Faroese personal name

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The Faroese personal names are similar to those of other Scandinavian countries, with the special feature that the patronymic or metronymic system can be used alternatively for surnames .

Basically, citizens of Denmark who live in the Faroe Islands (all citizens of the Faroe Islands) are required to give their children Faroese names, as they appear in the official list of names. Non-Faroese first names may only be given if a family member (e.g. a grandmother) already had such a name.

First names

The most common male first names are (often in combination with second, obsolete with third first names): Hans , Jógvan , Jákup (see Jakob ), Poul (see Paul ) and Petur (see Peter ). The female first names are: Anna , Maria , Katrin , Elin and Marjun (see Marion ).

When they were born in 2002, Elin and Marjun were no longer so popular. Popular names like Sára , Lea and Bjørk are striking here . For Faroese women , the name only comes in the form Bjørg , so the famous Icelandic artist obviously plays a role as the namesake. Jógvan and Hans have gone out of style with the boys , while the following names are now very popular: Markus , Brandur (perhaps also favored by the musician of the same name) and Aron .


Fixed family names

As a strong family name those names are called, which are passed down through the generations. Often these are names like Jacobsen (Danish spelling), which are originally of patronymic origin, i.e. one of the ancestors was the son of Jacob . With the Danish naming law of 1837, the patronymic system was suspended until it was only reintroduced in the Faroe Islands in 1992.

The three most common Faroese family names , each with over 2,000 members, are: Joensen, Hansen and Jacobsen . Among the 100 most common Faroese family names there are eight names that are obviously of German origin due to their spelling, for example Müller , Winther and Lützen (→ e.g. the graphic designer Elinborg Lützen ).

Patronymic and metronymic surnames

Since the Faroese Name Act of October 8, 1992, the patronymic (and metronymic) system of surnames (see Icelandic personal names) , which has been preserved in Iceland, has been used alternatively in the Faroe Islands . So sons can get a family name after the first name of the mother or father with the suffix -son and daughters analogously with -dóttir . In July 2004 it was reported that this will also be possible for Faroese men and women living in Denmark.

These surnames are not passed on to the descendants, so that members of the same family can assume very different surnames over the generations.

spelling, orthography

Faroese first names , like all nouns in the Faroese language, are inflected. This means that there can be up to four different forms of a name in spelling and pronunciation, depending on whether it is in the nominative, accusative, dative or genitive case (ignoring the plural forms). Fixed surnames are not inflected, but the patro- or metronymic names are always. It should be noted that a name like Jákupsson is only a patronymic name if its male carrier is the son of a Jákup. If, on the other hand, it is a fixed family name ( re-faeroized from Danish Jacobsen ), then it is not inflected. Accordingly, all names in -dóttir must always be bowed, as these forms can never be fixed family names.

The endings -son and -dóttir are always added to the genitive of the corresponding parent. When the last name is inflected, the genitive of the first part does not change.

Example : Eivør Pálsdóttir is the daughter of Páll (= Paul ; genitive: Páls ), therefore she is * Páls dóttir . (* this form only exists in the New Faroese language in the compound form as a proper name).

"Concert with Eivør Pálsdóttir" means in Faroese: Konsert við Eivør Pálsdótt ur (dative of Eivør and Pálsdóttir ).


The numbering of the classes ( declinations ) follows the book An Introduction to Modern Faroese by WB Lockwood . The newer book Faroese. An Overview and Reference Grammar has 6 classes each for nouns in masculine and feminine . The first-mentioned system is sufficient for the illustration below, because the possible plural forms of proper names are negligible.

Male names

  1st class
nom. -Ur, gen. -s
2nd class
nom. -Ur, gen. -ar
sonur = son, as a suffix
always without -ur in the nom.
3rd class
Nom. -I, Gen. -a
Nominative Brandur Bárður -son Sverri
accusative fire Bárð -son Sverra
dative Brandi Bardi -soni / -syni * Sverra
Genitive Brand s Bárð ar -sonar Sverra

* Upscale style recommended in the written language. Irregular shape with umlaut

Female names

While the respective inflection of the male name has to be learned by heart, the female names basically follow two simple paradigms:

  1. All names that do not end in -a (grades 1–3) have the same form in the nominative, accusative and dative case, and -ar is appended in the genitive case . Some internal irregularities with regard to certain stem vowels and endings in this declension are given below as an example.
  2. All female names in -a in the nominative (ie the basic lexical form. Class 4) have -u at the end in all other cases in the singular .
  1st - 3rd class
Gen. -ar
1st class optional ** for
names ending in -un and -in
4th class
nom. -A
dóttir = daughter
Nominative Eyðvør Gudrun Helena -dóttir
accusative Eyðvør Guðruna Helenu -dóttur
dative Eyðvør Guðruni Helenu -dóttur
Genitive Eyðv a rar * Gudrunar Helenu -dóttur

* In the case of names with ø in the root, the umlaut a occurs in the genitive Sg .
** Style recommended in the written language, not mandatory in everyday language. Guðrun, Guðrun, Guðrun, Guðrunar is acceptable.

See also

Web links

The following two lists of names are official. These names are considered Faroese names by law. All inflections are listed for each name in the order nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.

Individual evidence

  1. Danish Law on Personal Names to be Changed ( English ) Kringvarp Føroya. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2019.