From Iceland — Name Committee Member Speaks Out

Name Committee Member Speaks Out

Published November 10, 2011

A member of Iceland’s Name Committee has gone public about the job they do and the public reaction they receive. Meanwhile, more names have been approved and rejected.
Iceland has a special committee in place to judge new names seeking to be added to the lexicon. Whether a name is accepted or not depends on whether or not it can be declined grammatically in Icelandic and, to a lesser extent, whether or not the name has appeared before in Icelandic history. However, recent legislation has made historical citations unnecessary.
Katrín Axelsdóttir, a member of the committee, tells RÚV that their personal tastes have nothing to do with their decisions. Nonetheless, her job is both controversial and thankless. “It doesn’t matter what we do,” she says. “If we accept some names, the blog world ignites. If we reject some, it ignites as well. It’s all the committee’s fault, but we are only following the law.”
Some new female names have been approved, many of them ending in “ý” or “í”, such as Rúbý, Millý, Katý, Emmý and Lillý. Some female names which were previously nicknames, like Ranka and Dallilja, have also been approved.
In male names, André, Móði, Tói and Werner have been approved, as well as the middle name Hornfjörð, while Víking and Diego were rejected.
While bird names, like Kría, Ugla and Lundi, have been increasing for girls, there has been little demand for fish names. Þorskur and Karfi are possibilities the committee may consider though.

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