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sarah asked in TravelOther - Destinations · 1 decade ago

A question about Iceland and Greenland?

I once heard a story that this is because the settlers of Iceland wanted the land to themselves, so they named is Iceland so outsiders would think it was icy and then go to Greenland, thinking it was green. Is this true, or is it just an Urban Legend?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Iceland was first discovered by Naddoddur who was Norwegian. He settled in the Faroe Islands. Then after that Gardar came whose last name is unknown but he was swedish. He named the country Gardar's Hólmi or Gardar's Island in English. Hrafna Flóki was actually the one who named the country by the name it has now. Flóki was a Viking that carried three ravens which in Icelandic is hrafn. He let them all go at different times in search of a land while sailing, and the third one and the last one he used never returned. He then found the country, and stayed there over a winter. Right before he left back to Norway he saw sea ice, and then decided to name the country Iceland. Then after him came Ingolfur Arnason who was a Norwegian viking who lived their till the end of his life and that is why he is the logo of the Icelandic nation instead of the three ones before him. Some people intend to think that Iceland is made up of ice, and greenland's green although it is vice versa. Leif Ericson, the icelandic viking who discovered America 500 years before Christopher Columbus, had a father named Eric the Red, because he had a large red beard, and his father actually discovered Greenland, and wanted to be sort of the king of the country. He went to Iceland and Norway to bring people there advertising it under the name of Greenland which ended up being just a commercial trick.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Iceland was named that because when they came there was just ice so the adventurer named it iceland though iceland has many names before he named it iceland when they noticed greenland they went back and got people to go with but the person how found greenland had been banished so he tried to trick as many with him and not late after that he sailed and found the US

  • 1 decade ago


    The first Scandinavian who deliberately sailed to the island now known as Iceland was Flóki Vilgerðarson, also known as Hrafna-Flóki (Raven-Flóki). Flóki settled for one winter at Barðaströnd. It was a cold winter, and when he spotted some drift ice in the fjords he gave the island its current name, Ísland (Iceland).


    The name Greenland comes from Scandinavian settlers. In the Icelandic sagas, it is said that Norwegian-born Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland for murder. He, along with his extended family and thralls, set out in ships to find the land that was rumoured to be to the northwest. After settling there, he named the land Grænland ("Greenland"). Greenland was also called Gruntland ("Ground-land") and Engronelant (or Engroneland) on early maps. Whether green is an erroneous transcription of grunt ("ground"), which refers to shallow bays, or vice versa, is not known. The southern portion of Greenland (not covered by glacier) is indeed very green in the summer and was likely to have been even greener in Erik's time because of the Medieval Warm Period.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I've always heard that, "Iceland" is an Anglicization of what was actually a Scandinavian word for "island". No reference to ice was ever intended. Greenland was so-named to encourage immigration.

    Both were much nicer places when originally settled by Europeans, because the Earth was in a warming period.

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Iceland lies closer to Scandinavia so while the Vikings, greater particularly Erik the crimson, the place exploring West in the direction of the Americas they wanted to attraction to human beings as a strategies westward as achievable. as a result they named Greenland greenland to make it greater captivating. merchandising in 982 A.D.

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