April 19, 2010

What's in an Icelandic name?

The unusually-named volcano Eyjafjallajökull isn't the only thing in Iceland with a different name. Icelanders do not have surnames. They take their last name from their father (usually), so in Iceland, my last name would be Herbertsdaughter. And my daughter's last name would be Davidsdaughter. My Long-Suffering Husband would be David Edwardsson.

We used to do it too, as anyone named Johnson will attest.

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