So maybe Iceland isn’t the first place you think of when you hear the word summer. But the island nation and the season upon us are the inspiration for today’s appealing choice.

Thanks to Sebastiane for suggesting a perfectly seasonal Name of the Day: Sumarlina.

To me, Iceland = glaciers and Björk, not sunshine and splash pools. With good reason, too – it’s unusual for the thermometer to rise much above sixty, even at summer’s height. (Five years ago, a new record high was set – 76.6°F on 8/11/04 in Reykjavik. If you go, pack sweaters.)

And yet, Iceland has seasons, just like most places on Earth. If Summer is too obvious a choice for your August-born daughter, and Vasarė too far out, Sumarlina might split the difference. She’s clearly feminine, and thanks to Carolina and Christina, nicely wearable even if your heritage isn’t even a tiny bit Norse. She’s also more elegant than sometimes-seen elaborations like Summerlea.

Best of all? Sumarlina is officially a first – not only has she never ranked in the US Top 1000, I can’t find a single one in the US Census records. That’s rare.

Her pronunciation – SUH mar LEE nah – is straightforward, though you might struggle with spellings like Summerlina. (After all, Summer remained a Top 200 choice in 2008, and has been consistently in use since the 1970s.)

The official language of Iceland is Icelandic. Like other Scandinavian tongues (though not quirky Finnish), Icelandic traces its roots to Old Norse. But thanks to being more isolated than relatively accessible Norway or Denmark (Iceland is an island, after all), the language is closer to its original roots. They still use a rune – Þ – thorn in their alphabet.

How cool is that?

Trace far enough back and Icelandic and English do share common ancestors. In this case, it is the Old High German sumar – summer – that is easy to pick out. (That’s not the only one. Apple is epli. House is hus. For more fun with Icelandic, check out this online dictionary.)

Sumarlina is not in Iceland’s top 100. Their Top 100 makes for an intriguing list, ranging from the accessible Anna at #2 and Elín at #11 to the only-at-home-in-Reykjavik Ingibjörg. (As well as a few names employing the Þ.)

A handful of Sumarlinas appear online, listed on Facebook and LinkedIn and the like, but for the most part, name your daughter Sumarlina and she’ll be one of one, especially in the US.

It’s a pretty name, and if you’re searching for a true rarity? This might just be the one you’ve been after.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I love this name. I don’t know if I’d ever actually getting around to using it. My roots are closer to Vasares than they are to Sumarlinas. But I think it is just plain gorgeous. Would make a cool middle name for a summer baby.

    BTW, where did you find the top 100 for Iceland. I’ve only been able to find the top 10.

  2. Congratulations, JNE, on your little boy! That’s so exciting!

    As for Sumarlina, I can’t say I’m much of a fan. It may be because of where I grew up, but when I see the name I want to pronounce it “SOO-mar-LEE-nuh”, and getting my tongue around the thing just makes it seem overly complicated and frilly.

  3. This one feels more accessible than Vasare. It’s a little on the frilly side for my personal tastes, but it is pretty and I could definitely see this one as usable (why not?). Too bad it doesn’t have the thorn rune, though (that would be super-cool, if not completely confusing here in the states!) All in all I like it… I hope someone uses it – just for the fact that it would be truly unique gives it extra cache!

    On a separate note – I will not be choosing from my beloved list of girls names – we shall be venturing into the uncharted (for us) ‘boys names’ realm for this next one!

  4. For some reason, when I say the name out loud, all I can think of Thumbelina. It is a pretty sounding and looking name though!