Even more Greenlandic names


This is the last post about Greenland, I promise. :)

The following names were too rare to make the “5+” list that I drew from to create Tuesday’s post, but they all have such fascinating definitions that I couldn’t leave them out of this unintentional series of Greenlandic names.

  • Aloruttaq (m) means “soleless one.” Mythology name. The character was an orphan who had no boots. He later acquired boots and was able to become a hunter.
  • Avaavak (m) means “one who has a tendency to fall and hit the back of the head.” One of several Greenlandic names based on the word avaaq, “the back of the head.”
  • Igaq (f) means “cooking utensil.”
  • Iggiaq (m) means “throat.”
  • Kaataq (m/f) means “hammer.”
  • Kamik (m/f) means “boot” — specifically, “soft boot made of reindeer or sealskin.”
  • Kamillannguaq (m) means “little bootless one.” Mythology name similar to Aloruttaq, above.
  • Kaneq (f) means “rime,” “frost crystals.”
  • Kapiseq (m) means “rain coat made of intestines.”
  • Kapitak (m) means “kayak jacket of sealskin.”
  • Kassoq (m/f) means “floating piece of transparent ice.”
  • Katsuana (m) is based on the word katsuaq, meaning “biceps.”
  • Kaugunnaq (m) means “one who had been buried (or caved) in between rocks.” Mythology name:

According to a legend, a man was hunting auks on a mountain and was buried between rocks in a landslide. Although he survived inside a cavity, he subsequently died of starvation. A powerful shaman came by and liberated the body and brought it to the shore, where he resuscitated him by conferring a new name by saying: “Kaugunnaq iterit!” (O Thou Who Hast Been Caved in by the Rocks, revive!”) and the man began to breathe again, and came back to be among the living.

  • Kujaaq (m) means “keel (of a kayak).”
  • Magserannguaq (m/f) is based on the word massippoq, meaning “rising half up from horizontal position.”

The Greenlandic author Karl Siegstad explains that the name means ‘Flower which is raised up by the heat of the sun, whilst small pieces of ice are still above it.’

  • Maqqioq (m) means “the one uttering/singing healing formulas.”
  • Masik (m/f) means “gill.” It also refers to the curved crossbeam on the deck of a kayak, because of the similarity in shape.
  • Milliaq (m) means either “umbilical cord” or “a piece of skin or cloth under food (as a mat).”
  • Nakatsileq (f) refers to talent as a marksman or a weapon-thrower, from the root word nakataq, meaning “object set up for throwing stones at” or “gun sight.”
  • Nasaq (m) means “hat.”
  • Oqaq (m) means “tongue.”
  • Paajuk (m) means “oarsman,” “paddler.”
  • Pualut (m) means “mittens.”
  • Puiaq (m/f) means “crop” (part of a bird’s digestive system).
  • Qajuuttaq (m) means “ladle,” “spoon.”
  • Qinoq (f) means “brash ice” or “ice sludge.”
  • Qulitsaq (m) refers to “a man’s overcoat of caribou skin with the hairs inward.”
  • Qutuk (m/f) means “collarbone.”
  • Serminnguaq (f) is based on the word sermeq, meaning “glacier.”
  • Sikunnguaq (m) is based on the word siku, meaning “sea ice.”
  • Teqqiaq (m) means “brim on a cap,” “eye-shade tied around head,” “tent roof.”
  • Tuilik (m) literally means “the one with shoulders,” in reference to a water-proof sealskin jacket used in kayaking.
  • Tukkujaq (f) means “sleepover,” from the proto-Eskimo root word *tukku, meaning “be rich,” “host,” “stay at someone’s house.”
  • Tulimaaq (m) means “rib.”
  • Upaluk (f) means “surprise” (but also “unprepared”). It may have been used for unexpected children.

Which of those definitions do you like best?

Sources: Oqaasileriffik, Nordic Names

Image: Adapted from View from Nuuk Fiord by Nanopixi under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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