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Girl In Iceland Can’t Use Her Real Name

One of the freedoms we as Americans take for granted is the ability to name our children whatever we want. In some countries in the world there are name restrictions–names you can’t name your children. Iceland is one of those countries.

This story on Yahoo caused me to scratch my head “Icelandic girl fights for right to her own name”
Seems this girl “Blaer” can’t use her name because…

“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, Iceland 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 Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names 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.

In Blaer’s case, her mother said she learned the name wasn’t on the register only after the priest who baptized the child later informed her he had mistakenly allowed it. “I had no idea that the name wasn’t on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from,” said Bjork Eidsdottir, adding she knew a Blaer whose name was accepted in 1973. This time, the panel turned it down on the grounds that the word Blaer takes a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s revered Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.”

So now Blaer is prepared to take her case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court if a court doesn’t overturn the commission decision on Jan. 25. Good luck Blaer! She could always just move to the USA….

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