From Iceland — The Horse Name Committee Strikes Again: Rejects Name Approved For Human Usage

The Horse Name Committee Strikes Again: Rejects Name Approved For Human Usage

Published November 30, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

The mysterious and little-known Horse Name Committee has made headlines once again, Vísir reports.

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Horse owner Þeba Lind Karlsdóttir received the disappointing news that she will not be able to name her horse Lán, on the grounds that they believe this is a genderless name, and apparently all horses must bear names that are either male or female. Interestingly, even the Icelandic Naming Commitee–which applies solely to human Icelanders and is usually known for its strict guidelines–permits genderless names for people. Furthermore, the Icelandic Naming Committee regards Lán as a feminine name.

The news came as a surprise to Þeba, who told reporters: “I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a Horse Name Committee.”

Þeba is more confused by the decision than anything, saying, “I find this completely unacceptable. First, because the name has been approved by the [human] naming committee, and also because the name is feminine. I should be able to name my mare this name.”

This is not the first time the Horse Name Committee has made the news. In 2017, this same committee prevented another woman from naming her horse the way she liked, having rejected the name Mósan on the grounds that the name did not abide Icelandic naming conventions. While it was reported at the time that the Ministry of Industries and Innovation was investigating whether or not the Horse Name Committee has this power, apparently nothing came of this. Also, this ministry does not exist anymore.

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