Icelandic girl fights to keep name

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The family of a 15-year-old Iceland girl has embarked on a battle with the government to keep her name, which isn’t on the state’s approved list.

The girl’s mother, Björk Eiðsdóttir, did not consult the Icelandic Naming Committee when naming her daughter Blær, which means ‘light breeze’ in the Icelandic. The official list limits citizens to a choice of about 1,850 available names for females.

She told the media, “I had no idea that the name wasn’t on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from,” the Associated Press reports.

Reykjavik has now listed the 15-year-old as simply ‘Stúlka’ (girl) on all official documents after officials realised they had mistakenly allowed Blær to keep her name for years. Eiðsdóttir has filed a lawsuit against the country’s government.

Experts say that few question the Icelandic Naming Committee and state control of a handful of similar aspects in Icelandic life. However, those looking to sidestep the list are able to apply for an exception with a special government committee.

Some that apply are successful, with the law allowing names as far-out as ‘Elvis’ in recent years. However, many still say the committee remains too rigid. All names with the letter ‘C’ have been denied thus far, for example, because the letter is not part of the Icelandic alphabet.

Committee head Ágústa Þórbergsdóttir said in a statement, “The law is pretty straightforward so in many cases, it’s clearly going to be a yes or a no.”

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