Posts Tagged ‘ blaer ’

Icelandic Girl Gets to Keep Her Name

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Blaer Bjarkardottir fought Iceland’s tough baby naming laws—and this time, she won. Her mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, had named her Blaer, an Icelandic word that means “cool breeze.” But Iceland’s strict baby naming laws and authority rejected the name, claiming that it was “too male” for a little girl. (Iceland’s rules restrict baby names to a few thousand accepted names, and reject any names that they believe will cause embarrassment for the child, or even are unspellable using the Icelandic alphabet, such as names containing a “C.”) For years, mom and daughter fought for the right to use the name Blaer, and finally, the Icelandic Supreme Court ruled that her name was A-OK. (And that means that other parents can use that name for their daughters too.

I think Blaer is a beautiful and unique name for a baby, and I’m glad to see that Iceland’s government finally saw reason and let Blaer have her name. (It’s not like her mom was naming her Hashtag or Moxie Crimefighter, after all!) In some ways, baby-naming laws could be helpful, if only to avoid letting parents give their kids names that border on child abuse (such as the parents who named their kid Adolph Hitler, or the aforementioned Hashtag). But if they’re so restrictive that they limit parents from using perfectly nice names, then they lose me. Of course, deciding what’s acceptable is totally subjective—some parents think giving their kids a name with a weird spelling, such as Maddycyn, is wrong, while others would draw the line at Hitler. (And of course, still others won’t draw the line at all.)

What do you think? Did Iceland make the right call in this case?

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Photo: Gavel by heromen30 / Shutterstock.com

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Would You Go to the Supreme Court to Fight For Your Child’s Name?

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

That’s what Bjork Eidsdottir, an Icelandic citizen, may have to do to enable her daughter, now 15, to keep the name she chose for her: Blaer, an Icelandic word that means “light breeze.”

The reason she may have to take her case to the highest court in the country is Iceland’s strict naming laws, which require parents to choose a name that is on a list of around 3,500 baby names, or petition a special commission for the right to use something else. But there are strict controls on those special cases—such as the requirement that it uses only letters in the Icelandic alphabet, a rule that prohibits parents from using “C” names like Crystal, Carrie or Christopher, at least with their traditional spellings. (Names that are considered distasteful or offensive to the child are banned, too—so don’t expect a baby named Loser or Hashtag to fly there, either.)

Bjork was prohibited from using the name for her daughter because the word Blaer is considered masculine, as it takes the masculine article in the Icelandic language.

We’ve debated the merits of laws on baby naming before on the blog (especially when the baby girl named Hashtag Jameson came to light), but to me, this sounds totally restrictive of a parent’s rights. And it also seems like it’s ridiculous to ban this particular name—Blaer is very close to the English name Blair, and it has a beautiful meaning in Icelandic. I’m hoping that the court sees reason on this, and overturns the naming commission’s decision, allowing Blaer to keep her beautiful name.

What do you think, parents? Do you like the name Blaer? Do you think naming restrictions are the way to go? What would you do if you lived in a country that limited baby names?

Photo: Gavel by heromen30 / Shutterstock.com

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