From Iceland — Yes, We Also Have A Horse Name Committee

Yes, We Also Have A Horse Name Committee

Published August 24, 2017

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Vísir reports that horse farmer Guðrún Hrafnsdóttir will not be allowed to name one of her horses Mósan. This was decided by a two-person Horse Name Committee, which judges names submitted by owners and determines whether or not they are acceptable.

Mósan was rejected because the committee deemed the name did not abide Icelandic naming conventions. Guðrún is less than pleased with the decision, and sources close to Fréttablaðið say the Ministry of Industries and Innovation is now investigating what legal basis this committee has to reject names for horses.

The situation is especially curious considering that there is significant support for shutting down Iceland’s Naming Committee for people.

For their part, the committee has strong objections to many of the changes to Iceland’s naming laws. They have cautioned, for example, that without laws about what are boys’ names and girls’ names, “it would be possible to name a boy Þorgerður [a female name] and a girl Sigmundur [a male name]”. They add that, in the event the bill passes into law, “it will be impossible to avoid disputes that arise over names and their registration”. The bill as it is now states that “if a minister, head of a religious organisation or the National Registry believes that a first or middle name violates the law, it will be referred to the [Minister of the Interior].”

Former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has long been an opponent of the Name Committee, as they have repeatedly blocked his attempts to legally change his name to the one by which he has been known for years now. Jón managed to get around this last January – by having his name legally changed in the US.

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