Publication of Greenlandic names

New publication from Oqaasileriffik · Greenland Language Secretariat

Greenlandic personal names · their meaning and background

ISBN 978-87-990324-3-3
360 pages, format: hardcover binding with pictures ·  Price: 280 DKK (CAN$ 55 – US$ 40 – € 40)

In recent years Oqaasileriffik has received an increase in inquiries focusing on the origin and meaning of Greenlandic personal names. Consequently, selected responses have been edited and translated, and is now available in encyclopedic form, comprising 400 articles with individual personal names. This book also contains a revised list of registered Greenlandic forenames, surnames and foreign names adapted into Greenlandic pronunciation. 

The book is in Greenlandic, Danish and English. The book is published December 2nd 2015.

Enquire at:

Tlf.+299 36 23 20 · e-mail:

November 2015

About place names

Browse names

All names

From Avanersuaq (Thule)
East Greenlandic
South Greenlandic
West Greenlandic

Boy names

Girl names

Unisex names

From Avanersuaq
From Avanersuaq
From Avanersuaq ♂ ♀
East Greenlandic
East Greenlandic
East Greenlandic ♂ ♀
South Greenlandic
South Greenlandic
South Greenlandic ♂ ♀
West Greenlandic
West Greenlandic
West Greenlandic ♂ ♀

Last names

From Avanersuaq
East Greenlandic
South Greenlandic
West Greenlandic

Search Names

Extra Criteria

Personal Names

About the work of Greenlandic personal names

Personal names became Language Councils responsibility in august 2016.

‘Guidelines for Naming’ dated November 21st 2006 and ‘Greenlandic personal names’ published in 2015, form the basis of Councils work.

Councils work is based on the existing rules of the Danish Name Law.

‘Greenlandic personal names’ consists of Greenlandic and original European names in Greenlandic form, and can be used in naming and in baptsims.

NOTE: Regarding questions relating to last names, these questions should be forwarded to the High Commissioner of Greenland or the Danish Family Ministry.

Guidelines in naming

  • All names registered in the list can be used in Greenland.
  • Existing rules of orthography should be used. Endings traditionally used on names are approved (-nnguaq etc. for example). Greenlandized personal names of foreign origin can be used.
  • Personal names not listed in the register can only be assigned as names following prior consent. A written application must be submitted 21 days prior to naming to the Language Council.
  • The following can not be expected to be approved:
    • names, which in their character are not personal names,
    • nicknames, which are used as endings to approved names,
    • names, which can be feared to be a burden to the bearer.
  • In regards to names of non-Greenlandic origin, we refer to the principles used in the Danish Name Law. In such cases enquiries should be forwarded to the Family Ministry in Denmark.
  • It is recommended that, according to present practice, a child should not be named with more than five names (hyphenated names are to be considered as two).
  • In the list, a number of names are marked with *; these can be used as both girls or boys names.


  • Mariia Simonsen (Chair)
  • Mette Larsen Lyberth (Vice Chair)
  • Juaaka Lyberth
  • Jens Danielsen
  • Niels-Henrik Lynge

Place Names Committee


The Greenland Place Names Committee’s objectives are to collect, register and authorize place names in Greenland, excluding local road and place names.

Furthermore, the Committee is entitled to give guidance to Greenlandic authorities and the public in questions related to place names in Greenland.

The Committee shall work together with institutions and persons who publish authorized lists over, or with those who gives recommendations about Greenlandic place names.

Criteria for authorization of place names

  • Original Greenlandic place names shall be authorized.
  • In cases where a name has been replaced with another over the course of a generation, and this name have come into common usage, the name is authorized.
  • Proposals for place names, which are not in the Greenlandic language can be authorized only, if they are well-founded.
  • Living persons can only be named if extraordinary reasons call for such a naming.
  • Institutions can be named only if extraordinary reasons call for such a naming.
  • Place names in regular use within municipal boundaries, can give rise to authorization.

Proposals for place names can not be authorized for following reasons

  • If they can be confused with other place names
  • If the excact position has not been indicated
  • If it has no relevance to Greenland. Authorization however, can be given if the remaining demands have been followed.

By naming in regards to dialectal variations, the principles laid down by the Language Committee
should be followed. The Municipal Authorites have jurisdiction over naming technical installations within city limits.


