The ice fjord has been used by thousands of people throughout the ages. It is therefore not surprising that the fjord has been named differently. What the Saqqaq or Dorset people have called this resource-rich fjord is now forgotten - but from the early people of the Thule culture who arrived in Greenland around 1200 CE until today, we must assume that the fjord has been one of the few places in Greenland which have had permanent winter residence. The Thule culture's use of the fjord forms the basis for the naming we now encounter. It can be stated that there is no agreement on which name is used for the fjord itself:

The fjord
Both Ilulissat Kangerluat, Ilulissat Kangerlua, Kangia and Kangiata Sullua are names that have been used by the local population for the fjord. It has been mentioned that people from Eqi used the name Kangia. Eqi here covers the former ancient settlement that has been on the south side of the fjord.

Kangiata Sullua is now the official designation adopted by Greenland's Place Names Board.

Kangia is now most often used in everyday speech, and for that reason the name was chosen by both Isfjordskontoret and The Icefjord Centre.

The glacier
At the bottom of the ice fjord we find the glacier that supplies the fjord with ice. Many different names have also been used for this glacier over time, such as: Jakobshavn Glacier, Ilulissat Glacier, Kangiata Sermia. The glacier's official name is Sermeq Kujalleq, which can be translated as The Southern Glacier.

The city
In the colonial period and up to around the introduction of Home Rule in 1979, the city's official name was Jakobshavn. In 1984, the authorization regarding place names was brought home to Greenland and work was immediately carried out to implement the Home Rule's basic premise of Greenlandic as the official language. At first, double naming was used, where Danish and Greenlandic were both applicable.
Since 1996, the city's official name has been Ilulissat.

In addition, mountains, lakes, bays and inlets all have their unique names. These names are continuously approved by Greenland's Place Names Board and they can be seen on a map by following the link in the right column.