Tag Archives: Names

Maginalia, no.337

Snorri’s father was Thorgrim, son of Thorstein Cod-biter, son of Thorolf Monster-beard, the son of Ornolf Fish-driver. Ari the Learned, however, says that Thorolf was the son of Thorgils Whale-side… Ingjald’s mother was Thora, the daughter of Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye, the son of Ragnar Shaggy-breeches…

~ Njal’s Saga

Depending on who you ask, the most popular name for baby boys in the United States today is Noah, or Liam, or (though it sounds unlikely) Asher. The fourteen-year reign of Jacob – with its dreadful variant, Jake – only recently came to a welcome end. That’s nothing, however. I understand that “Thorolf Monster-beard” held the top spot among boys in medieval Iceland for nearly forty years.


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