Nokyoung Xayasane
Nokyoung
Xayasane
January 04, 2013

Icelandic Girl’s Name Changed to ‘Girl’ After Birth Name Deemed Too Masculine


Blaer Bjarkardottir with her mom, Bjork Eidsdottir (Photo credit: Anna Andersen/ AP Photo)

We’ve all heard some cringe-worthy baby names. Celebrities name their kids with “creative” and “unique” names all the time, and “hip” parents seem to think that having a cool name is exactly what a kid wants. In reality, rarely does a kid enjoy being different, especially when being different means being bullied and having their lunch money stolen. However, one teen girl is actually fighting to keep her unusual name.

Blaer Bjarkardottir, a 15-year-old girl from Iceland, is taking on the Icelandic government in a bid to keep her own name. Blaer (which translates to “light breeze” in English) is not on Iceland’s list of approved baby names.

Yes, lists like this actually exist.

Iceland has a Personal Name Register that allows 1,712 guy names and 1,853 girl names. There are also rules that forbid any of these names from being written in creative forms. Also, no “C” names are allowed, since Iceland’s alphabet doesn’t contain the letter.

The government deemed Blaer’s name “too masculine” because it takes a masculine article — as a result, her name has been legally changed by the government to Stulka, which translates to “Girl.” Her mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, only learned of her mistake after baptizing Blaer. She said she knew of someone who was allowed the name in 1973, but the government has since denied use of the name.

Seriously, at least Blaer’s mother didn’t name her Harry Pitts, Wanna Towell or any of those other ludicrous baby names.

Blaer says she’s taking her case to court and is prepared to appeal to the Supreme Court if she’s denied her name. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want,” said her mother, “especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”

One of the reasons the Icelandic baby name register is used (aside from some complicated grammar issues and naming traditions we won’t get into here) is to protect kids from being embarrassed by their names, but what’s embarrassing is that these lists even exist. Germany and Denmark are two other countries that have approved baby name lists.

We hope Blaer wins her battle to keep her name. Vive la Blaer!