New Batch Of Names Accepted And Rejected By Iceland's Naming Committee - The Reykjavik Grapevine

New Batch Of Names Accepted And Rejected By Iceland’s Naming Committee

Published October 29, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Nanna Árnadóttir

While the future of Iceland’s Naming Committee may be drawing to a close, they are still in the process of approving, or rejecting, new names to the Icelandic lexicon.

The Naming Committee judges new names primarily on two criteria: historical precedent and accordance with Icelandic grammar rules. RÚV reports that the committee rejected Dór as a second name—somewhat comparable to a middle name, but in reality a kind of second given name—on the grounds that the name cannot be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar when used as a second name. The committee also used the grammar argument when rejecting both Leah and Hall as given names.

However, the committee did give the green light to Binna and Abel as women’s names, as they appeared in two censuses; one from 1703 and one from 1920. The male given named Milli and the second name Steinhólm were also approved.

As reported, the Naming Commitee may soon be a thing of the past. Þorsteinn Víglundsson, an MP for the Reform Party, has submitted a bill that would drastically change Iceland’s famously restrictive naming laws.

The idea has widespread support, and if passed, would greatly simplify the process, making one’s name and gender a matter of personal choice that can be changed at will. The bill would also nullify Iceland’s existing naming laws.

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