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About those nicknames

As a slight respite from all the gloom and doom around here, I thought I’d share a delightful post I found by chance over on the Iceland Review website, written by my friend Eygló. It seeks to decode some of the more common nicknames in Iceland [and yes, nicknames are VERY common here] and also gives the meanings of a number of names.

Have you ever wondered why all these Siggis, Nonnis, Gunnis and Gummis are never called by their full names? Or why someone with as beautiful a name as Berglind (“Mountain Spring”) or Bergdís (“Mountain Goddess”) would choose to go by the name of Begga?

Read the rest of it here.



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  • Schnee January 27, 2010, 4:53 pm

    Oh, that’s wonderful! I’ve been looking for a list like that just last week[1], and couldn’t find one.

    1. The reason why I was looking for one again, BTW, is related to my still trying to understand part of the Baggalútur 2008 christmas song — specifically, the part where it says “Við skellum könnu upp á stól / og Sollu í kjól.” I already knew that “Solla” was the nickname for “Sólveig” (although where from, I couldn’t say), but I’ve been puzzling over who’s actually meant there in the song ever since I first heard it. 🙂 I wonder if anyone here might be able to shed some light on that…

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson January 27, 2010, 11:50 pm

    This part of the lyric is a variation of a christmas song:
    “Nú er hún Gunna á nýju skónum, nú eru að koma jól.
    Siggi er á síðum buxum, Solla á bláum kjól”

  • Schnee January 28, 2010, 12:08 am

    @Sigvaldi: Ah, thanks! 😀

  • hildigunnur January 28, 2010, 2:44 pm

    haha, nobody in my immediate family uses a nickname, not even I with my long name. We even chose names for the children that are very seldom shortened or “nicked”. But of course there are tons of nicknames, that list could be twice or thrice as long at least.

    Nice article.

  • Gudny January 29, 2010, 2:04 am

    The reference in Baggalútur’s song is also a reference to our at that time (now former) foreign affairs minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, which is called Solla (at least by those that are not particularly fond of her).

  • Schnee January 29, 2010, 11:22 am

    Thanks! I knew it had to refer to somebody. 🙂