From Iceland — Einarr Rejected By Naming Committee

Einarr Rejected By Naming Committee

Published February 20, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Nanna Árnadóttir

A new batch of names have been put through the Naming Committee filter, and some had more luck than others.

The latest Naming Committee rulings were made on February 5, and posted on their website today. The Committee has ruled that three new female names have met their standards: Rósý, Dalrún and Gígí. The male name Lói was also accepted.

Rejected, however, was the proposed male name Einarr. While Einar is a very popular male name in Iceland, the Committee ruled that spelling the name with two R’s has no precedent in Iceland in the 20th century. Furthermore, no members of the applicant’s family had this name, either. Einarr therefore did not meet the bare minimum standard for acceptance in the Icelandic lexicon.

The Naming Committee reviews new names that Icelanders want to submit for legal approval. This approval is based on two primary criteria: the ability to decline the name in accordance with Icelandic grammar, and historical precedence.

The Committee is not exactly a popular institution. Former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has been particularly critical of the Naming Committee, and a poll conducted last August showed that about 60% of Icelanders favour shutting it down altogether. Even Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal, who is the final authority over the Naming Committee, has gone on record stating she would like to see Icelandic naming laws abolished.

Until that time, the Naming Committee retains its legal authority over deciding what names Icelanders may and may not give their children.

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