The following is the derivation of Siggi’s name. The Icelandic translation came about after we determined that he should be named Ziggi Stardust, after the David Bowie character, the man who fell to earth. As we have since come to realize, Siggi is the horse who fell from earth. Pete did the research and then we consulted Gudmar Petursson at his Icelandic horse farm in Kentucky (Gudmar Petursson Icelandic Horses www.gudmar.com).
Siggi is a Blue Dun, and when he was born he had a zig-zag line down his back (dorsal line). It doesn’t zig-zag any more, but he acquired the name Ziggy at the time.
We figure that this name (Ziggy) is in keeping with what Pálsson’s book, Hríimfaxi, says about naming the horse: “Some names are indicative of colour, conformation or some kind of marking which is apparent at first sight and does not disappear, though the horse may lose a bit of liveliness and become old” (37). In addition, the name "Siggi" is short for a common Icelandic name.
After consulting an Icelandic online dictionary (http://www.ordabok.is/english.asp), we came up with several options. Our first three choices: hrifning kv.; stjörnuryk h.; ofbirta, didn’t seem to work because hrifning and ofbirta were feminine words and hrifning was neuter—and though Siggi was destined to be a gelding, we didn’t want to completely demasculate him.
We also considered the name Siggi Stjörnuryk, but we feared that it would be too long. Virginia Crawford, the breeder, was concerned that if the name was too long it won’t fit into the little box on the USIHC website and then her farm name (fra Alaskastadir) would not show up. It seems a shame that technological constraints would dictate the name of a horse.
Several Icelandic horses have the name “Stjarna,” or “star,” but they usually have a bright blaze on their forehead, and we wanted the dust from a star, not the whole star.
We could also have used stjörnuhrap or vígahnöttur, the words for meteor, but a meteor is more akin to junk floating around in space that only shines brightly when burning up in our atmosphere.
So with Gudmar’s help, we settled on halastjarna, which is the word for Comet. It was a word that we could, more or less, pronounce, and it fit (perfectly) into the little box on the USIHC website.
Here are the results of our dictionary search:
Stardust, (noun): hrifning kv.; stjörnuryk h.; ofbirta kv.
Hrifning (feminine) (noun): fascination; captivation; fondness; stardust; ravishment; rapture; prepossession; entrancement; enchantment; adoration; absorption
Stjörnuryk (neuter) (noun): stardust
Ofbirta (feminine) (noun): stardust; dazzle
Star (noun): stjarna kv.; aðal-
(star witness: aðalvitni)
Comet (noun): halastjarna kv
Meteor (noun): stjörnuhrap h.; vígahnöttur k
Dust (noun): ryk h.; duft h.; im
Zigzag (verb): sikksakka; slaga