Nobel-Winning Author Connected To Name Dispute

Published January 4, 2013

Icelandic author Halldór Laxness has a certain connection to the current name dispute in Iceland that has gained international attention – he may have been the catalyst.
As reported, a woman is filing a lawsuit against the Ministry of the Interior for the right to name her daughter Blær. Her request to the Name Committee was originally rejected, and her daughter has had the name Stúlka (“girl”) ever since.
Now 15 years old, her case gained the attention of the Associated Press, who ran the story, which was then picked up by Fox News, among others.
As many know, the naming committee approves – or rejects – new names that parents want to add to the lexicon. The basis for their decision is usually attributed to historical precedent for the name, and how well or poorly it applies to Icelandic grammar. Blær does have historical precedent – as Vísir point out, Halldór Laxness himself may have been the man who started it all.
The author, who won the Nobel Prize in literature for his novel Independent People, invented the name for a character in another novel of his, Brekkukotsannál. Halldór would later suggest the name for a friend of his who was expecting a child. Taking him up on his offer, Blær Guðmundsdóttir was born shortly thereafter, and her name was approved by the committee, although she believes Halldór’s influence likely had something to do with it.
While Blær (which means “tint”) is a masculine word, other masculine words have become girl’s names, among them “auður” (wealth) and “ilmur” (scent).



News
Environment Minister Supports Shutting Plant Down

Environment Minister Supports Shutting Plant Down

by

Iceland’s Environment Minister, Björt Ólafsdóttir, believes shutting down the United Silicon plant in Reykjanesbær is an acceptable course of action.

News
Iceland To Abandon Currency Altogether

Iceland To Abandon Currency Altogether

by

Sources close to Grapevine within the Central Bank have confirmed that Iceland is going to abandon its age-old love-hate relationship

News
First Lambs Of Spring Arrive

First Lambs Of Spring Arrive

by

A collective welcome to the first lambs born in Iceland this spring. The two little floofy black ram lambs were

News
Silicon Plant Denies Pollution, No One Buying It

Silicon Plant Denies Pollution, No One Buying It

by

The Environment Agency of Iceland has rejected a statement from United Silicon suggesting that the high levels of arsenic in

News
Reykjavík of Yore: Laugardalshöllin

Reykjavík of Yore: Laugardalshöllin

by

Laugardalshöllin was Iceland’s largest gymnasium for decades. The house was designed by Gísli Halldórsson and Skarphéðinn Jóhannesson, and its construction

News
Music Picks: Auður Meets Jason Mraz

Music Picks: Auður Meets Jason Mraz

by

Ketamine, Chicken, and Butter Shades of Reykjavík / Hrnnr & Smjorvi Saturday – April 1 – 22:00 – Hvíti Riddarinn

Show Me More!