Iceland Nanny State

January 4th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Call her the girl with no name.

A 15-year-old is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother. The problem? Blaer, which means “light breeze” in Icelandic, is not on a list approved by the government.

Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, has official rules about what a baby can be named.

In a country comfortable with a firm state role, most people don’t question the Personal Register, a list of 1,712 male and 1,853 female that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment.

Parents can take from the list or apply to a special committee that has the power to say yea or nay.

How ridiculous. An approved list of names and a special committee that can decide on exceptions.

I’m not against the state having a power to refuse very offensive names that would harm a child, such as if someone tried to call their child “fuck me” or “bitch”. But the default position should be any name at all is allowed, unless judged harmful. Having a list of “approved” names is just bureaucratic nonsense.

On his thirtieth birthday, he bought a full-page advertisement that read, “From February 1, 2006, I hereby change my name to Curver Thoroddsen. I ask the nation, my friends and colleagues to respect my decision.”

“I can understand a clause to protect children from being named something like ‘Dog poo,’ but it is strange that an adult cannot change his name to what he truly wants,” he said.

Indeed.

Talking of names, DIA has the list of most popular names in 2012. Olivia and Jack No 1. Noah was No 10!

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24 Responses to “Iceland Nanny State”

  1. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    On the plus side Iceland has jailed their bankers and got their economy right again.

    Iceland is not going through Austerity. It is truly a free state.

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  2. kowtow (7,634 comments) says:

    In addition to the above let me point out that males are actively discriminated against as females get an extra 141 names to choose from.

    We can’t have that equality is the highest ideal after all.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Noah number 10?!? I wonder how many of these will go into the boat-building industry :)

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  4. redeye (631 comments) says:

    I’m picking Peaches Honeyblossom and Fifi-Trixibelle are not on the list.

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  5. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    Reminded me of this:

    ‘Parents who tried to name their child Mafia No Fear are among hundreds who had their choice of name rejected in the past decade.

    ‘Justice was the most popular disallowed name, with royal titles, religious references and punctuation marks among names parents tried to bestow upon children.
    ‘In 2008, Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt publicly criticised some parents’ choice of names, after he ordered that a girl named Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii be taken into court custody so she could change her name.

    ‘Her name had not been registered in New Zealand, but other names such as Violence, Chardonnay and Number 16 Bus Shelter had been.’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/6219744/Ridiculous-and-regal-kids-names-rejected

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  6. nasska (10,678 comments) says:

    I note that a baby born on New Years day right here in NZ is to be named “New Year” by his drop kick parents. Mind you he does have a brother named “Molly”.

    Even then I don’t think that it’s the State’s business to dictate names……rather in cases where parental idiocy inflicts a SFN on a baby the parent(s) responsible should be hauled in front of the Court charged with cruelty to a child.

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  7. Azeraph (603 comments) says:

    Some idiots will name their poor child Steve Jobs.

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  8. backster (2,079 comments) says:

    Crime reports, not subject to the cloak of suppression, seems to show a gross over representation of commission by people dammed with idiotic names. There may be deep psychological reasons why this is so. I am sure that wasteful University Research Fund which spends hundreds of thousands of dollars researching nonsense could establish that this is so. I think it is a form of child abuse more harmful than smacking, and the Registrar should be empowered to reject those names he deems not beneficial to the child.

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  9. kowtow (7,634 comments) says:

    So what’s the difference between having a list to choose from or a court that makes orders?

    Of the 2 ,having a list appears to be the efficient way to go.

    And if there is no big difference and “hundreds” have been rejected then perhaps we are the Iceland of the South Pacific and a Nanny to boot,just not as obvious?

    We are quite the Nanny ,parents can’t discipline their children and parliament,including the supposedly blue freedom loving party went along with the reds and took our rights to bring up our children as we see fit.Alll because the clients of the political elites bash their children!

    And the Nannyists ignored a referendum on same!

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  10. gump (1,488 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with Molly?

    He is probably named after the Australian music promoter Molly Meldrum

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  11. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    Nanny State????????

    Aotearoa is Nanny State for finance companies and property investors.

    Useful test case

    “Iceland’s heterodoxy gives us a test of economic doctrine,” Krugman said. Comparing Iceland to Ireland and Latvia (both members of the European Union), he argued that the former has fared much better than the latter in terms of growth and jobs.

    And despite warnings that economic Armageddon would follow Iceland’s decision not to accept liability for the losses of private banks, credit default swaps on sovereign debt are now much lower in Iceland than in Ireland, where the state assumed full responsibility for bank losses, he said.

    “Iceland has done fine in terms of regaining not total, but reasonable confidence in its sovereign debt. The idea that there would be a huge reputational penalty for allowing private sector parties to go bust and default on their external obligations has not turned out to be true.”

    Another Nobel Prize winner in economics, Professor Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University, also endorsed Iceland’s policy response. “What Iceland did was right. It would have been wrong to burden future generations with the mistakes of the financial system,” he said in pre-recorded remarks screened at the conference.

