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In many cases, finding the right name for your new baby can take longer than any other pregnancy process, other than the pregnancy itself. Parents often put too much pressure on themselves, but when you think about it, your child will be stuck with the name you give them for life, so it should mean something to you without being nonsensical.

These popular Icelandic names for girls are a great combination of pretty, simple and strong, yet they remain original without offering too much flair at the same time. So if you’re stuck on what to name your new baby, you really can’t go wrong with investigating pretty Icelandic girl names. 

Even if you’re not native to the region, having a choice of female Icelandic names, some of which you may not have heard of before, might really let you find something you love!

baby with one of the more popular Icelandic names for girls

What is the most popular girl name in Iceland?

The current most popular girl name in Iceland is Guðrún, with 4,920 women living in Iceland last year with that name. The most popular baby name last year, however, was Andrea, with this name having been given to 28 girls who were born in Iceland last year.

The top 10 most popular girl names in Iceland last year are as follows:

  1. Guðrún
  2. Anna
  3. Kristín
  4. Sigríður
  5. Margrét
  6. Helga
  7. Sigrún
  8. Ingibjörg
  9. Jóhanna
  10. María

While it’s well known in Iceland, it’s worth mentioning that G isn’t the easiest name to pronounce for non-Icelandic speakers. I’d suggest checking the pronunciation tool in Google Translate (click the speaker symbol on the left) to see exactly how it sounds – and then clicking it a few more times, as it’s not at all how you’d expect.

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Popular Icelandic girl names and meanings

Female Icelandic names are easy to come by if that’s the baby naming route you’d like to take, but that doesn’t mean they’ll all resonate with you. It helps to see a list of the current most popular female names in Iceland (which is based on birth data provided by Registers Iceland, so you know it’s legit!) and what they mean, so you can make an informed decision.

1. Andrea

Andrea is the feminine name of “Andre”, “Andrew”, “Adrian”, and “Andreas”. The name itself means “manly” or “virile”, but despite its meaning, has remained popular for girls around the world since the 1880s. Andrea makes a fantastic first and middle name for girls of all ethnic backgrounds.

As far as going in and out of style, Andrea truly stands the test of time, lasting from generation to generation. It’s a good, solid name and, if you love it, it’s complete perfection for your new baby girl.

2. Freyja

The name of the Norse Goddess of love and fertility is named Freya, and so, Freyja is often associated with mystical beauty and mystery. However, the straightforward meaning is “a noblewoman”. It’s always nice to give your baby a name that has mythological roots, as it makes for a wonderful story to tell when people ask you where the name came from.

It’s also been one of the most common Icelandic girl names for some time, which could be the inspiration behind the fact that many fictional characters have donned the name Freyja, ranging from original television shows to books. Often accompanying a witchy, magical vibe, Freyja is a great name for those that want to add a little flair to life.

You won’t be surprised to hear that this name is well loved throughout all of Scandinavia. For example, it was the third most popular Danish girl name last year as well!

3. Emilia

Derived from Aemilia, Emilia is such a cute name, worthy of any brand new baby girl. Emilia means to “rival”, to “excel”, or to “emulate”, and can also mean “strength”. Emilia is a strong name with a feminine feeling, so it manages to be super feminine and tough, which is traditionally considered a masculine attribute, all at once.

Emilia is a fantastic name for your baby girl, and it’s a nice take on the traditional spelling as well. The name, and the meaning of the name, are the perfect combination for a good start to life.

4. Briet

Briet is a popular Icelandic name for girls and based on how beautiful it is, it’s continually earning its spot at the top. Briet means a “thorny bush of wild roses or brambles”, and enhances how life can be so intricately beautiful and difficult all at once. With the hard times come the good, and that is just what a thorny bush of roses represents.

All meaning aside, Briet is a really cute and simple name that, no matter how often it’s used, always sounds original and unique. Similar to a character in a Shakespeare play, Briet is a name that people rarely forget.

5. Sara

Sara has confirmed its place at the top of popular girls’ name lists all over the world, and it’s one of the most commonly used Icelandic girl names starting with s. Sara, also spelled “Sarah”, is truly a name fit for a little princess, because the name itself actually means “princess”! Sara is typically a female name, though it does not have to be, and it’s a notoriously Biblical name.

