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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January 9 2014, 12:13:07 UTC 1 year ago

"punk" = "a young male homosexual", also "a prostitute" (obsolete)

LATER: "punk" = a petty criminal or hoodlum;
"punk" = an inferior, rotten, or worthless person or thing
"punk" = worthless articles collectively

LATER "punk" = "a youth movement of the late 1970s, characterized by........"

About the same time or later: "punk" ==> steampunk

THIS POSTER: "punk" ==> "a dungeonpunk fantasy novel set in a ... country..."

So now we have "a dungeonpunk adventure". As an American might say, "Holy cow!". The secret life of common words.


January 9 2014, 12:35:49 UTC 1 year ago

Yep "punk" as in "cyberpunk" or "steampunk" has a very different meaning to the original.


January 9 2014, 16:32:19 UTC 1 year ago Edited:  January 9 2014, 16:38:07 UTC

No, it does not.

AS cognitive linguists showed, words have "core" meanings from which other, newer meanings sort of grow like rays grow from the Sun in child's pictures, or like branches grow from a tree trunk.

"Punk" = rot, rotten wood. Therefore, by extension, it's "all useless stuff".
It is this meaning that was combined into "cyberpunk", "steampunk" and now the O.P. claims exists also as part in "dungeonpunk", although I've never heard it before, and it might be a word of his own creation.

Other meanings of "punk" grew from the common core when a _metaphor_ was applied (one of the 3-4 core mechanisms that create new meanings in languages) - "rot" as spoken about people, something close to "human crap", or "trash" as in "white trash".
That growth produced a nice green branch with a "legitimate" use in "punk rock", when money-collecting and agenda-pushing managers affiliated to huge recording companies felt a crave for something "new" in music.


January 9 2014, 22:37:59 UTC 1 year ago

@wordbuff: I'm actually a woman.


January 9 2014, 23:38:59 UTC 1 year ago

Er.. and how is it relevant to the issue in question??
.. and in any case, when one does not know (or does not care) the default == "he". Always, unless one is prepared to write ungrammatical English for the sake of keeping to the party line, right?


January 10 2014, 00:14:47 UTC 1 year ago

Since you're prescribing rather than describing, you should use a single rather than double equals sign.


January 10 2014, 01:04:24 UTC 1 year ago


This is a test of an assertion rather than assignment therefore it's a double equal sign (which is an equal sign, not equalSSS in my book)


January 10 2014, 01:14:21 UTC 1 year ago

Well, in that case I would say it has gone from == to != in the last couple of decades...


January 10 2014, 00:16:10 UTC 1 year ago

It's not :) But there's a link to the TV Tropes definition of Dungeon Punk in my post.


January 10 2014, 07:52:28 UTC 1 year ago

Not true in modern texts, and anyone who does that nowadays just looks old fashioned. Anyway we all know you are anonym_mouse so no surprise you are banging on about that again.


January 10 2014, 08:58:32 UTC 1 year ago Edited:  January 10 2014, 09:07:15 UTC

awww, how cute.
Does not it make a nice commentary to what I said about toeing the party line?

I am also of the opinion that rhetoric is at the core of so many language phenomena (and must be studied as the basis for correct literary translation). So I could not help appreciating your exceptional feeling for and use of hyperbole.

P.S. and what "anonym_mouse" are we talking about?
The user who mentioned that Germany was destroyed twice in world wars, and does not have full sovereignty to this day (as a background to the question about the status of the German language), and got banned "for one week" (God knows what for, copying a fact from a textbook??) not to appear ever since?

I bet the moderator conveniently "forgot" his own stated intentions and promises (i.e. lied, to be blunt). Which, if true, in its turn provides us with a killer argument about the feeling for "freedom" and "dictatorship", as it exists in the Western mind, n'est ce pas?


January 10 2014, 20:34:41 UTC 1 year ago Edited:  January 10 2014, 22:04:52 UTC

In case anyone is interested as to what this is in reference to, here's a link to the exchange: The relevant text is this:
Right now it's a tempban (one week). The moderators are discussing whether to make it permanent. Contact us directly if you have any questions.
The poster never contacted any of the moderators, who, after some discussion, decided to make the ban two weeks, with a permban if the behaviour continued. As we all know, the poster in question immediately began posting in the same manner under a new alias, thus earning himself a permban.


January 9 2014, 13:09:31 UTC 1 year ago

*Wonders whether I need to add a DungeonPunk tag to whatwasthatbook is it a book genre or a RPG gamer expression??