In Iceland only names which appear on the Personal Names Register are allowed to use. Other names cannot be used, but it is possible to apply to a committee for permission to use a name which is not yet listed.
The committee does not accept every name. A name submitted to the naming committee for approval is considered for its compatibility with Icelandic tradition and for the likelihood that it might cause the bearer embarrassment. It must be compatible with Icelandic grammar and contain only letters occurring in the Icelandic alphabet. There are occasional exceptions, e.g. if a name has traditionally been used by a certain number of Icelanders.
If a name is rejected it will not be added to the list of approved Icelandic names:
In recent years some changes have been made and the committee's decisions are not as strict as they used to be. Also, as the Icelandic parliament passed a Gender Autonomy Act in June 2019, a name's grammatical gender does not need to match the sex of the person bearing the name anymore.
Iceland's strict naming rules have been discussed for a very long time now and even abolishing the name committee completely seems to be a possible outcome in the near future.
In 2020 we started to list the decisions of the Icelandic naming committee and give you some deeper information about the names and the outcome of the decisions: