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Document Details :
Title: Icelandic Personal Names in Past and Present
Author(s): KVARAN, Gudrun
Volume: 37 Date: 2002
It has often been maintained that the greatest proportion of the Icelandic personal names was of Nordic origin and that it has been kept fairly unchanged for centuries. Certainly the greatest proportion of names to be found in the oldest sagas is Nordic, but names with roots that can be traced back to the Christianization of the country in the year 1000 are also found in early sources. Old sources show that Biblical texts and stories of the saints were well known. Names from those sources were used both in the sagas and in old contemporary works. As time passed all kinds of foreign influences in name-giving were taken up in Iceland, and today Icelandic names are just as mixed as in other neighbouring countries. In this paper the sources of the oldest names, early Christian influences and foreign or domestic fashions, will be discussed, and in conclusion the law on personal names and the latest tendencies in the choice of names will be explained.