So maybe Iceland isn’t the first place you think of when you hear the word summer. But the island nation and the season upon us are the inspiration for today’s appealing choice.
Thanks to Sebastiane for suggesting a perfectly seasonal Name of the Day: Sumarlina.
To me, Iceland = glaciers and Björk, not sunshine and splash pools. With good reason, too – it’s unusual for the thermometer to rise much above sixty, even at summer’s height. (Five years ago, a new record high was set – 76.6°F on 8/11/04 in Reykjavik. If you go, pack sweaters.)
And yet, Iceland has seasons, just like most places on Earth. If Summer is too obvious a choice for your August-born daughter, and Vasarė too far out, Sumarlina might split the difference. She’s clearly feminine, and thanks to Carolina and Christina, nicely wearable even if your heritage isn’t even a tiny bit Norse. She’s also more elegant than sometimes-seen elaborations like Summerlea.
Best of all? Sumarlina is officially a first – not only has she never ranked in the US Top 1000, I can’t find a single one in the US Census records. That’s rare.
Her pronunciation – SUH mar LEE nah – is straightforward, though you might struggle with spellings like Summerlina. (After all, Summer remained a Top 200 choice in 2008, and has been consistently in use since the 1970s.)
The official language of Iceland is Icelandic. Like other Scandinavian tongues (though not quirky Finnish), Icelandic traces its roots to Old Norse. But thanks to being more isolated than relatively accessible Norway or Denmark (Iceland is an island, after all), the language is closer to its original roots. They still use a rune – Þ – thorn in their alphabet.
How cool is that?
Trace far enough back and Icelandic and English do share common ancestors. In this case, it is the Old High German sumar – summer – that is easy to pick out. (That’s not the only one. Apple is epli. House is hus. For more fun with Icelandic, check out this online dictionary.)
Sumarlina is not in Iceland’s top 100. Their Top 100 makes for an intriguing list, ranging from the accessible Anna at #2 and Elín at #11 to the only-at-home-in-Reykjavik Ingibjörg. (As well as a few names employing the Þ.)
A handful of Sumarlinas appear online, listed on Facebook and LinkedIn and the like, but for the most part, name your daughter Sumarlina and she’ll be one of one, especially in the US.
It’s a pretty name, and if you’re searching for a true rarity? This might just be the one you’ve been after.