  • Kirstine Kreutzmann (Chairman)
  • Karl-Elias Olsen (Vice Chairman)
  • Mariane Petersen
  • Niels-Henrik Lynge
  • Jens Danielsen

The Committee has five members, appointed for a four year term. Three of which are appointed by the Cabinet and two members are appointed by the Language Committee, among its members.


Extra Criteria


Oqaasileriffik/The Language Secretariat of Greenland was established and staffed with one person in 1998 after being accepted by the Greenland Parliament. A year after the staff was increased with 2 more employees. And in 2003/04 staffing was increased by employing another 3 students.
Today Oqaasileriffik/The Language Secretariat of Greenland has 6 employees and has also few student assistants from Ilisimatusarfiks/The University of Greenland’s department of linguistics.
Oqaasileriffik has 4 main research areas: Greenland Language Council’s duties as well as the responsibilities related to Greenlandic personal names, Geographical Place Names Authority duties and the language technology.

Place name items

Authorized by the Grl. Place Names Committee (08.04.15)

and Grl. Language Committee (12.12.2014)

(only on danish and greenlandic)

Download (pdf)

Abbreviation Danish term
Greenlandic term
AFSAT Afsats Salliarnaq
AMMF Loddefangstplads (ammassaat) Ammassivik
ANKER Ankerplads, naturlig havn Umiatsialivilik
BANIS Isfjelde på banke Ilulissat ikkarleqqasut
BANK Banke Ikkanneq
BANSA Sandbanke, tørt ved lavvande Tinuttagaq
BASE Base Sakkutooqarfik
BASSN Bassin Imartuneq
BRAND Brandplet Ikumanikoq
BRATN Bratning Innarissoq
BREDN Bredning Nerutuneq
BRINK Brink Kuup/tatsip sinaa
BRÆ Bræ, gletcher Sermip ningimarna
BRÆDA Brædal Sermip sisuffia
BRÆDØ Dødbræ Sermeq uninngasoq
BRÆKA Brækant Sermip killinga
BRÆKU Brækuppel Sermip qaarajunnera
BRÆLE Bræleje Sermip killiffia
Isbræ Iigartartoq
BSALT Basalt, basaltsøjle Basalt
BUGEL Bugt med elv Iterlak kuulik
BUGT Bugt Iterlak
BUGTB Bund af bugt Iterlaap qinngua
BUGTH Bugt med havn Iterlak umiatsialivilik
BUGTR Bugt med ruin Iterlak illukulik
Buskareal Orpigaqarfik
BY By Illoqarfik
BYDEL Bydel Illoqarfiup ilaa
BYGD Bygd Nunaqarfik
BYGDA Bygd anden (Fåreholdersted o. l.) Nunaqarfik alla (savaateqarfik assingusorluunniit)
BÆRPL Bærplukningsted Nuniaffik
DAL Dal Qooroq
DALB Dalbund Qooqqup qinngua
DALBU Dal med bugt Qooroq iterlalik
DALEL Dal og elv Qooroq kuullu
DALMU Dalmunding Qooqqup paava
DALSK Skyggedal Qooqqup alanngua
DALST Dalstrøg Qooqqersimaneq
DALSÆ Dalsænkning Qooqqup naqqa
DAM Dam Tasiliaq/tasinngortitaq
DELTA Delta Kuup nunanngortitaa
DEPOT Depot, depotsted Peqqumaasivik
DIAB Diabas Diabas
DVULK Dyndvulkan Qappiortoq
ELV Elv Kuuk
ELVE Elve Kuuit
ELVLE Elvleje Kooqarfik
ELVMU Elvmunding Kuup akua
ELVSL Flodslette, tidvis oversvømmet Narsaamaneq kuup qarsuttagaa slette
ELVSØ Søagtig udvidelse af elv Tasinngortaq
ELVUD Elvudspring Kuup aariaa
ENG Eng Narsaviaq
FAHUS Fangsthus Illu piniariartarfik
FAHYT Fangsthytte Illuaraq piniariartarfik
