Kleopatra is in but Cleopatra is out – these are amongst the latest decisions of Iceland’s Naming Committee.
Apart from the aforementioned Cleopatra, other names that were rejected were Olgalilja, and the male names Omid and Zar.
Karma, however, is now accepted as a male name, where Icelandic grammar would decline it as Körmu. Only one other Icelandic male name has such a declension: Sturla, which is declined as Sturlu.
Even more surprising was the acceptance of the male name Ári. According to Iceland’s naming laws, first names may not be considered “embarrassing” or have the potential to invite ridicule, while Ári itself means a demon or an evil spirit.
All this may be a moot point after parliamentary voting, however. If a bill introduced by the Ministry of the Interior passes, Iceland’s naming laws will be a thing of the past.