No Country For Old Bjarkarr - The Reykjavik Grapevine

No Country For Old Bjarkarr

Published November 18, 2015

Photos by
Nanna Árnadóttir

Iceland’s Naming Committee has approved – and rejected – a new batch of names.

Vísir reports that the Naming Committee – probably best known to our readers as the bane of Jón Gnarr – has approved the female names Kalmara and Mírey. The male names Diljar and Emir also made the grade.

Not so fortunate was the male name Bjarkarr. Initially rejected in 2013, it had been re-submitted for approval. The Naming Committee, in reviewing the matter, determined that no mistakes were made during the previous ruling. Therefore, Bjarkarr remains an unapproved name in Iceland.

The purpose of the naming laws – and the Naming Committee which operates under their auspices – is to ensure names can be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar. They also seek to determine if a new name has historical precedence in Iceland. Currently, foreign names are simply not declined when used in Icelandic speech or writing. However, there has been growing support for shuttering the institution altogether.

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