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Icelandic names

Posted by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry
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on Monday, 22 January 2007 in Uncategorized

Okay, since I brought it up, I'm going to explain it a little more. I am fascinated by names, which you know already from the book "Gathering Blue" which has a complex naming system.

The Icelandic system once applied to other Scandinavian countries but they have to some degree modernized, at least more than Iceland has.

My father was named Robert, and he was the son of Carl. They were Norwegian in backgound, but on coming to this country had dropped the name Anderson and taken the name Hammersberg, naming themselves for the village they had come from. So my father was Robert Hammersberg.

In Iceland, he would have been Robert Carlson.

My father's son, my brother, was named Jon. He is Jon Hammersberg. In Iceland, though, he would be Jon Robertson.

My brother's son is Erik. He is Erik Hammersberg. In Iceland, he would have been Erik Jonson.

My son Ben is Ben Lowry. But in Iceland he would have been Ben Donaldson.

His sons are named Grey and Rhys Lowry. In Iceland they would have been Grey and Rhys Benson.

It is a perfectly logical sytem and seems to work well there.

What about daughters? Aha. Yes, daughters. I would have been, in Iceland, Lois Robertsdottir. It does sound unwieldy, but it wouldn't, in Iceland, where people are quite accustomed to it. In fact (see photo)
160pxvfinnbogadottir

the first elected female president in the world was Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, Iceland's fourth president.

The current president is a man...Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson...(many Icelanders have a first and second name) and you can tell he is male because of "son" at the end of his name. His wife (who sadly died prematurely) was Guðrún Katrín Þorbergsdóttir.

Got it? No quiz. But is is fascinating.

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