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Five New Names Approved in Iceland

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Five New Names Approved in Iceland

Þjóðhátíð festival

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

The Icelandic Naming Committee has approved five new names, reports Vísir. These are Ónarr and Eros for boys and Vök, Nala, and Natasja for girls.

The Naming Committee is a government body that maintains an official register from which Icelandic parents can choose a name for their child. If the name they wish to use is not already on the register, parents must petition for approval from the committee. In order to be approved, the new name must conform to a specific set of rules including that it must decline according to Icelandic grammar rules, must be spelled according to Icelandic conventions, and must not cause the bearer discomfort or embarrassment. Additionally, boys are not allowed to carry ‘female’ names and vice versa.

Rejections by the committee can be reversed. For instance, the name Natasha was rejected on the grounds that it didn’t conform to Icelandic spelling rules. When spelled with a ‘j’ instead of an ‘sh,’ however, the same name was approved. Ónarr, which was also just approved, had been previously rejected on the same basis: not conforming to spelling conventions. But the parents re-petitioned for the name to be approved, noting in their argument that ‘Ónarr’ appears in Snorra-Edda, or Prose Edda, a foundational piece of Icelandic literature that dates back to the 13th century. This time, their argument was accepted, allowing the name to be added to the national register.

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