Name Committee Approves Líam, Rejects Others - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Name Committee Approves Líam, Rejects Others

Published May 26, 2015

Photos by
Nanna Árnadóttir

Iceland’s Name Committee has given the legal green light to Líam. Other names submitted were not so lucky.

RÚV reports that Líam’s acceptance was based on being able to decline it in accordance with Icelandic grammar rules – one of two criteria the Name Committee uses for accepting new names, the other being historical precedent.

At the same time, the committee rejected Prinsessa, although not on grammatical nor historical grounds. Rather, the committee decided that such a name could “become a nuisance” to a child, provoking teasing and bullying from others.

The male name Ethan and the female name Gail were both rejected on the grounds that they did not fit within the context of the Icelandic language.

The Name Committee has been in the critical spotlight with greater frequency in recent years, especially as the case of Harriet Cardew made international headlines, and former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has relentlessly criticised the institution as outdated and unfair.

Recent legislation has been introduced calling for the institution to be shuttered – a move the committee has naturally opposed, in part on the grounds that this could lead to boys being given girl’s names and vice versa.

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