Skip to comments.Who, What, Why: Why do some countries regulate baby names?
Posted on 02/04/2013 8:01:20 AM PST by SeekAndFind
A 15-year-old Icelandic girl has won the right to keep her first name, despite it being "unapproved" by the state. Why do some countries restrict baby names?
Parents-to-be often find it hard enough to find a name they both like, let alone one the state might also be in favour of.
Bjork Eidsdottir had no idea when, in naming her newborn girl Blaer 15 years ago, she was breaking the law.
In the eyes of the authorities Blaer, which means "light breeze", was a male name and therefore not approved. It meant that for her entire childhood, Blaer was known simply as "Girl" on official documents.
But Reykjavik District Court ruled on Thursday that it could indeed be a feminine name.
"Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport," she said after the ruling.
Several countries - such as Germany, Sweden, China and Japan - also restrict names. Why?
In the case of Iceland, it's about meeting certain rules of grammar and gender, and saving the child from possible embarrassment. Sometimes, although not in every case, officials also insist that it must be possible to write the name in Icelandic.
There is a list of 1,853 female names, and 1,712 male ones, and parents must pick from these lists or seek permission from a special committee.
Similar concerns about child welfare are present in Germany, where a Turkish couple were not allowed to call their baby Osama Bin Laden.
One couple named their baby Berlin after the city in which they met, prompting the registrar to mount an objection. He eventually relented after the family's lawyer pointed out that the courts had allowed the name London.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Gender confusion prevented a German boy being Matti, because the sex of the baby wouldn't be obvious. And you won't find any Germans named Merkel, Schroeder or Kohl, either, because surnames are banned as first names.
The name 4Real fell foul of authorities in New Zealand, because names cannot start with a number.
LOL, Iceland would have blown a fuse if they named her Thor, Swen, or Jens.
Instead of names, if we all had numbers followed by one or two letter prefixes, the government could easily assign them to us.
... an item our forefathers forgot:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, prevent childhood embarrassment, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
In answer to the article's question: They do it because they can.
We can almost all agree on the psychological damage of naming your kid "Adolf Hitler", but no-one seems to want to discuss the same in regards to the made-up names and pronunciations that proliferate nowadays.
By the way, does this mean you can’t name a boy “Sue”?
“If we all had numbers followed by one or two letter prefixes,”
Stop that-you are giving me chills-I take it you have read Ira Levin’s “This Perfect Day”?
“L’trina” is one of those names that should be outlawed, in spite of the 1st Amendment./s
Imagine the embarassment in twenty years for all those children named “Barack”.
“La-sha”, the dash don’t be silent.
If those names are outlawed,
how are employers going to screen out
“more trouble than they’re worth”
If I recall, didn’t Hitler destroy the building that housed his birth records? (nee: Shicklgruber or whatever)
Paging Richard Head...
RE: does this mean you cant name a boy Sue?
Consider these names, which when heard for the first time, would confuse people as to the person’s gender:
GLEN CLOSE ( I prefer GWEN CLOSE )
CAMERON DIAZ ( I prefer Camila Diaz )
DREW BARRYMORE ( I prefer Dew Barrymore )
TAYLOR SWIFT ( I prefer Tanya Swift )
LINDSAY GRAHAM ( Can’t think of a substitute name for the senator)
HALEY BARBOUR (Why not HALE BARBOUR?)
JAIMIE FOXX ( I prefer JAMES Foxx )
BLAKE LIVELY (I prefer Blanche Lively )
SEAN YOUNG ( I prefer Sheena Young )
MORGAN FAIRCHILD ( Can’t think of a name to replace this with — MORGANA? )
KELSEY GRAMMAR ( I prefer Ken Grammar )
ASHTON KUTCHER ( I prefer Al Kutcher )
(add your names here )
My dad protected me from possible “childhood embarrassment” all by himself-he was on active duty when I was born, and wasn’t available for my naming. When he heard the name my mom had chosen (from a book she was reading), he simply told her that it was a stupid name and I was not to ever be called by it, end of discussion. He said I was to be called by the name I have today, and so I was-no approved list needed.
I never heard my birth name until I was about 4, and an aunt was discussing the incident with my mom-I’ve never used it.
I don't believe "Ima Hoare" would ever "embrace" her name. Go after her parents with a tire iron, more likely.
Here are a few examples of why people want name oversight: Chlamydia, Ladashla, Anfernee, Chrisshonta, LaDarius
Frankly, I'm for parental rights and the right to change your name when you are of legal age. There is only so much that society should do to protect the children of stupid parents.
Ha. What would they think of Michael Jackson who named his kid “Blanket” (not really his of course), or Gwyneth Paltrow who named her kid “Apple”? Not that Gwyneth is a real name of course.
I was thinking of THX 1138, actually. My bad, a three letter prefix.