Whether you have a family link to Iceland or the incredible landscapes of this country are just the inspiration you need for your new arrival, choosing one of these Icelandic boy names for your baby is definitely a good option
Naming a baby is an exciting and fascinating process. Not only are you providing someone with the name they’ll use for the duration of their lives, but you can choose a name that means something to you. Many parents love knowing the meanings behind the names that they choose, while others don’t care either way.
Whether you’re really into name meanings, or you just want to find something you like, this list of the most popular boy names in Iceland based on birth data provided by Registers Iceland, so you know it’s legit!) is certain to provide you with classic names that you love, along with some you may have never heard before – unless, of course, you’re native to Iceland! This list is perfect for new parents looking to stick to Icelandic roots, or those just looking for an incredible, culturally rich boy’s name.
Popular Icelandic names for males and meanings
The meaning of a name really comes down to the meaning you give it. Names mean different things in different cultures, and not everyone interprets name meanings in the same way.
If you find a name on this list that you love, but you’re unsure of the meaning, try not to let it hold too much weight or stand in the way of using a name that you love. With that said, let’s get to the list!
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Aron is one of the most common Icelandic boy names, topping the name lists in the country consistently. Of Hebrew origin, Aron means “meaningful”, “singing”, and “mountaineer”. Aron is a variant of “Aaron”, which is prominent within the biblical Old Testament.
With so many meanings, it should be fairly easy for parents to figure out which one they’d like to assign to the name, should they choose to use it.
Alexander is the Latin version of the Greek name “Alexandros”, and it means “defender of men”. This name is most famously associated with Alexander the Great, one of Greeces’ most prevalent military commanders.
When it comes to the list of approved Icelandic male names, Alexander is easily one of the more internationally known options, with many interpreting the meaning as “powerful”.
Emil is popular all throughout Iceland, and you’ll find it in other Scandinavian countries as well. Emil means “to strive”, and it’s also been said to mean “excel”, “rival”, and the French definition of the name is “eager”.
The name Emil is masculine, but it has many female counterparts, including “Emily”, “Amelia”, and “Emilia”.
Near the top of the list of Icelandic names for males is Kári, which means “pure”. There are some cultural debates when it comes to this name and its origin. For example, in Norway, Kári is a female name, which is short for “Katherin”. The corresponding Swedish and German name is “Karin”.
Regardless of the version you use, Kári is an adorable Icelandic name, and the meaning stands strong across cultures.
Why not check out the most popular Icelandic girl names from last year as well!
Super popular in Scandinavia, you’ve probably heard Kristófer a few times over the course of your life. Kristófer is one of the most popular Icelandic names for males, and it means “bearing Christ”.
You might also see this name in another version, “Kristoff”, hailing straight from Disney’s “Frozen”. Kristófer could also be spelled as “Kristopher” or “Christopher”.
In most regions, Jon (or Jón as it’s spelled with the accent in Iceland) is actually short for “Jonathan” or “Johnathan”, and it means “Jehovah has been gracious” or “Jehovah has shown favor”.
Actually, in France, you’ll often see Jon hyphenated, such as “Jon-Carlo”, but in Iceland, it’s often left just how it is, without anything extra, the full name of “Jonathan” included. This means that it’s very common for Jón, as a name, to stand on its own.
Did you know: While only sixth on the list of most popular boy names in Iceland for last year, Jón is actually the most common Icelandic boy name when looking at the population of the entire country!
Viktor is an incredibly popular Icelandic name for males, and it comes from Latin origins. Viktor has a simple meaning that most parents will love; “champion”.
This name is a great choice for parents that love to put weight into name meanings, as it’s sweet and simple while being powerful. Viktor is common, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it all your own! It’s a fantastic choice overall, and popular among many Icelandic parents.
Extremely popular in Iceland, but not in many other parts of the world, Guðmundur means “protection of God”, which is a super sweet meaning to give a baby, regardless of your spiritual beliefs.
Guðmundur is a great way to pay homage to Icelandic or Scandinavian heritage, and it makes for a fantastic conversation starter. Unless, of course, you live in Iceland – in that case, you probably know more than a few Guðmundurs!
Gabriel is a popular name in many countries. Coming from Hebrew origins, Gabriel means a combination of the words “hero”, “strong man” and “God”. Gabriel was an angel in the bible, and in a sense, all of the meaningful words given to this name mean the same thing, depending on who you ask.
“Gabe” is often a nickname for “Gabriel”. While a bit of the popularity regarding this name has begun to wane in other regions, it remains strong in Iceland!
Mikael is a boy’s name of Hebrew origin, and it’s one of the most popular boy’s names in Iceland. Mikael means “who resembles God?” and you’ve likely seen its incredibly well-used counterpart “Michael” in more than one baby book.
Mikael is a wonderful name for a new baby, coming with super cute nicknames like “Mik” and “Mike”. For those in the United States, it’s definitely a different take on one of the most common names in the states.
Did you know: Mikael also made the top 10 of the most popular Finnish boy names from last year. Take a look at that link for the other names that beat it!
Another name with Hebrew roots, Matthías, is adorable! While seen in plenty of places on a global scale, Matthías rarely falls off the top of baby name lists in Iceland.