Sara shot to the top of the charts around the world in the 90s, and though the craze tapered off after a while, it remains popular in regions like Iceland and Finland. Sara is an easy and straightforward name to utilize, and it goes well with dozens of middle names. Sara is one that you’ll never regret using as your baby grows, as it’s always in style.

baby with one of the more pretty Icelandic girl names

6. Anna

Anna continues to sit high on almost every baby girl’s name in the world, partially driven by the Disney “Frozen” franchise, but also because it’s a sweet and simple name that holds cultural relevance. Coming from Hebrew roots, Anna is popular in the Scandinavia sub-region (for example, it features high on the list of the most popular Finnish girl names from last year), though it’s not uncommon to hear it everywhere you go.

A shorter form of the Hebrew names “Hannah” or “Channah”, Anna means “grace”, and there are few meanings more beautiful than that one. It’s so important to go through life with grace, no matter what curveballs it might throw you. This is a fantastic value to instill in your children, and a name like Anna makes it that much easier!

7. Sóley

Coming from Spanish origin, Sóley means “a girl who is like sunshine”. Honestly, I can’t think of a better baby name than this one, and it makes me want to change my daughters’ name as soon as possible! All jokes aside, Sóley is a bright and sunny name, even before you know the real meaning it holds.

It’s definitely different, and it’s not one that you’ll hear outside of Iceland too often. If you’re looking for a name with a strong Icelandic association, Sóley, despite its Spanish roots, is a really good choice.

8. Embla

Embla is a cute name that is of Scandinavian origin and, very simply put, means “Elm”. There is always something strong, quiet, and solid that comes with naming a child after a tree, or any sort of plant, for that matter. Trees stand tall, they thrive in the sunshine, and they reach for the stars. What parent wouldn’t want that for their child?

Embla is rarely heard anywhere other than as a Scandinavian girl name, which, in my opinion, makes it just that much more special. It’s wonderful when paired with a simple middle name, such as Anne or Maria.

9. Emma

We all thought that Emma had seen its time in the limelight in the late 90s and early 2000s, but it refuses to go away. This is probably because it’s a classic and timeless name that never goes out of style. You literally cannot go wrong when choosing to name your baby Emma.

Emma comes from Germanic roots and means “whole” or “universal”. It’s a great baby name because so often, parents think of their family as complete when a new baby comes, and we all know that the universe revolves around them! Overall, Emma is a stellar choice.

Did you know… Emma made it to number 2 on the list of most popular Norwegian names for girls last year! Take a look at our article to see which name snatched first position.

10. Eva

Many celebrities over the years have donned the moniker “Eva”, and it’s one of the most common Icelandic girl names. Eva is typically a female given name, and it means “life” or “living one”, and comes from Latin origins. Eva has biblical roots, with many standard European associations pointing to Eve.

Where there’s an Eva, there’s an Ava, and while both of these names were once quite rare, they’ve made pretty much every baby name list in the last 15 years, including this list of approved Icelandic female names. Don’t worry too much about popularity as if you like the name, you should use it!

baby with one of the most common Icelandic girl names

11. Hekla

One of the most popular Icelandic girl names starting with h is Hekla. Hekla comes from the name of an active volcano (which many of you might be familiar with) in Southwest Iceland. In Old Norse, “Hekla” means “cloak” and the name of the volcano refers to the mist that surrounds the summit.

Hekla is a really cool name, and it has plenty of cultural meaning for those that live in Iceland or hail from there. When you combine it with a simple and sweet middle name, Hekla is completely unforgettable.

12. Hrafnhildur

Though Hrafnhildur might seem like a mouthful, this female name is officially on the list of approved Icelandic female names, and it’s made its way to the top to be one of the most popular girl names in Iceland. This different and undeniably unique Icelandic girl name is derived from the Norse words for “birds” and “cattle”, and it’s also been listed as meaning “raven battle”.

There are few things more amazing than sticking with an incredibly culturally relevant name, and Hrafnhildur does just that. It might be long, but it makes a statement, and that is exactly what many parents are looking for in a baby’s name.

(And to see how it’s pronounced, click the “listen” button on the left side of this page.) 

13. Aþena

Aþena isn’t really one of the more traditional Icelandic girl names on this list, having only started to appear in the early 2000s, but it’s certainly become popular in that short amount of time. This name means “goddess of wisdom and war”, which may make more sense to you when you learn that the name is actually pronounced more like “athena”. With the Greek aspect there, you can probably now see where the meaning comes from.

You’re more likely to see it spelled “Athena” outside of Iceland which in itself is an incredible name, harnessing the delicate nature of the pronunciation combined with the strength of its meaning, making it suitable for any new baby girl.

