Naming Committee Approves George, Rejects Carlsberg Skip to content

Naming Committee Approves George, Rejects Carlsberg

The Icelandic Naming Committee approved a new round of baby names at the end of January, Vísir reports, now adding the names George, Franklin, Oktavías, and Amon to its roster of approved male first names, while the Carlsberg and Lauritz were rejected as acceptable middle names.

These six names were the only ones the committee ruled on in December, and the approval ratio was far better than it was in November, when five of the seven names under petition were rejected. (Ladý, Gleymérei (‘Forget-Me-Not’), and Leonardo were among November’s unfortunate denials.) Óktavías and Amon were approved on the basis of conforming to Icelandic grammar, spelling conventions, and declension patterns, as well as being considered “appropriate” names for boys.

Based on the above guidelines, both George and Franklin may seem unexpected approvals, as clearly neither conforms with traditional Icelandic spellings or declension. Both names, however, have previous precedent in Iceland, which is another factor that the committee takes into account when making its rulings.

Foreign names that do not conform to Icelandic spelling conventions— sometimes known as “young loan-names,” as the committee noted in its approval of “George”—can be approved if they are currently borne by at least 15 Icelanders or 10 – 14 Icelanders, one of whom is at least 30 years old, or 5 – 9 Icelanders, one of whom is at least 60, or 1 – 4 Icelanders and is also found in the 1910 or 1920 census, or is not currently borne by any living Icelanders, but does appear in at least two censuses from 1703 – 1920.

As it happens, 13 living Icelanders are named George, the oldest of whom was born in 1977. The name also appears in three historical censuses. Meanwhile, there are three living Icelanders named Franklin, the oldest of whom was born in 1944, and the name also appears in three censuses.

Although subject to slightly different rules as potential middle names, Carlsberg and Lauritz were both rejected—the former because it does not contain an Icelandic root word and the latter because it only has a precedent in Iceland as a first name. So it’s only allowable to name your child Lauritz as a first name, although it is permissible to have more than one ‘first’ name.

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