Icelandic Government Finally Recognises Gnarr As Gnarr - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Government Finally Recognises Gnarr As Gnarr

Photos by
Baldur Kristjánsson

At long last, the Icelandic government has allowed Jón Gnarr to be listed in the National Registry by the name he has borne for decades: Jón Gnarr.

Vísir reports that the Registry’s previous decision to reject the name Jón Gnarr and continue to list the former Reykjavík mayor as Jón Gnarr Kristinsson has been struck down.

The writer has been known as Jón Gnarr to his family, friends, and the general public at large for decades, but Iceland’s strict naming laws stood in the way from him being officially recognised as such in his own country. Undaunted, he made the decision to have his name changed while living in the US, which became a reality last March.

Jón Gnarr has long opposed Iceland’s name laws, as well as the Naming Committee, which has the final say on new names being introduced to the lexicon.

“In Iceland, you can be named Jesus,” Jón Gnarr posted on his Facebook at the time. “The Name Committee can’t stop that. It doesn’t matter if you spell it with an ú or a u. You can also be named Muhamed or Muhammed. The naming laws pertain mostly to only a fraction of Icelanders. What kind of law discriminates against people in this way? Why, for example, may [Independence Party MP] Elín Hirst have the surname Hirst but I can’t have Gnarr? Is Hirst cooler? More Icelandic? Are all animals equal, but some are more equal than others? In Jesus’ name, answer me!”


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