Icelanders do not have surnames but instead they have patronymic names.
The format of last names used in Iceland is different from the rest of the world. Icelanders derive their surname from their father or mother's first name.
An Icelander's last name consists of their father or mother's followed by the suffix -son (in case of a boy) or -dóttir (in case of a girl). To illustrate, if Örvar Eggertsson has a son and names him Smári then the child's complete name will be Smári Örvarson. Similarly, his daughter with first name Helga would be called Helga Örvardóttir. So all boys in Iceland have last names ending with -son, and all the girls have surnames ending with -dóttir.
The first name of an Icelandic child is not decided immediately after birth. Parents wait for around three months to get to know their child, and after that, the child must be named. Parents must follow the rules as decided by the Icelandic Naming Committee when naming their child, including rules dictating that parents who have moved to Iceland from abroad have to give any children born in Iceland an Icelandic name. Parents have to send their name request to the Icelandic Naming Committee to get approval before naming their child. The popularity of Icelandic names varies according to birthplace. Many names are inspired by sportsmen's names and people from the film industry. Around 35% of people inherit their first names from the given names of their grandparents. Jón, Sigurður, Guðmundur, Gunnar, and Ólafur are some of the most popular Icelandic names of males. The commonly used female names are Guðrún, Anna, Kristín, Sigríður, and Margrét.
We know that Icelanders do not follow the system of family names for their surnames, so there are lots of different last names in Iceland; learn about some of them below:
Popular Icelandic Surnames
According to the Icelandic naming committee, an Icelander's surname is derived from their parents' names. These surnames of Icelanders can be found throughout the country, they are among the most common surnames in the Icelandic language.
1. Árnason: (Anglo-Saxon origin) meaning son of Árna.
2. Árnadóttir: It means daughter of Árna.
3. Ásgeirsdóttir: It is the last name of the daughter of Ásgeirs.
4. Birgisdóttir: It is the last name of the daughter of someone with the given name Birgis.
5. Birgisson: It is the last name of the son of someone with the given name Birgis.
6. Bjarnadóttir: (Icelandic origin) means the daughter of Bjarne.
7. Bjarnason: (Icelandic origin) meaning son of Bjarne.
8. Björnsdóttir: (Norwegian origin) meaning daughter of Björns.
9. Björnsson: (Scandinavian origin) meaning son of Björns.
10. Einarsdóttir: It means a great warrior, but in Iceland, it signifies the surname of the daughter of Einars.
11. Einarsson: (Scandinavian origin) this is an Icelandic surname meaning son of Einars.
12. Gísladóttir: (Icelandic origin) means the daughter of Gisli.
13. Gíslason: It is the surname of Icelandic origin, which means the son of Gísla.
14. Guðjónsdóttir: It means daughter of Guðjóns.
15. Guðmundsdóttir: It is an Icelandic surname, which means the daughter of Guðmunds.
16. Guðmundsson: It is an Icelandic surname, which means son of Guðmunds.
17. Guðjónsson: (Icelandic origin) meaning Guðjóns.
18. Gunnarsdóttir: It is an Icelandic surname that signifies the daughter of Gunnars.
19. Gunnarsson: It is an Icelandic surname and a patronymic of Swedish origin.
20. Halldórsdóttir: (Icelandic origin) is patronymic means daughter of Halldórs.
21. Halldórsson: (Icelandic origin) is patronymic means son of Halldórs.
22. Harðardóttir: It means daughter of Harðar.
23. Haraldsson: (Scandinavian origin) means son of Herald.
24. Hauksson: (Icelandic origin) means son of Hauks.
25. Helgadóttir: (Icelandic origin) means the daughter of Helgi.
26. Helgason: (Icelandic origin) means son of Helgi.
27. Jóhannesdóttir: (Swedish origin) means daughter of Jóhannes.
28. Jóhannesson: (Swedish origin) meaning son of Jóhannes.
29. Jóhannsdóttir: It is an Icelandic last name.
30. Jóhannsson: (Icelandic origin) means the gift of Jehovah.
31. Jónsdóttir: Patronymic name, which means daughter of Jóns.
32. Jónsson: (Swedish origin) means son of Jóns.
33. Karlsdóttir: It means daughter of Karls.
34. Karlsson: (Scandinavian surname) meaning son of Karl.
35. Kristinsdóttir: It means daughter of Kristins.
36. Kristinsson: Signifies the son of Kristin.
37. Kristjánsdóttir: It is the surname of the daughter of Kristjáns.
38. Kristjánsson: This is surname of Kristjáns's son.
39. Magnúsdóttir: (Icelandic origin) signifying the daughter of Magnús.
40. Magnússon: (Icelandic origin) surname of the son of Magnús.
41. Ólafsson: It is an Icelandic surname, which means the son of Ólafs.
42. Ólafsdóttir: It is a surname of the daughter of Ólafs in the Icelandic language.
43. Óskarsdóttir: It means the daughter of Óskar.
44. Óskarsson: It means son of Óskar.
45. Pálsdóttir: (Icelandic origin) means daughter of Páll.
46. Pálsson: (Icelandic origin) means son of Páll.
47. Pétursdóttir: It means daughter of Peturs.
48. Pétursson: (Icelandic origin) is a patronymic surname meaning son of Pétur.
49. Þórðardóttir: It is the last name of the daughter of Þarðar.
