The Meaning of Icelandic Place Names

So what do all those Icelandic place names mean you see when you are travelling around Iceland? Let us help you to understand.

Á = River (Could also mean „on“ and „a sheep“)

Bær = Farm, Township

Bakki = River Bank

Bjarg = Cliff, Rock

Borg = City, Crag

Botn = Bottom, Head of Valley or Fjord

Brekka = Slope

Brú = Bridge

Dalur = Valley (Could also mean „a dollar“)

Djúp = Long Inlet, Deep

Dyngja = Dome

Ey = Island

Eyri = Sandspit

Fell = Mountain, Hill

Fjall = Mountain

Fjörður = Fjord, Valley

Fljót = Large River (could also mean „hurry up“ if you are talking to a woman)

Foss = Waterfall

Gígur = Crater

Gil = Gorge, Ravine

Gjá = Chasm, Fissure

Háls = Ridge (could also mean „a neck“)

Hamar = Crag (Could alson mean „a hammer“)

Heiði = Heath, Moor

Hlíð = Mountain Side

Hnjúkur/Hnúkur = Peak

Höfði = Promontory

Höfn = Harbour

Hóll = Rounded Hill

Hólmi = Islet

Holt = Stony Hill

Hraun = Lava-Field, Lava

Hryggur = Ridge (Could also mean “vertebra” or „sad“ if you are talking about a man)

Hver = Hot Spring (could also mean „who)

Jökull = Glacier

Jökulsá = Glacial River

Kirkja = Church

Klettur = Rock, Cliff

Kvísl = River, Branch of River

Lækur = Brook

Laug = Warm Spring (Could also mean „he or she lied“)

Lón = Lagoon

Mynni = Mouth

Mýri = Swamp

Nes = Headland, Ness

Núpur = Spur, Peak

Oddi = Point, Tongue of Land

Ós = Estuary

Reykur = Smoke, Steam

Sandur = Sand(s)

Skagi = Peninsula

Skógur = Wood, Forest

Staður = Place, Parsonage

Stapi = Bluff, Crag

Tangi = Narrow Peninsula

Tindur = Summit

Tjörn = Small Lake, Pond

Tunga = Tongue (of Land)

Vað = Ford

Varúð = Danger

Vatn = Lake, Water

Vegur = Road, Track

Vík = Inlet, Small Bay

Vogur = Inlet, Creek (It´s also a name of a rehab clinic in Iceland)