From Iceland — Naming Committee Again Rejects "Diabolical" Name From Lexicon

Naming Committee Again Rejects “Diabolical” Name From Lexicon

Published January 24, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Phillip Medhurst/Wikimedia Commons

Iceland’s Naming Committee has ruled on a new batch of names, and it seems one submission tried to make an end-run around a previous ruling.

As reported last November, someone tried to get the committee’s approval for the name Lucifer. On that occasion, the committee rejected the name on the grounds that it contains the letter C, which does not exist in the Icelandic alphabet. The committee believed furthermore that Lucifer is another name for Satan, and could therefore make the early life of a child with this name a target for bullying.

Another attempt at this name was made, RÚV reports, only this time spelled Lúsifer, possibly to be more in harmony with the Icelandic language. However, the committee repeated its assertion that the name is diabolical, and summarily rejected it.

Where other rulings are concerned, the committee gave the green light to Bened as a name that can be used, but will not be officially registered, as well as River. Inexplicably, the naming committee rejected the name Hannalísa on the grounds that a given name comprised of two given names put together is not in harmony with the Icelandic language—despite numerous examples of names like this existing.

The Naming Committee is itself a controversial institution, and many prominent Icelanders—amongst them, writer and former Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr and former Minister of Justice Ólöf Nordal—have seen the committee as an antiquated institution that is no longer necessary. The committee’s mandate is to ensure that new Icelandic names abide Icelandic grammar, have historical precedent, and are not harmful to a child.

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