Icelanders Can Now Name Their Children "Neró" - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelanders Can Now Name Their Children “Neró”

Published November 9, 2016

Photos by
Jagdschloss Grunewald, Berlin/bpk/Art Resource

Iceland’s Naming Committee has given the green light to a batch of names, including one that was for a long time mired in controversy.

RÚV reports that the Committee has approved the given names Snekkja, Manasína, Skjaldmey, Arabella and Lyngþór, along with the “middle names” (actually serving more as second names to a given name) Reyðfjörð and Veiga.

Another given name that was approved was Neró, after the Roman emperor of the same name. The Committee explained in their decision that there had been a long-standing opposition to this name, on account of Nero’s historical persecution of Christians. As such, the name itself was considered “anti-Christian”, but the Committee believes that sentiment has more or less had its day.

Not so lucky was the given name Sonya, which was rejected. This might have been due to the fact that the name already exists in Icelandic as Sonja.

The Naming Committee has been an institution of controversy for many years now. Most recently, the Ministry of the Interior has proposed striking down the naming laws that legitimise the Committee.

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