Icelandic teenager allowed to retain name

justicethumbnailAn Icelandic teenager has been given the right to retain her given name following a row with the country’s government. Fifteen-year-old Blær Bjarkardóttir had originally been told that she must change her name because it was not on the official Iceland’s Personal Names Register, which provides parents with a list of some 1,800 approved female names.

Blær – which means ‘a light breeze’ in the Icelandic language – and her mother had applied to a special committee to keep the name after it was discovered that she had slipped through the country’s name regulations for years. The application was rejected and they were then forced to bring the issue to the Supreme Court in Reykjavik.

Last week, the court announced that Blær would be able to retain the name, although it denied the family the right to receive compensation for the ordeal.

Blær told the media, “I’m very happy. I’m glad this is over. Now I expect I’ll have to get new identity papers. Finally I’ll have the name Blaer in my passport,” Sky News reports.

Iceland is one of a number of countries that regulates the names of its citizens. Officials say approved names are chosen to keep names in line with the Icelandic alphabet and to protect children from being embarrassed.

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