Matthías means “gift of God”, which is the sweetest and most accurate baby name-meaning we’ve ever heard. For parents that love the name “Matthew” but aren’t thrilled about how often it’s used by others, Matthías is a great option.
Anton has more roots than an old oak tree, stemming from Latin, German, Scandinavian, and Russian backgrounds. Anton is an original, but never ridiculous, boy’s name that means “priceless”.
“Anthony” is another version of this name that has managed to far outweigh “Anton” in popularity contests, but this is one of the reasons that Anton is such a fantastic choice! Not only is it cute, short, and simple, but it’s not too widely utilized.
Why not check out the most popular Scandinavian names for girls too? And for some country-specific inspiration…
- Does Sweden’s huge pop culture influence tickle your fancy? Why not check out the most popular Swedish names for girls from last year!
- How about the sweeping natural beauty of Norway, with the most popular Norwegian girl names from last year?
- Stylish Denmark is high on anyone’s list these days, as are these names from last year’s most popular Danish girl names.
- The cool north of Finland evokes some stunning imagery and so too may the most popular Finnish girl names of last year.
Benedikt is the Germanic spelling of the Latin name “Benedict”, and it means “the blessed one”. Somewhat unheard of in many corners of the world, Icelanders have not given up on this sweet boy’s name, refusing to let it become obsolete.
Benedikt goes with many middle and Icelandic last names, and it comes with the cute nicknames of both “Ben” and “Benny”, which is a great way to turn a name that sounds like it was meant for an adult, into a bit more of a childish name when they’re little!
Birnir is a Nordic name through and through, and it’s one of the more traditional Icelandic boy names on this list. Birnir has a couple of cool associated meanings that animal lovers will adore, including “bear” and “wild animal”.
You’ll hear this name often in the Scandinavian region of the world, but more so in Iceland, where it remains popular even after centuries of use.
Drengur is a Nordic name that comes from the word “drengr”, which has plenty of meanings, perfect for parents that like to pick which baby name meaning they like the best! Drengur can mean “youth”, “a valiant”, “gallant”, “lad”, “a boy”, and “chivalrous man”.
While these meanings are all in the same ballpark regarding meaning, they manage to remain slightly different. Plus, they’re rather vague, meaning they can be expanded upon.
Atlas is one of those unique Icelandic boy names that was made popular in Greece before finding its way into the hearts of Icelandic parents. Atlas means “to carry”, which isn’t too far off from the purpose of an actual atlas, which carries people around the world.
Bringing it back to Ancient Greece, Atlas was a mythical Titan who literally carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, so many associate this name with great strength!
Gunnar is a historically Swedish name with plenty of German roots, although remains one of the most popular Scandinavian boy names across the region, with Gunnar meaning “battle” or “warrior”.
It’s worth mentioning that, according to Norse legend, Gunnar ordered a hit on his best friend to please his wife! Regardless of what comes of Norse legends, Gunnar is a fantastic name, and many in the United States have adopted it, pronouncing it as “Gunner”.
Elmar is a name of Old German origin, typically male, that means “famous weapon”. You’ll find that when it comes to Icelandic and many Scandinavian or Old Norse names, there are battle and weapon connotations.
This makes names like “Elmar” stay incredibly true to Icelandic cultural norms. Elmar is a strong name for any little one, and it’s definitely one of the traditional Icelandic names for males.
Jökull is an incredibly popular male name in Iceland, and in English, the word means “glacier”. How “cool” is that?! No pun intended! If you’ve been to Iceland, and you noticed that every glacier has the word “Jökull” in the title, that’s why!
The name Jökull isn’t used too much in other places, but that’s what makes it so unique. It’s completely perfect if you’re looking for unusual Icelandic boy names.
This name has never met a popular name list that it wasn’t on (in fact, it was in the top three of Norwegian boy names from last year)! Óliver is popular around the world, but it all started in Old Norse, with Óliver meaning “ancestor’s descendant”.
Óliver stems from the Latin and French words for “ olive tree” and according to many people, Óliver can also mean “peace”. It’s such a cute, sweet name, you really can’t go wrong giving it to your little one!
One of the more traditional Icelandic names for males, Armann, of Old Norse origin, means “messenger”.
Armann is very well-known throughout Iceland, though you might hear the name “Herman” in its place, sometimes in Iceland, but more notably in other parts of the world. Many Icelandic male names have variations in different regions and while some of them may sound quite foreign to the rest of us, Armann is one example where the less known version could actually be considered much cooler.
Aki is one of the cutest and most unusual Icelandic boy names on our list. It’s short, perfect for those that like to keep it simple, yet it’s completely unique.
It’s uncommon for a name to offer both of these aspects. Aki means “ancestor” or “father”, and it’s a fantastic name to give a baby that you’d like to name after someone, but aren’t too crazy about that person’s name.
A Norse and Icelandic name, Baldur means “prince”. In Iceland, (also spelled “Balder” or “Baldr”), Baldur has a very special meaning. Baldur is a god in Norse mythology, heavily associated with beauty, light, love, and happiness. What a completely perfect name for a new baby!
