττανίδων ὕστατα λέγει, παρ' οἷς ὁ αὐτός ἐστι τῷ ἀρκτικῷ ὁ θερινὸς τροπικὸς κύκλος· "Pytheas of Massalia therefore chooses the furthest regions around Thule, [which is] the most northern of the lands around Britain, around which the "summer turning circle" [= the line of celestial latitude where the sun turns at midsummer] is the same as the Arctic Circle.", which may refer to the sun being circumpolar at midsummer.
    Strabo 1.4.2: ἥν φησι Πυθέας ἀπὸ μὲν τῆς Βρεττανικῆς ἓξ ἡμερῶν πλοῦν ἀπέχειν πρὸς ἄρκτον, ἐγγὺς δ᾽ εἶναι τῆς πεπηγυίας θαλάττης : "[Thule] which Pytheas says is a six days’ sail north of Britain, and is near the frozen sea."