February 2nd, 2013

What’s in a name?

Iceland finally lets a girl use her own name.

The amount of cultural control in these countries is very very foreign to us:

A 15-year-old Icelandic girl has been granted the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother, despite the opposition of authorities and Iceland’s strict law on names.

Reykjavik District Court ruled Thursday that the name “Blaer” can be used. It means “light breeze.”

The decision overturns an earlier rejection by Icelandic authorities who declared it was not a proper feminine name. Until now, Blaer Bjarkardottir had been identified simply as “Girl” in communications with officials…

Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. Names are supposed to fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules — choices like Carolina and Christa are not allowed because the letter “c” is not part of Iceland’s alphabet.

We don’t protect our own culture in these ways. In many European countries, their national identity comes from such things as language, dress, food—and apparently, names. Ours comes from an idea—the idea of liberty combined with equality of opportunity.

At least, it used to. And we used to require English, too. No more.

Do we in the US have rules about naming babies? Hardly any, compared to many countries (see also this).

3 Responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named.

    What, no LaQuishas?

  2. holmes Says:

    Every once in a while we get a name like Lemonjello or Shithead from one of the underclasses and it makes me think there should be some limitation on naming. But Iceland’s thing is a little scary to me. I mean, what else do you have if you cannot name your own child?

    But you’re right, that’s what Europe has- cultural identity, and nothing underpinning that.

  3. ziontruth Says:

    “In many European countries, their national identity comes from such things as language, dress, food—and apparently, names.”

    It used to be ethnicity mainly, but that’s been banned as a politically incorrect no-no ever since the Marxists succeeded in tarring ethnic nationalism (each nation to itself within its own well-defined space) with the brush of mid-20th century German ethnic imperialism (one nation entitled to take the possessions of all other nations).

    “Ours comes from an idea—the idea of liberty combined with equality of opportunity.”

    So while in Europe the neo-Communists have endeavored to destroy the nation-states by swamping them with ethnicities imported from the outside, in America they achieve this goal by means of the opposite strategy: Diluting the supranational ideals and elevating the constituent races above them so as to pit each against the other.

    In Israel, where the nation is defined by both components—ethnicity (matrilineal descent) and ideology (the possibility of joining the nation through conversion)—the Marxists have tried both strategies, as well as delegating the third option, of military destruction from the outside, to their Muslim allies.

    Marxismus delendus est.

    The topic? ;) Yeah… no naming laws in my country I know of, though of course there’s frowning upon, even shunning, on account of some names. For the religious, Jewish Law sets very distinct bounds on naming: Names must be from Abraham onward (no Adams, Seths, Noahs or Jareds allowed), and babies must not be named for Biblical unrepentant evildoers whether or not they were Jewish (Esau, Omri).

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