Icelandic
Place-Names
 
 
 
Most Icelandic place-names, both of towns, villages, and natural features in the landscape, mean something. This can help visitors to Iceland identify and understand them. For instance, word containing the compounds hver, laug, and reyk(ja) indicate the proximity of hot springs. It should be noted that words or compounds in declension sometimes appear rather different from the nominative. The last part of a place name is usually the name of the geographical feature, e.g. ingvellir (vellir is the plural of vllur = plain), jrs ( = river), Akrafjall (fjall = mountain), Selfoss (foss = falls).
 
 

 

alda = hilly ridge  (plural: ldur) 
= river 
s = small hill, ridge 
 
br = farm, township
bakki = river bank 
bjarg = cliff, rock 
borg = city, crag 
botn = bottom, head of valley or fjord 
 brekka = slope 
br = bridge 
bunga = rounded peak 
dalur = valley
djp = long inlet, deep 
drag = watercourse (plural: drg) 
drangur = isolated column of rock 
dyngja = dome 
eii = isthmus
ey = island (plural: eyjar) 
 eyri = sandspit, delta 
fell = mountain, hill
fjall = mountain (plural: fjll) 
fjrur = fjord, broad inlet, valley (plural: firir) 
fljt = large river
foss = waterfall
ggur = crater
gil = gorge, ravine
gj = chasm, fissure 
grunn = shoal, shallow
hls = ridge, isthmus 
hamar = crag 
heii = heath, moor 
hl = mountain side 
hnjkur/hnkur = peak 
hfi = promontory
hfn = harbour 
hll = rounded hill (plural: hlar) 
hlmur = islet 
holt = stony hill 
hraun = lava field, lava 
hryggur = ridge 
hver = hot spring 
hvoll = hill 
jkull = glacier
jkuls = glacial river 
kirkja = church
klettur = rock, cliff 
kot = small farm
 kvsl = river, branch of river 
lkur = brook 
laug = warm spring, bath
ln = lagoon 
melur = gravel, barren plain 
mli = headland, spur 
mynni = mouth 
mri = swamp 
nes = headland, spur 
npur = spur, peak
oddi = point, tounge of land 
rfi = desert 
s = estuary 
reykur = smoke steam
rif = reef 
sandur = sand(s)
skagi = peninsula 
skar = mountain pass 
sker = skerry
skgur = wood, shrubland 
 sltta = plain
staur = place, parsonage (plural: stair) 
stapi = bluff, crag 
slur = (mountain) peaks 
tangi = narrow peninsula 
tindur = summit 
tjrn = small lake, pond 
tunga = tounge (of land) 
va = ford (plural: v)
vara = cairn (plural: vrur) 
vatn = lake, water (plural: vtn) 
vegur = road, track 
ver = grassy spot 
vk = inlet, small bay 
vogur = inlet, creek 
 vllur = plain (plural: vellir)  
 
 
 
 
 

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