firiel11 (firiel11) wrote in linguaphiles,

What patronymic does an Icelandic foundling have?


Hi. It's me again with another question on Icelandic. Luckily this one is probably a little easier to solve.
The project I'm working on right now (side project to an Oliver Twist retelling) is a dungeonpunk fantasy novel set in a country that looks a lot like medieval Iceland and Norway and has a plot involving a young cutpurse who's fostered by a dwarven fence. The narrator's name is Bjarki Thórinsson. The patronymic is his foster father's name given to him when he was adopted. He was born in a hospital (in the medieval sense) sent to a nurse and given a first name. That leads to this question. What patronymic would Bjarki have been given before he was taken into the hospital? Is/was there a generic Icelandic patronymic for a child whose parents are unknown? The fact that he doesn't have any known relatives is an important plot point. I read on three sources that "Hansson" was often used as the generic patronymic and I might decide to go with that but would it be possible for my character to have the name of whoever sprinkled him with water as an original patronymic? (His name was Sverrir Sveinsson)
Thanks in advance for any help you can give! (Crossposted on the Straight Dope Messageboard.)
Tags: icelandic, names
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