Popular in Scandinavia, including throughout Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway, Bjorn means “bear” and it’s fantastic for parents that love animals, and the idea of giving their little ones an animal name!
Bjorn sounds exotic, yet is incredibly common among Icelandic parents-to-be. You may recognize Bjorn from the popular baby brand “Baby Bjorn”, which essentially means “Baby Bear”. Such a cute name!
Bjartur is an Old Icelandic name for males that hails from traditional Old Norse, and is popular in Iceland, as well as the Faroese Islands. Bjartur means “bright” or “sunshine”, and that is a fantastic meaning to assign to a new baby.
When it comes to boys names, Bjartur is definitely different, primarily if you live outside of the Scandinavian region. You might see this name as “Arthur” in other countries – including in Denmark, where it made the top 10 of the most popular Danish boy names for last year!
Daniel is a name that has been popular around the world for centuries, and there’s no doubt about it, Icelanders love it! The earliest origins of Daniel can be traced back to the Old Testament of the Bible, and it means “God is my judge”.
With Hebrew roots, Daniel is heard almost everywhere on Earth, and many parents shorten it to “Dan” or “Danny”.
Einar is of Scandinavian and Old Norse origin, and it means “one warrior”, “battle leader” or “leader of the battle”.
There’s no question that Einar is the perfect name for your tough little guy, even though he likely (hopefully) won’t be leading anyone into war. Einar is one of the best Icelandic male first names that pay homage to Old Norse and Scandinavian culture.
Elias is an incredibly common Icelandic boy name, found all over Scandinavia and beyond. Elias is great because it’s not only popular in Scandinavia, but it’s found all over the world.
Some parents want a name that isn’t completely unheard of! Elias is believed to be a variant of the Biblical name “Elijah”, and it means “The Lord is my God”.
FYI: While Elias may be one of the most popular names for males in Iceland, it ended up being far more popular in other countries, with it making the top 10 of the most popular Swedish boy names of last year! Check out that link for the nine names that beat it though!
Known across the world as “Frederick”, Fridrik is a masculine name that’s derived from Old German roots. It comes from the Old High German “fridu” meaning “peace” and “rihhi” meaning “ruler” or “power”. Bring it all together and Fridrik means “peaceful ruler”.
Fridrik is the popular form of “Frederick” in Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The most common nickname for Fridrick is “Frid”.
You’re likely familiar with “Freya”, the female-given Scandinavian name, one of the most popular Old Norse female names across the region. Well, “Freyr” is the male version of Freya, and it remains incredibly popular with many Icelandic parents.
Freyr, though masculine, refers to the Norse goddess Freya, who was the bringer of fertility, beauty, and sunlight. It’s such a sweet name for a new baby.
Hakon is a traditional Icelandic name that you probably won’t hear anywhere else, and if you do, ask if the family has Icelandic roots! This title appears frequently in Denmark and Norway as well, and it means “firstborn son”.
For many families, this name’s meaning makes a whole lot of sense. Hakon is original, there’s no doubt about it, and it’s hard to beat unique names with an on-the-nose meaning!
Helgi has a somewhat unique and rather charming sound if you ask us! Helgi, sometimes spelled “Helge”, is popular across Scandinavia, primarily in Iceland and Denmark, and it means “dedicated to the Gods”.
Helgi comes from the Norse word “Hailaga”, and most of you are likely familiar with the female version “Helga”.
Ingvar is derived from the Old Norse word “Yngvarr” and appears frequently in Iceland and all over Scandinavia. Ingvar means “God’s warrior” or “the protector of God”. It’s closely associated with the Germanic god “Yngvi”.
Many parents choose to shorten Ingvar to “Ing”, and if you choose this name, you’ll have an incredibly original name with a very cool nickname!
Super popular all over Scandinavia, Johann means “God is merciful” and it’s often used as an alternative to “John” or “Jon”. Johann has been used by Icelandic parents for centuries, and is often shortened to “John” or “Jonny”.
Johann is a fun, well-established Icelandic name that most of the world is familiar with.
If you’ve been alive for the better part of a decade, chances are, you’ve heard the name “Jakob”. Often spelled as “Jacob”, Jakob is popular in Scandinavia, and Icelandic parents keep it atop baby name lists year after year.
Jakob hails from Biblical stories, and the name means “to support” or “to follow”. Jakob is a classic, without a doubt!
What’s the list of approved Icelandic male names?
The Naming Committee in Iceland determines which names are allowed to be on the official register of approved Icelandic given names, with all having to align with Icelandic grammar rules. Babies in Iceland can only have a name from that list.
More information is available here but this has led to some outcomes that the rest of us may find to be a bit funny. For example, the former mayor of Reykjavik tried to name his daughter “Camilla” but wasn’t allowed to, as the letter C is not part of the Icelandic alphabet. Because of this, her name became “Kamilla”.
There was also another case of two kids with very standard names from an English perspective, Duncan and Harriet, being called Drengur (boy) and Stúlka (girl) in their passports due to their actual names not being approved.
At least you can rest assured all the options on this list of the most popular Icelandic boy names from last year are definitely approved!