FAP Fangstplads Piniariartarfik
FIRN Firn Aputip manngertinnera
FISK Fiskested Aalisartarfik
FJEA Fjeldareal Qaqqartooq
FJEFD Fjeldfod Qaqqap naqqa
FJEGP Fjeldgruppe Qaqqat
FJEGR Fjeldgryde Qalorsaq
FJEKN Fjeldknold, knovs Qaqqajunnaq
FJELD Fjeld Qaqqaq
FJEPL Fjeldplateau Qaqqap maninnersaa
FJERY Fjeldryg Quassuk
FJESI Del af fjeld Qaqqap ilaa
FJESK Fjeldskred Sisuat
FJESP Fjeldspids Inngik
FJESÅ Fjeldskråning Sivinganeq
FJETO Fjeldtop Qaqqap nuua
FJEUD Fjeldudløber Qaqqap avaleqqua
FJEVÆ Fjeldvæg Innaq
FJOAR Fjordarm Kangerluup avalequtaa
FJOB Fjordbund Kangerluup qinngua
FJOIS Isfjord Kangerluk ilulialik
FJORD Fjord Kangerluk
FLYPL Flyveplads Mittarfik
FORBJ Forbjerg, kap Kangeq
FOREG Grafitforekomst Aqerluusassaqarfik
FOREK Kulforekomst Aamarsuaqarfik
FOREV Vegstensforekomst, fedtstenforekomst Ukkusissaqarfik
Forrådsgrav, forrådshytte Qimatuliviit
Fos Qorlortoq
FUGFJ Fuglefjeld Timmissat ineqarfiat
FÆLDE Fælde Pullatit
GARNF Garnfangsted Qassuserfik
GLBO Gammel boplads, gammelt udsted Nunaqarfitoqaq
GRAV Grav Iliveq
GRUSK Gruskegler Igannaq
GRUSR Grusrovser, grusskred Ujaraaqqat sisoornerit
HAJFI Hajfiskeplads Eqalussuarniarfik
HALVØ Halvø Qeqertaasaq
HAVN Havn, Skibshavn Umiarsualivik/talittarfik
HELAN Helikopterlandingsplads Qulimiguulinnut mittarfik
HI Bjørnehi Apisseq
HUL Hul Putu
HULE Hule Qaarusuk
HULN Hulning Qarajaq
Rævehuler Sisit
HUS Hus Illu (piniarfiit + unnuisarfiit)
HVÆVL Hvælvning Qilaanngusaq
HYTTE Hytte Illuaraq
HØJ Høj Qattuneq
HØJDR Højdedrag Qattuneq
HØJLA Højland Qatsissoq
HØJSA Sandhøje Qattuneq sioraasoq
INDL Indløb Pulammagiaq
INDSK Indskæring Kangerliumaneq
ISA Isareal Sermitaq
Indlandsis Sermersuaq
Lamineret is Seersinneq
ISKAP Iskappe Sermeq
ISSLE Isslette Sermeq maninnersaq
ISSØ Issø Sermip tasertaa
ISTU Istunge Sermip iigartartup anillanganera
KANAL Kanal Ikerasaliaq
KILDE Kilde Puilasoq
KILDV Varme kilde Puilasoq kissartoq
KLINT Klint Ippissuaq
KLIPP Klippe Qaarsoq
Klippe udhæng Qangattaq
KLØFT Kløft, revne, klipperevne Qunneq, Qunneraq, Qaqqap qoorua
KNOLD Knold, Knovs Niaqornaq/tinupattak/tinumaneq
KOMM Kommune Kommune
Kommunegrænse Kommunit killeqarfiat
KORAL Koralforsteninger Ujaranngornerit
KORS Kors Sanningasoq
KRAFT Kraftværk Nukissiorfik
KYST Kyst Sineriak
KYSTR Kyst med ruiner Sineriak illukulik
KÆR Kær Taseeraq
LAKSF Laksefangsted Eqalunniarfik
Landbrugsareal Narsaatit
LANDA Landareal Nunaminertaq
Landegrænse Naalagaaffiup killeqarfia
Landevej Nunaannaap aqquserna
LANDI Landingsted, færgested Mittarfik, talittarfik
LANDS Landsdel Nunap immikkoortua
Landsdelsgrænse Nunap immikkoortuata killeqarfia
LAVN Lavning Naqerloq
Læhytte Illuaraq oqqiffik
LØB Løb Aqqut
MINE Mine Aatsitassarsiorfik
MINEB Blymine Aqerlussarsiorfik
MINEK Kulmine Aamarsuarsiorfik
MINEM Marmorbrud Marmorimik piiaaffik
MINEÅ Åben mine, brud Aatsitassarsiorfik ammasoq
MORÆN Moræne Tarsarneq
MOSE Mose, kær Masarsuk
MUND Munding Kangerluup paava/kuup akua
NEDBA Nedlagt amerikansk mine Amerikamiut saffiugassanik piiaaffikuat
