The Viking name game
I’ve heard that Spanish folk can have a nomenclature as long as Don Quixote’s spear but there’s a practice here that intrigues me.
Take the newly crowned tennis king of Denmark, Frederik Løchte Nielsen., known to his friends as….what? Well, his English doubles partner calls him Freddie, as one might; but the commentators on Danish telly can’t seem to find out. He’s Freddie Løchte, just Løchte or all three names, but never Freddie Nielsen, and I can’t fathom why. Nielsen for some arcane reason is nomen non gratum.
Just like the NATO chief, ex PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He’s always Anders Fogh, just Fogh but never Anders Rasmussen.
Is it snobbery because Nielsen and Rasmussen are common names? It can’t be to avoid confusion – after all how many Fred Nielsens are at Wimbledon, how many Anders Rasmussens in NATO?
Btw Danes I have asked can’t explain. We just do, they say. Fine.