While many of us cringe when stars name their babies with names such as Kal-el, Audio Science, Moxie Crimefighter or the mouthful Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florance Thurman-Busson, at least there's freedom to choose. Not so in Iceland.
According to Icelandic naming laws, parents can only name their babies from a master list of approved names. This official list is called the Personal Names Register. If your parents decide to give you an unapproved name, it won't be recognized by the government, as teenager Blaer ("Light Breeze") Bjarkarottir knows all too well. So what's a girl to do when she absolutely loves the name her parents gave her?
According to Associated Press, Blaer is suing Iceland to keep her name and have it recognized by the government. Iceland has her name listed simply as Stulka ("girl"), which essentially means that she is nameless.
Blaer's mother Bjork Eidsdottir told the Associated Press that she didn't know the lovely name she gave her daughter wasn't approved. When the name was turned down by the Icelandic naming committee, she was shocked. Eidsdottir told the AP, "So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name." It's also a name that her daughter says she absolutely loves.
Iceland established the naming laws to protect children from being given names that would increase their chances of being bullied or becoming depressed. While we commend the reasoning behind the laws, perhaps an allowance for those who like the names their parents gave them should be added. So what's in a name? Quite a lot actually.