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War Of The Nerds: The Icelandic Horse Minefield

War Of The Nerds: The Icelandic Horse Minefield

Noemi Ehrat
Words by
Photos by
Art Bicnick

Published July 12, 2018

Picture a huge Lord of the Rings fan. They’re so into the books or movies or whatever that they decide to name their beloved Icelandic horse after one of their Tolkien-heroes. “Saddle up, Aragon,” has a nice ring to it, right?

Well, in that case, you’ve failed to reckon with the fierce naming committee of the Icelandic horse. Said Aragon, as well as Arwen, Faramir and Galadríel have been officially rejected by the Sauron-sport-committee.

Not Icelandic enough?

The people behind the committee argue that names such as the ones from the Tolkien-Saga are not allowed because they cannot take the form of Icelandic declension and thus have no ingrained tradition in the Icelandic language.

“Going through all the names is very difficult and expensive.”

But duh, if the Lord of the Rings is not considered Icelandic enough—it is based on Icelandic mythology and names are influenced by Icelandic—why are names such as Eros allowed? Can’t find an Icelandic declension for that one, can you?

Fans of the singer Adele, the online shop Amazon, the Asterix comics, Brútus, Caesar, the Eragon book series, Harry Potter or even good old Hamlet will not like to hear this, but—as you’ve probably already guessed—these names are also deemed incompatible with the strict rules surrounding Icelandic horses.

Difficult & expensive

“Our main goal is to follow the tradition of the Icelandic naming of horses”, says Jón Baldur Lorange, the project manager of WorldFengur, who coordinate the naming rules. Yet he admits that things are not ideal. “We are not very happy about the committee because we have to go through all the names which is very difficult and expensive,” he says.

However, don‘t despair, extravagant-name-enthusiast, you can still go for flamboyant Icelandic names such as Ásadraumur (Pagan-God-Dream) or Þvermóðska (defiance, obstinacy).

Read more nerdy war stories here.


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