NEDBO Nedlagt udsted, nedlagt bygd Nunaqarfiusimasoq
NEDBY Nedlagt by Illoqarfiusimasoq
NEDKØ Nedkørsel Aqqartarfik
NOR Nor Kangerliumaneq paakitsoq
NÆS Næs Nuuk
NÆSBR Næs med bratning Nuuk qilluarissoq
NÆSFA Næs med fangsthytte Nuuk [piniariarfik] illuaralik
NÆSHU Næs med hule Nuuk qaarusulik
NÆSR Næs med ruin Nuuk illukulik
NÆSTP Næs med teltplads Nuuk tuperfilik
NÆSVI Næs med vig Nuuk kangerliumanilik
NÆSØ Næs og ø Nuuk qeqertalik
ODDE Odde Nuggersimaneq
OPHAL Ophaling, bedding Amutsivik
OPK Opkørsel Qaqiffik
OPSTI Opstigningssted Majoriaq
OVERB Overbæringssted Maqiffik
OVERG Overgangssted Maqqaq
PAS Pas Itinneq/itilleq
Plantage Naatitsivik
PLATU Plateau Natsinnaq
POHYT Posthytte Paartut/allakkisartut illuaraat
PYNT Pynt Nuunnguaq
Ramsar (vådeland) Timmissat iffiat
RASTE Rasteplads Ikorsimmavik
RED Red Kisarfiusinnaasoq
RENOM Rensdyrområde Tuttoqarfik
ROVS Rovs, skred Nunap sisunera
RUIN Ruin Illukoq
RUINE Eskimoisk ruin Inuit illukuat
RUINK Kirkeruin Oqaluffikoq
RUINN Nordboruin Qallunaatsiaat illukuat
RUNDI Runding Qaarajunneq
RUTE Rute aqqut
RÆHU Rævehuler Sisit
SEJLL Sejlløb Imaatigut aqqut
SKISP Skisportssted Sisorariartarfik
SKOVA Skovareal Orpeqarfik
SKRÆNT Skrænt Ippik
SKRÆL Lerskrænt Kuimaneq marraasoq
SKRÅN Skråning Sivinganeq
SKYDE Skydeskjul Qammavik
SKÆR Skær Ikkarluk (ikkarluit)
SLET Slette Narsaq
SLETL lerslette Narsaamaneq marraasoq
SLETR Slette med ruiner Narsaq illukulik
SLUGT Slugt Qunneq
SLÆOP Slædeopkørsel Qimussimik majuariaq
SLÆVE Slædevej Qimussit aqqutaat
SNEFA Snefane Apusineq
SNEKL Sneklat Aputitaq
SNEKU Snekuppel Apussarinneq
SNÆVR Snævring, indsnævring Qoornoq
SOMPL Sommerplads Aasivik
STAMN Tidligere norsk vejrstation Norgimiut silasiorfikuat
STAT Station Station
STATF Forsøgstation Misileraavik
STATM Vejrstation, meteorologisk station Silasiorfik
STATN Nedlagt station Silasiorfikoq
STATR Radiostation Radioqarfik
STATV Videnskabelig station Ilisimatuutut sullivik
STEN Sten Ujarak/ujaqqat
STENO Obstablede sten Ujaqqat qaleriissaakkat
STENR Stenrovser, stenskred Sisuat
STRIB Stribe i fjeldet Nunngarut
Nedfaldne sten Qerrut
STRND Strand Sissaq
STRÆD Stræde Ikerasak
STRØM Strømsted Sarfaq
SUND Sund Ikerasak
SÆNKN Sænkning Naqinneq
SØAFV Afvandingssø, smeltavandssø Sermip taseqqernera
SØBRA Brakvandssø Taseq tarajorniartoq
SØER Søer Tatsit
SØSAL Saltsø Taseq tarajornitsoq
SØUDL Udløber af sø Tatsip avaleqqua
SØÅR Årstidssø Taseq paqqertartoq
Udtømningssø Taseq qaartartoq
TANGE Tange, tunge Ipiutaq
TEGN Tegning af klippen Qaarsup allai
TELTP Teltplads Tupeqarfik
TELTR Teltringe Tupeqarfikoq
TERRA Terrasser Tininnerusat/illernat
TINDE Tinde Inngik
TOP Top Nooq
Tunnel Sulluliaq
TVL Tørt ved lavvande Tinuguttartoq
VANDA Vandareal, hav Imartaq
VANDF Vandfald Qorlortoq
VANDS Vandskel Kuuit aariaat
VARDE Varde Inussuk
Vardesystemer Naleqqat
VIG Vig Eqik
VRAG Vrag Umiiarneq
Ø Ø Qeqertaq
ØDEL Del af ø Qeqertap ilaa
ØER Øer Qeqertat
ØGR Øgruppe Qeqertat eqimattat
ØR Ø med ruin Qeqertaq illukulik


