Published October 15, 2014
The Name Committee has approved and rejected a new set of submitted names, and has also come up with an Icelandic translation for the English name Robert.
RÚV reports that the Name Committee processed 15 applications for new names to be added to the Icelandic lexicon. As was to be expected, not all of them passed muster.
Three names were approved, all of them male: Icelanders may now legally name their boys Mark, Kamal and Þóri. In addition, the English name Robert has an official translation now: Hróbjartur.
Where rejections are concerned, the Name Committee voted No to the middle names Haugeland, Huxland and Fletcher; the female names Aríela, Kaia and Lady; and the male names Hector, Sveinnóli, Karma, Clinton and Duane.
The Name Committee approves or rejects names based on two criteria: whether the name has been used before in Icelandic history, and whether the name can be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar.
The committee has not been without its detractors, however, who see the institution as obsolete and unnecessary. Amongst its harshest critics is former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr, who still cannot legally call himself by the name the general public has known him for decades. The committee also gained international attention when they denied a 10-year-old girl a passport on the grounds that her name was foreign.