Icelandic Girl Sues To Keep Her Name
Her name means "light breeze" in Icelandic but the government of Iceland just calls her "girl". Fifteen-year-old Blaer Bjarkardottie is suing the government to allow her to use her given name legally.
In Iceland, parents must choose from an approved list of 3,500 names. Blaer is not on the official list of girl's names because it takes a masculine article and no gender-ambiguous names are allowed. Blaer's parents appealed the decision when Blaer was a baby, but the government turned them down and used the term "Stulka", meaning girl, as a placeholder for her first name.
The parents left "girl" as her legal first name and continue to use Blaer in daily use. The government has responded to the suit by saying that their job is not about "personal taste" but about upholding the law. Icelandic names must have Icelandic grammatical structure and Icelandic roots -- Kelly and Konrad were recently rejected but for some reason Elvis is okay.
Blaer's story has made headlines around the world. With many in North Ameria aghast at the idea of the government limiting first names. (Though, I'm sure some of us would love to be the arbiter of names so that naming atrocities stop happening.)
Laura Wattenberg from Babynamingwizard.com has a interesting article on how different countries limit names, including Portugal and Denmark. She was on CBC's The Current recently, with a very thoughtful approach to the idea of what is in a name. Seems that Quebec also has a strict policy on names.
So what will happen to Blaer? Will she take Iceland by storm? Will there soon be a bevy of odd and crazy names happening in the small, Northern country? I doubt it, but something's coming.
Should parents be able to name their kids whatever they want?
Want more chaos? Last year, I was happy that Greg Wiggle was back, but now I hear the Wiggles are all retiring.