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 ...
"How do you do...now you're gonna die".
Still missing The Man in Black.
I haven't read it yet, but he has another book 'The Man in White'. I think it might be spiritual.
Many of the gender-neutral names seem to be last names used as first, like Sargant Shriver,Mackenzie Philips or Ashley Wilkes. Personally, I would use a last name as a middle name or else give the child a middle name that could be used as a gender specific first name, as in F. Scott Fitzgerald or G. Gordon Liddy.
There is also the problem of names drawn from pop culture. By the time the child is entering school, the program in question may be cancelled, or the movie relegated to the bargain bin. Or else, the child may grow up to be different than his namesake, say an asthmatic named Anankin.
RE: Sometimes names can become unpopular very quickly:
I think Judas used to be a common name during the time of Jesus. Now, nobody names their children Judas.
Jude, I’ve heard, but Judas? Not any more.
too bad, Judas was a very good name, it means PRAISE.
Sheila Jackson Lee wants hurricanes to be given "black names."
So, I guess we could have a Hurricane LaWanda.
SJL is such a race baiter.
There is/was a real Ima Hogg.
Hoggs - very wealthy family in Texas.
Back in the 30s, there was a bandleader by the name of "Harry Horlick".
Maybe the girl will shorten it to “Ginny” or “Amber”. That being said, I am probably a wee bit more sensitive to names than some freepers. Our youngest daughter was adopted from China. In Chinese, the last name is first. For orphans, they list all of that regions last names as we would our state. All of their first names would be like our cities. The following name would be something superficial like the Chinese word for moon, or the shape of the face. Thus, each orphan name corresponded to a number. So, Texas, Houston-Ann is 5244887424. Texas, Houston-Jill is 5224484666. The Chinese sort of liked/pushed/suggested we keep one of the Chinese names. Not us.. we named her a name that we liked and chose. Okay... so she has two Irish first names but they suit her far better than a number. I always saw naming a child with these eyes: if you carry them, deliver them and are responsible for them then you name then what you like.
Oh they're right about that, Jack! Any document I ever saw during the hiring process that had punctuation, obvious disregard for conventional spelling (plenty of literate whites do this because their baby is so special), was simply not a name (e.g. "Blanket" from an earlier post) or "made a statement" (it's mostly white hippies doing this), went straight into the trash pile.
May I offer Key & Peele’s “East-West College Bowl” sketch:
I guess “Sue” would be out for boys?
It is funny how “gender confusion” is cited as a reason for forbidding names. I thought Europe was even worse than the US in promoting the idea that gender is a subjective thing, based upon how one feels about oneself and subject to change from day to day, as opposed to a fixed, objective, biological fact.
I used to have a cartoon of me, 9 months pregnant, in the style of “Veggie Tales.” It was “Aubergine, the Angry Eggplant,” a large purple character with hair like Albert Einstein’s.
At least the child wasn’t named Auber Jean ...
Best name “I.M. Hipp.”
In the U.S., I don't think so. In other countries, the idea is more political. Sudetan Germans and Russian Latvians are the type of thing that Europeans want to avoid, e.g. "If you want to live in Poland, then be Polish, as we don't want to have an underclass of people who consider themselves Ukranians."
We have Czech friends who wanted to name their daughter after our daughter, it was not allowed. However, they went through a special request procedure and it was authorized.
That reminds me, I mentioned “the blood and the mud and the beer” to a co-worker once (I forget the context), and she thought it was strange of me to say. So the next day I brought the CD with “A boy named sue” on it. She really cracked up listening to it.
I guess it is similar to some friends of ours. Their daughter’s name is Ecaterina. I said I had seen it spelled Ekaterina. That was Russian and they were born in Moldova... very particular about the spelling. I guess it is keeping the culture/specific regional ethnicity.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Chinese name I didn’t think sounded pleasing-but I don’t speak Chinese. so I’ve no idea what any of them mean unless someone tells me.
I very much wanted to name my daughter a very old Spanish/Arabic name meaning white lily-Azucena, after a great-aunt of mine. My whole family appealed to me to name her something more common and ordinary, and so I did. I still wish I’d named my girl after that aunt-she is very fair, so it would have been perfect.