Iceland Nanny State

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.


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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