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Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir

Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir comes from Iceland, but you probably figured that out without being told if you know about the Icelandic patronymic naming system. In Iceland, a child’s last name reflects his or her father’s name (occasionally, the mother — matronymic). So Nanna’s last name means that she is the daughter of Hilmar.

If Hilmar has a son, his last name would be Hilmarsson. Hilmar’s last name is different than his children because it reflects his own father’s name.

Iceland has a naming committee called Mannanafnanefnd. which was established in 1991. The committee gets to rule on whether new given names (never before used in Iceland) can be used. Any name not already on the official list of approved names must be submitted to the naming committee for approval. New names are judged on wehter they are compatible with Icelandic tradition and whether the name could cause teasing or embarrassment. Names must also conform with Icelandic grammar and contain only letters occurring in the Icelandic alphabet. As of December 31, 2012, the Personal Names Register contained 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names.


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