From Iceland — Don't Ask Nanna

Don’t Ask Nanna

Published January 23, 2015

Don’t Ask Nanna
Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by

Dear Nanna

I’m confused about the Icelandic practice of using the -dottir and -son suffix instead of last names. Does that mean you guys change your last names for every generation? How do you keep track of who’s who? 


Son of Question Mark

Dear Son of Question Mark,

We manage.



Dear Nanna,

An Icelandic friend of mine says he is considering going into rehab. I’ve been trying to tell him about some alternative holistic therapies I found to help him with his recovery but he just brushes me off. I feel like he’s acting really unappreciative and rude. Should I tell him how he’s making me feel?

Helpful Heart

Dear Helpful Heart,

Wow, I can’t believe what an asshole your friend is being. It’s true that he’s facing down the – albeit common but –  difficult Icelandic journey to recovery but what about your feelings? Fundamentally, his addiction is really about you and his decision to seek professional help is clearly an attack on your beliefs.

My advice is to pack up those crystals and aromatherapy bottles, haul ass to his house and prove just how sobering your spiritual presence in his life can be.




Dear Nanna,

Next fall I will be an exchange student in Iceland for one semester and I’m wondering if you think I will dislike the long dark winter nights. I don’t think I will hate it because I don’t mind the dark now but what do you think?



Dear Meh,

I think, who cares what you like?



Got a question for me about Iceland or need some bad life advice? Tweet me on @NannaArnadottir or email nanna.arnadottir(at) and you might get an answer next Friday or not, whatever, I’m pretty busy eating pizza and massaging my cat’s butt.

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Enough. Stop. Now.

Enough. Stop. Now.


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