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Patronym

A patronym is a name given to a person based upon the family name of his or her father. This system is still in place in Iceland, where for example the first name (or given name) of Bj÷rk Gu­mundsdˇttir's father was Gu­mundur. Therefore, she is Gu­mund's daughter, hence the name. Likewise, any sons he might have had would be given Gu­mundsson as a family name. Other norwegian cultures formerly practiced this, but have since gone to the more Judeo-Christian style of passing the father's last name to the children (and wife) as their own.