50. Þorsteinsdóttir: It is the last name of Icelandic origin, which means the daughter of Þorstein.
51. Þorsteinsson: (Icelandic origin) means son of Þorstein.
52. Ragnarsdóttir: (Icelandic origin) meaning warrior of god.
53. Ragnarsson: (Scandinavian origin) is patronymic of given name Ragnar.
54. Sigurðardóttir: It is a surname of the patronymic naming system. It means the daughter of Sigurðar.
55. Sigurðsson: It is a Norwegian surname according to the patronymic naming system. It means the son of Sigurðs.
56. Sigurjónsdóttir: It means daughter of Sigurjóns.
57. Stefánsdóttir: (Icelandic Patronymic) means the daughter of Stefáns.
58. Stefánsson: It is an Icelandic surname meaning Stefáns' son.
59. Sveinsdóttir: (Icelandic origin) means the daughter of Sveins.
60. Sveinsson: (Icelandic patronymic) signifies the son of Sveinn.
Popular Icelandic Male Last Names
Below are some more popular surnames from Iceland. These surnames of males are derived from the first name of their parents, rather than being family names as used widely in the UK and US.
61. Agnarsson: It is the Icelandic surname of a male meaning son of Agnar.
62. Albertsson: (Swedish origin): This is an Icelandic male surname meaning son of Albert.
63. Ármannsson: It means son of Ármann.
64. Heimisson: This is an Icelandic surname meaning son of Heimir.
65. Hilmarson: This is an Icelandic last name having a meaning son of Hilmar.
66. Ingólfsson: This means son of Ingólfr.
67. Jóhannsson: This is an Icelandic surname signifying the son of Jóhann.
68. Leifsson: (Swedish origin) It means son of Leif.
69. Ölvirsson: (Icelandic origin) It means son of Ölvir.
70. Þórirsson: This surname has a meaning son of Þórir.
71. Róbertsson: (Icelandic origin) meaning son of Róbert.
72. Sigurdsson: (Swedish origin) meaning son of Sigurður.
73. Stefánsson: This is an Icelandic surname meaning son of Stefán.
74. Steinsson: It means son of Steinn.
75. Tómasson: This is an Icelandic surname signifying the son of Tómas.
76. Vilhjálmsson: This means son of Vilhjálmur.
Popular Female Surnames In Iceland
The female Icelandic surnames are derived by placing the suffix –dóttir at the end of the father's or mother's names. Here is the list of the most popular female surnames in Iceland.
77. Alexanderdóttir: It is a patronymic surname, which means the daughter of Alexander.
78. Annadóttir: This is a matronymic surname, which means daughter of Anna.
79. Arondóttir: It is an Icelandic surname meaning daughter of Aron.
80. Baltasardóttir: It is the surname of Icelandic origin, which means the daughter of Baltasar.
81. Gudmundurdóttir: This is the surname of daughter of Guðmundur.
82. Guðrúndóttir: It means daughter of Guðrún.
83. Haukurdóttir: This is an Icelandic surname, which means the daughter of Haukur.
84. Jóndóttir: It is an Icelandic origin last name, which means the daughter of Jón.
85. Mikaeldóttir: It means the daughter of Mikael.
86. Sigurðurdóttir: This surname indicates the daughter of Sigurður.
87. Tristandóttir: This is another popular surname in Iceland, which means the daughter of Tristan.
88. Westfjordsdóttir: It is also an Icelandic surname that signifies the daughter of Westfjords.
Ancient Icelandic Surnames
Whilst most Icelanders follow the patronymic or matronymic system to use as their surnames, some use surnames or family names of different origins. Some surnames were created in the past when the naming system in Iceland was more relaxed. Below are some Ancient Icelandic surnames.
89. Beck: This last name originated when a couple named Steinunn and Hans married and moved to Iceland from Denmark.
90. Blöndal: It is originated from the place name Blöndudalur located in Húnaþing.
91. Briem: This is originated by the distortion of place name called Brjánslækur located in Barðarstrandarsýsla.
92. Egilson: This surname came from Þorsteinn Egilson who is son of Sveinbjörn Egilson.
93. Kemp: The surname came from Ludvig Conrad Frederick Kemp, who moved to Iceland from Germany in 1800.
94. Ottesen: This is the family name of Lárus Ottesen, who is the great grandfather of Pétur Ottesen.
95. Rafnar: This came from the name of a town called Hrafnagil, located in Eyjafjörður.
96. Scheving: The surname came from Lauritz Hansson Scheving, who lived in Iceland in 1600.
97. Stephensen: This surname originated from Ólafur Stefánsson Stephensen and his son Magnus Stephensen.
98. Thorlacius: This surname originated when the name of Þórður was written as Theodorus Thorlacisus Hola Islandus in the university register in 1666.
99. Vídalín: The last name originated from the place name called Víðidalur, located in Vestur-Húnavatnssýsla.
100. Zoëga: This has Italian origin. The Zoëga ancestors initially came to work in Iceland from 1747 to 1841.
Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for Icelanders' last names then take a look at these surnames that make great first names, or for something different take a look at these names that mean snow and ice.
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