Approved Greenlandic Time Indications

Approved by Oqaasiliortut / the Greenland Language Committee (26.05.10). Note that the time indications ataaseq, arfineq and aqqaneq must stand as the singular form, while the rest of the forms must be as plural.

This means that fx -mut’ to be used in the derivation of terminalis of these forms, while the rest of the forms need terminalis plural -nut’.

For example aqqanermut (at am./pm. 11) and pingasunut (at am./pm. 3). Am./pm. 05.30 states arfernup qeqqa and am./pm. 02.30 states pingasut qeqqa (not pingasup qeqqa *).

Oqaasiliortut, May 26th 2010

Authorized Greenlandic city- and settlementnames

Overview of the Greenlandic city- and settlement names and their abbreviations approved by the Greenland Place Names Committee.

Approved terminology on Greenlandic Grammar

Greenlandic terms about greenlandic grammar, approved by Oqaasiliortut/the Greenland Language Committee.

Approved IT terminology

IT-terms approved by the Greenland Language Committee.

Terminology on Journalism

The terminologylist on Journalism approved by Greenlandic Language Committee.

Terminology on Environmental Technology

I en årrække har tekster på miljøområdet i medierne og i skrivelser fra myndighederne været af meget svingende sproglig kvalitet. Mange grønlandske termer på miljøområdet blev “ny-opfundet” fra oversættelse til oversættelse. Ofte var fagudtryk oversat med en lang, uhåndterlig beskrivelse på grønlandsk og kunne endda være oversat på flere forskellige måder indenfor samme tekst.

Samtidig var der i forbindelse med den voksende miljødebat og fokus på affaldsområdet i Grønland ikke kun behov for præcise definitioner, men også information om, hvad de enkelte ord betyder, så man hurtigt og nemt kan finde ud af, hvad er fx dioxin? Hvorfor betragtes det som miljøfarligt og i hvilken grad det er sundhedsskadeligt? Dette er vigtigt når der skal tages stilling til beslutningerne om omkostningstunge tiltag på affalds- og spildevandsområdet.

Derfor tog KANUKOKAs projekt Miljø i kommunerne i 2005 kontakt til Oqaasileriffik/Sprogsekretariatet for at indlede et samarbejde om at skabe er opslagsværk, hvor oversættere, forvaltere og politikere kan slå et fagteknisk udtryk fra miljøområdet op og finde en dækkende og præcis definition af begrebet på både dansk og grønlandsk.

For at sikre den bedst mulig kvalitet i sproglig henseende er projektet gennemført i samarbejde med Sprogsekretariatet. Resultatet foreligger nu i form af en standardiseret terminologiliste over miljøtekniske, primært affaldstekniske, begreber med 205 termer med definitioner og godkendt af Sprognævnet.

© Oqaasileriffik 2007
Lisathe Møller Kruse, Oqaasileriffik
& Kitte Vinter-Jensen, KANUKOKA
Lay-out: Tegnestuen Tita
Tryk: Brix & Company
ISBN: 978 -87-990324-2-6

Terminology on Psychological Working Environment

In the ongoing endeavor of documenting the language, Oqaasileriffik – Greenland Language Secretariat, together with the Greenlandic Working Environment Service and the Working Environment Committee, as well as users in this field, publishes a standardized terminology list on working environment concepts.

The terminology list comprise of 500 terms and definitions in 41 pages. The list is in Greenlandic and Danish and vice versa. Older and new terms, which have been prepared by users and specialists in unison, is also to be found in the list.

The terminology list will assist in creating standardized terminology in Greenlandic in areas of working environment and can be used by psychologists, safety stewards, fire fighters, instructors in safety courses, teachers at trade schools, and anyone having a relation to psychological working environment.

© Oqaasileriffik 2006
Editors: Bolatta Vahl & Lisathe Møller Kruse
Lay-out: Tegnestuen Tita
Printing: Athene Grafisk
ISBN: 87-990324-1-4