    Other speakers who strongly supported Iceland’s decision not to bail out the banks included MIT professor and former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson, who also warned that the world’s financial system remains “a big house of cards.”
    http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/2011/car110311a.htm

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  12. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    Iceland seems to demonstrate the benefits of a homogeneous population in so far as they can respond to a crisis: Enforced sterilisation is legal (for instance). The naming thing would reflect that desire to remain connected to a pathway.
    http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/spru/research/nordic/icelandpoli.pdf

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  13. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    We need such a list in NZ. Naming in NZ has become a form of crypto chld abuse. Too many children suffer for the bad taste of their feral/upwardly mobile parents. Just visit a kindy and you’ll see.

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  14. TM (98 comments) says:

    Iceland has a population of about 300,000, so it’s more of a large community than a giant bureaucratic state. They get 90% voter turnout at elections. The vast majority of people support a list as it helps to maintain the sense of community and tradition. But they also do approve names outside the list.

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  15. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “… any name at all is allowed, unless judged harmful.”

    That call seems to be very much in the eye of the beholder. From the coverage of names that have been rejected for registration in NZ, I’d guess the actual policy is that Maori aren’t allowed to give their kids stupid names, but Pakeha hippies and wealthy space cadets are free to bestow whatever nutty handle they choose.

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  16. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Iceland would be the best and safest place in the world to be economically. Outsiders aren’t appreciated though.

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  17. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Iceland is one of the most genetically homogeneous countries in the world. Their inbreeding seems to have produced some counter-intuitive results.

    I was also Iceland that got the GFC rolling in the late 90′s.

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  18. Rex Widerstrom (5,266 comments) says:

    gump:

    Australian music promoter Molly Meldrum

    Who’s actually named Ian. Molly is a nickname. He xplained to Andrew Denton on “Enough Rope” that:

    Why ‘Molly’? Um, actually it was given to me…the name was given to me back when I was writing for ‘Go-Set’, which was a rock…newspaper that came out each week. And there was a DJ called Stan Rofe, and he had the great habit of, um, giving guys nicknames, girls’ names, and I was stuck with ‘Molly’, you know?

    Tom Jackson suggets:

    Too many children suffer for the bad taste of their feral/upwardly mobile parents. Just visit a kindy and you’ll see.

    Sometimes it’s not even bad taste per se, just that such people are so influennced by trends that they all come up with the same “unique” name for their children, such that you can just about guess the year a child was born by its first name. There’s a Simpsons episode (Bart vs. Lisa vs. 3rd Grade) where the teacher calls the roll and every second girl (and one boy) is named “Dakota”.

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  19. Psycho Milt (2,266 comments) says:

    My son was born in Hamburg. I recall visiting the Altona Rathaus to have him issued a birth certificate, and having to sign a document declaring that his name was legitimate under the relevant NZ law to the extent of my knowledge (said knowledge really wasn’t much greater than that of anyone else in Altona, tbh), thus providing sufficient arse-covering for the Beamter who had to sign the certificate. Seems fair enough – when you’re dealing with foreigners, how do you know the name they’re giving the kid doesn’t mean Mafia No Fear in their language? My Jerry colleagues were envious to hear that NZ officials generally don’t give a shit unless you want to call your kid Arseraper or suchlike.

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  20. Left Right and Centre (2,821 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson… g’day…

    I’m with you mate… what you said. Shit there’s a lot of weirdo names flying around now. I was in town and I met a ‘Brooke’. Um… yeah… nice to meet you…. **Brooke.**. Geez, that wasn’t awkward at all. She was all of 24… but it’s her world not mine.

    nasska: I could be wrong… but every year they show you the first born baby and it’s always an Islander last few years. God wants you to have lots and lots and lots of children. The Lord will provide. Have as many as you can muster. The taxpayer…. errr Lord will provide. At least the name ‘new year’ is non-religious… no?

    They’re making up the whole NZ birth rate now eh? That might be a slight exaggeration. Do you want to change the name to New PacificIslandland now or later? Ooo… I’m leaving this comment now… shit that’s enough… see you laterer.

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  21. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    The problem is that 90% of people are perfectly happy with the system and another 5% can live with it.

    But in this case it’s not hard to obey the law so not really a big issue really.

    After all, the law is working as intended isn’t it?

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  22. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    nasska: I could be wrong… but every year they show you the first born baby and it’s always an Islander last few years. God wants you to have lots and lots and lots of children. The Lord will provide. Have as many as you can muster. The taxpayer…. errr Lord will provide. At least the name ‘new year’ is non-religious… no?</blockquote

    Hm, outside of being racist and ignorant… wait, that pretty much covers it.

    I would point out that there is a difference between "the taxpayer will provide" and "the taxpayer does provide". Islanders had big families long before WFF ever came along, and they have a family culture that is quite different to your typicial Europeans kiwi. And yes, it can go wrong too, just the same as any family can.

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  23. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    edit….

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  24. Left Right and Centre (2,821 comments) says:

    scrubone: I am *not* ignorant!!

    Well.. you say racist… and that’s fine… but honestly mate… birds of a feather flock together. I don’t want to go to Samoa to live… I’m not Samoan. You could say the Japanese are racist. They don’t want too many outsiders going to their country either.

    If I’m totally honest about it…

    Am I racist? I don’t know. Some of the dumbest ugliest nastiest mother fucker wankers you’ll ever meet are honkys.

    I can get on really well with Islanders. One of them doing info101 helped me with a Microsoft Access assignment at uni. She got me 9.75 out of 10…. far out. Smart kid.

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