Foreigners Keep Icelanders From Naming Their Horses Curse Words - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Foreigners Keep Icelanders From Naming Their Horses Curse Words

Published August 25, 2017

Zoë Vala Sands
Photos by
Sarah Pepin

Turns out those keeping Icelandic horses from living their best name-lives are foreign horse buyers. So says Jón Baldur Lorange, project manager at WordFengur, the Studbook of Origin for the Icelandic horse.

You may have heard of the bizarre committee that prohibits Icelanders from naming their children names like “Moon Unit”. You see, in Iceland we’d never do that to our kids. We prefer to stick to good Icelandic names like Lofthæna (Airchicken in English).

But when a local farmer was recently forbidden from naming his horse “Mósan” Icelanders started questioning the legitimacy of a national Horse Naming Committee. 

Jón Baldur assured the flustered population that the Horse Naming Committee was set up of dire necessity. Apparently, horse owners were naming their horses such obscene names that horse authorities “had no choice but to step in”, Jón Baldur told Vísir. To save our souls, a board was quickly set up consisting of representatives from the The Icelandic Agricultural Advisory Centre and the International Federation of Icelandic Horse Associations.

But Jón Baldur emphasizes that one of the main reasons for the committee’s maintenance is foreign demand for Icelandic horses with strictly Icelandic names. “Foreigners don’t want to buy Icelandic horses with foreign names”, said Jón Baldur. And preferably Icelandic horse names that aren’t curse words, either.

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