From Iceland — Naming Committee Rejects Blom, Embraces Kling

Naming Committee Rejects Blom, Embraces Kling

Published March 16, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Nanna Árnadóttir

Iceland’s Naming Committee has approved a batch of new names, but was decidedly opposed to one name in particular.

RÚV reports that the names Toddi, Baui, Ára, Kling, Mæja and Ísbjört have all been given the green light as names Icelanders can now legally give their children. The “>Committee rejected, however, the name Blom as a proposed “second name”.

Not quite a middle name, second names are a kind of complimentary given name. In this instance, the Committee felt that Blom was not harmonious with the Icelandic language, and therefore could not be accepted.

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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