Icelandic oddities: 85 words for snow

Icelandic oddities: 85 words for snow

13.09.2020 | Lella Erludóttir

Iceland is often referred to as 'The Land of Fire and Ice' so it should come as no surprise that the people of this fine country have a great variety of words for snow. Each word refers to a certain type of snow, of which there are very many.

Maybe we have been on or own for too long here in the middle of nowhere dealing with harsh winters and snow for most of the year. Maybe people had no better recreation than to invent more and more words for snow.

The Icelandic language is considered to be a very tough one to master with all its grammar and stuff, and its rich vocabulary definitely does not make it easier to learn. Mastering a few of the below words for snow and using them when talking to locals will earn you great respect!

Icelandic cabin in winter


Are you planning to visit Iceland in winter to enjoy the Northern Lights, snow-covered mountains, waterfalls in icy armour and the short, dark days? Then we recommend you read our article about how to drive safely in the Icelandic winter and browse through our selection of self-drive tours and activities.

Below you will find an impressive list of 85 Icelandic words for snow. Please keep in mind that the list is far from complete, it's just a sample of snowy Icelandic words. Which one is your favourite?

  1. Áfreði

  2. Áfreri

  3. Bleytuslag

  4. Blotahríð

  5. Blotasnjór

  6. Broti

  7. Bylur

  8. Drift

  9. Drífa

  10. Él

  11. Éljagangur

  12. Fannburður

  13. Fannkoma

  14. Fannkyngi

  15. Fannspýja

  16. Fjúk

  17. Fukt

  18. Fýlingur

  19. Fönn

  20. Gaddur

  21. Geyfa

  22. Harðfenni

  23. Hjaldur

  24. Hjarn

  25. Hjálm

  26. Hraglandi

  27. Hreyta

  28. Hreytingur

  29. Hríð

  30. Hríðargeyfa

  31. Hríðarkóf

  32. Hríðaveður

  33. Hundslappadrífa

  34. Kafald

  35. Kafaldsbylur

  36. Kafaldshjastur

  37. Kafaldshríð

  38. Kafafjúk

  39. Kafsnjór

  40. Kastahríð

  41. Kerlingahláka

  42. Klessingur

  43. Kóf

  44. Kófbylur

  45. Kófviðri

  46. Krapi

  47. Kyngi

  48. Lausamjöll

  49. Lenjuhríð

  50. Logndrífa

  51. Maldringur

  52. Maldur

  53. Mjallroka

  54. Mjöll

  55. Moksturshríð

  56. Moksturskafald

  57. Moldél

  58. Mugga

  59. Mulla

  60. Mylgringur

  61. Nýsnævi

  62. Ofanburður

  63. Ofanbylur

  64. Ofanfjúk

  65. Ofanhríð

  66. Ofankafald

  67. Ofankoma

  68. Ofanmjöll

  69. Pos

  70. Skafald

  71. Skari

  72. Skafrenningur

  73. Skæðadrífa

  74. Slabb

  75. Snjógangur

  76. Snjóhraglandi

  77. Snjóhreytingur

  78. Snjóhríð

  79. Snjókoma

  80. Snjómugga

  81. Snjór

  82. Snjóæsingur

  83. Snær

  84. Svælingsbylur

  85. Úrkoma

About the author

I am a born and bred Icelander and the matriarch of an above-average sized family. I have a true passion for travel and love to discover new destinations and cultures. I want to introduce you to the real Iceland, the beauty, the history, and the things that will make you fall deeply in love with my homeland.

Lella Erludóttir

Lella Erludóttir

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