14. Júlía

Júlía has had its time in the spotlight on a global basis, and along with many European cultures, became very popular in the United States in the 90s (albeit spelled without the accents on the letters you see in Icelandic). While it may have died down a bit state-side, Júlía remains incredibly popular in Iceland, regularly coming in at the top of baby name lists specific to the region.

FYI: Julia is also still super popular in other Scandinavian countries. For example, you can find it high on the list of the most popular Swedish girl names from last year as well!

Julia is the feminine form of the classic Roman family name “Julius”, which comes from the Roman mythological god “Jupiter”, and it means “supreme god”. Julia is another name that has a really fun story behind it and will capture the hearts of parents that have a knack for storytelling and a love for mythology.

15. Kristin

In comparison to many other names on our list, Kristin requires minimal effort to say and understand, but that’s not why it’s popular. Kristin is a girl’s name (obviously) of German and Norwegian origin, and frankly put, it means “a Christian”.

Of course, you don’t have to be religious to utilize Kristin as your baby name. The reason that “Kristin” has stood the test of time is that it’s a sturdy yet beautiful name. In fact, it’s one of the most beautiful Icelandic girl names out there today! Kristin brings cultural relevance without being over the top, and because of that, I love it.

baby with one of the more traditional Icelandic female names

16. Viktoría

Viktoría is often thought to be one of the most traditional Icelandic female names, and it means “victory”. The spelling can differ from region to region, and it is often seen spelled as “Victoria”, especially in other parts of Europe and the United States. Though “Victoria” comes from Latin roots, “Viktoria” is the Scandinavian variant, and is still popular throughout the sub-region today.

The name Viktoría brings Icelandic culture and timelessness together, allowing for a name that will always be somewhat popular. It’s beautiful and strong, and one of the old Icelandic girl names.

17. Ylfa

Ylfa is one of my favorite unique Icelandic female names because, when translated directly from Norse, it means “a female wolf”. Many parents love naming their children after mighty animals (think “Bear” and “Jaguar”), and Ylfa achieves that without being too obvious. The origin of this name is as an Old Norse female name and it is primarily used in Iceland.

The name itself is incredibly beautiful. If you know how to pronounce it, that is! Pronunciation is everything when it comes to remaining culturally accurate. If you’re in the Icelandic region, or those surrounding, you likely know how to pronounce this name, but if not, ensure you’ve got it down before you use it as a baby name!

(The “listen” button here will help you with that, but as you’ll see, it’s kind of close to “il-va”.)

18. Móeiður

Many might think Móeiður is one of the unusual Icelandic girl names, but in reality, it’s quite common within the country. Móeiður is officially approved as a given Icelandic name, and it comes from Nordic roots. This name is not used as often in Iceland as some of the others on our list, which ensures that you have an original and true-to-the-culture name on your hands!

Móeiður is a fantastic choice for any baby girl, and it’s genuinely Icelandic, which is a huge perk for parents in which that aspect is important. Just make sure to check the pronunciation here!

19. Helena

The name Helena has Greek origins and it means “shining light”. Helena is a beautiful name, primarily if you have a namesake in the family, such as a grandmother named “Helen” or “Helene”. Helena is a beautiful take on names that are a bit more dated and traditional, and it’s easy to pair with both middle and Icelandic last names.

Helena is a strong name, and a wonderful way to spice up the original version.

20. Helga

There are few female Icelandic names that are more traditional than Helga, and the roots of the name run deep into Germany and Scandinavia. Helga means “holy”, and it’s notorious for being traditionally Nordic. Helga is an unexpected, yet super-cute name for a baby girl, and if you’d like to stick to those Icelandic roots, Helga is a stellar pick.

baby with one of the more beautiful female Icelandic names

What’s the list of approved Icelandic female names?

All babies in Iceland must be given a name from the official register of approved Icelandic given names. Names are approved by the Naming Committee, which can also consider new names submitted to it, all of which must align with Icelandic grammar rules.

You can find out more information here but this has led to some outcomes that the rest of us may find pretty odd. For example, the former mayor of Reykjavik wasn’t allowed to name his daughter “Camilla” as C is not part of the Icelandic alphabet. Because of this, she had to be called “Kamilla”.

There are also other interesting examples at that link, like the Committee being challenged in court (and losing) by a parent who wanted to name their baby daughter a traditionally male name. There’s 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 girl names from last year are definitely approved!