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 ...
RE: I don’t believe “Ima Hoare” would ever “embrace” her name.
I heard that she changed her name to “Ura”. :)
She might want to disown her parent’s family name as well.
Hey, if Cassius Clay can change his name to Muhammad Ali, Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Ron Artest to Meta World Peace, I’m sure Ms. Hoare can change her family name to “Saint”, or “Hero”.
Those are names of places and things, though-people have been naming kids after those forever, dumb or not. An old hippie chick of my acquaintance out here named all 5 of her kids after trees and flowering plants. A Brit friend named her kids after the state they were born in, and a country-Wyoming, Montana and India-and she pronounces it “Indjia”...
Or change her name to “Mary Jane Andrews” or something equally bland.
LOL-in the book, kids were given an approved short letter prefix, and a number-like Ann252-it was called a “nameber”. Scary book, especially now-you should read it.
Actually, Gwyneth is a fairly commom name in Britain-a very old name.
“Not that Gwyneth is a real name of course”.
Actually, it is a Welsh name meaning “fair and white”.
I know a family, locally, who adopted a child named Richard and had his name legally changed - to “Buckshot.”
“Ima Hogg (July 10, 1882 August 19, 1975), known as “The First Lady of Texas”, was an American philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century”
Several years ago i recall a woman in a Scandinavian country being given a jail term for naming her son “Christophpher.”
And tatoo them on our arms!
Thank you-I never looked up the meaning. Wales, Scotland and Ireland have some of the loveliest names in the old language(s) of the pre-Roman population.
“I’m for parental rights and the right to change your name....”
I am as well. The U.S. has so many cultures/ethnicities in it. Good or bad.. does someone really advocate a government book of pre-approved names? I am not fond of the name “Hester” or “Gertrude”.. but parents have the right to name their daughter that name. Sometimes.. I think names are in the eyes of the beholder.
and there is a vein in the black community that claims there is name discrimination because people hear a black sounding name in a phone interview and make assumptions.
1. The NY Times has a reporter named Jennifer 8 Lee, and please remember that there is no period after the 8.
2. Sometimes names can become unpopular very quickly:
“Sometimes names can become unpopular very quickly..”
Like the name Monica. When I was a kid, there were several Monica’s that I knew. I don’t hear the name in school anymore.
Problem is...Germany now has, probably, about 1 million Mohammeds and counting. All that name regulating for naught.
Well when the interview starts off with the interviewee being highly offended about how the name is pronounced, it’s not hard to imagine.
One of my cub’s friends named her girlchild “Aubergine”, because she heard the word on TV and liked it-when she was told it referred to eggplant in French, she didn’t seem to care, stuck the kid with the name anyway...