Every Parent Has the Right to Give Their Baby a Horrible Name

Rant 12

baby name If you think you've had a rough time naming your baby, consider this: a 15-year-old in Iceland is in a major battle with the government right now over the name her mom gave her at birth. Turns out Blaer Bjarkardottir's mom forgot to check with the government before she named her daughter. This kid has lived for 15 years with an illegal name!

Now ... just imagine living in a place where the government has a say in naming your kid. Still think baby naming is hard in America?

Apparently in Iceland there's a Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names. The government has decided these 3,500 monikers all fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Blaer, by the way, isn't on it -- hence the teenager's battle with the government.

Anyone else thinking what I'm thinking?

Holy Big Brother, Batman! I can't imagine letting some pencil pusher tell me what I should name my own flesh and blood, the person who grew inside of MY stomach. My husband and I put days and days into coming up with the name that felt just right for our daughter, and we did it alone -- we didn't even let family or friends weigh in, people who actually KNOW us.

On the other hand ... well I have a feeling neither Lemonjello nor Orangejello would make the cut. Or Pilot Inspektor or Bronx Mowgli for that matter. That part of me that has opened a newspaper and wondered "what jackass did that to their kid" is actually tempted to say "way to go Iceland!"

But then I look at Blaer, which is a perfectly lovely name (albeit with a slightly strange spelling ... but I'm not Icelandic), and I'm relieved I live in the good old US of A. We may not have the ease of a short list of baby names to choose from. But then again, we are free to actually name our kids what WE want to name them.

Would you be OK with a government list of approved baby names?


Image via jetsandzeppelins/Flickr

baby names


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nonmember avatar Lucia

Blaer means "light breeze" or something like that in Icelandic. It's not an odd spelling of Blair.

lulou lulou

So Im watching that 18month old snowboard and see the dads name is Kevin.  Then I see the kids name is Nivek.  Uuuugh.

Tracys2 Tracys2

It wouldn't bother me at all. We had all our names approved by our parents. But I wouldn't push for such a law. I'm sure we have laws too, that are just less strict. If we tried to name our kids an obscenity or like "Hateful Brat", it wouldn't be allowed.

So long as in name works in computer systems, isn't hateful, etc. I don't like the idea of telling an adult what she can re-name herself.

nonmember avatar Daxx13

We totally need that here. Have you seen some of the names?! Random apostrophes, random capitalization, insane spellings. We have taken having a unique name to a horrible level.

cmjaz cmjaz

I wonder if it all started with that woman naming her son 'adolf hitler'?

Reepi... Reepicheep.CSL

The mother knew what she was doing was against the law. She did it anyways and now her daughter has to deal with her moms need to be 'unique'.

Too many American children have to deal with their parents need for attention by giving their child a stupid name or a regular name spelled phonetically by a two year old.

Btw, judging another country because of their laws is ridiculous.

nonmember avatar Sydney

@reepicheep The name was actually approved in 1973 and she thought it was still ok. The minister who baptized her daughter even said it was an approved name.

nonmember avatar Mary Cimino

Ever hear about Vagena and Vadgesty? Yeah, their mother shouldn't have been able to name them that! I got looks for Hilda but once I explained it was after my Great-Grandmother they understood. But my family can't talk, I have a cousin named Chandelier. You know, as in the ceiling fixture.

mande... manderspanders

I thought the American family who named their son "adolf hitler" and daughter "aryan nation" got in quite a bit of trouble for bestowing those names upon their children. 


nonmember avatar LizzieBorden

I have a very unique name, so unique I don't use it on here because as far as I know I'm the only one in the world who has this name. In short, I love my name & it's uniqueness. Not everybody is meant to be a Mary or a Caitlin, so sorry Reepicheep not everyone wants to be one!

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