Patterico's Pontifications


Girl In Iceland Cannot Get Passport Because She Does Not Have a Government-Approved Name

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:47 pm

More oppressive government, this time from Iceland:

If you want to name your baby girl Harriet, don’t live in Iceland.

The country recently denied 10-year-old Harriet Cardew’s passport renewal request because her name doesn’t comply with Icelandic baby naming laws. Her name doesn’t appear on the approved list of 1,853 female and 1,712 boy names, The Guardian reports.

Icelandic laws state that unless both parents are foreign, they must submit their name choice to the National Registry for approval within six months of birth. The name must fulfill requirements that include “Icelandic grammatical endings,” “linguistic structure of Iceland” and “Icelandic orthography.”

According to the Guardian, approved names include (but are not limited to!) Aagot, Arney, Ásfríður, Baldey, Bebba, Brá, Dögg, Dimmblá, Etna, Eybjört, Frigg, Glódís, Hörn, Ingunn, Jórlaug, Obba, Sigurfljóð, Úranía and Vagna.

But not Harriet.

Don’t try to tell me government isn’t always looking out for the greater good!

44 Responses to “Girl In Iceland Cannot Get Passport Because She Does Not Have a Government-Approved Name”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Government knows best, Patterico!

    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  3. Bjork Gundersnorffle

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. More Icelandic madness, Patterico:


    Simon Jester (ad5df4)

  5. Severe inbreeding. It’s the only possible explanation.

    mojo (00b01f)

  6. I’m opposed to this sort of government regulation, but I do sort of understand why Iceland might be kind of worried that traditional Icelandic names are starting to disappear. One hundred years ago in the U.S. there were wonderful girl names that were wildly popular like Dorothy, Mildred, Florence, Gladys, Thelma, and Hazel, all of which are now almost forgotten. Some of those names were names in my own family. Iceland is actually an island that has given us some wonderful poetry and literature, so keeping alive the language and the heritage ought to be important to any patriotic Icelander.

    Of course, if you had a Icelandic boy you would obviously want to name him after the great Magnús Ver Magnússon.

    JVW (feb406)

  7. I can only imagine what Icelandic Homeowner Associations are like.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  8. So, I guess you can’t use Daenerys Madkingsdottir

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  9. Name your son Barack and scream RACIST! if they object.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  10. Does this mean I can’t name my kid sir adolph hitler grunobulax if I live in iceland?

    vota (fe6f21)

  11. More evil scandi nonsense potentially infecting the land of the free and the home of the brae. Ye still…

    Extreme off-road in iceland


    Best of Formula Offroad Extreme Hill Climb!

    …if the choice is between having to choose a name from an approved list and otherwise living my life in freedom, or getting to name my kid anything I want and otherwise doing what I’m told every minute of the day, I might choose the evil scandi model.

    …the Environmental Protection Agency, aimed at reducing emissions, will stop the sale of defense vehicles that don’t meet the EPA’s emission standards…

    None of the vehicles in my Ielandic/scandi videos are approved by the EPA.

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  12. Yes, that’s a Ford Econoline 4 by 4 conversion in the first video.

    What those Icelanders are doing to that glacier would be illegal under this administration’s concept of “rape culture” as they are currently applying it to America’s colleges.

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  13. wfc

    mg (31009b)

  14. Foreigners are funny.

    dan (7e5f23)

  15. Well, as much of a supporter of individual rights as I am, maybe if we had that here George Zimmerman would only have shot Billy Martin, and nobody would have cared.

    The snarky Dana (3e4784)

  16. Dana is not on the approved list. Dan is. How do you feel about Darius?

    nk (dbc370)

  17. Iceland is the most Nordic of all the Scandinavian countries, speaking the oldest and purest nordic language. The are simply protecting their unique culture from the inroads of an evermore look-alike global culture. Sitting between the US and Europe, they desire not to be absorbed culturally into either.

    Mike Giles (930031)

  18. I have a friend whose young son was bumped off his family’s international flight because the son’s name was the same as the father’s name.

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  19. What Mike Giles said. Iceland, with a population of 325,000 people and in a latitude no sane person wants to live in is what you get when hippie commune marries historic Williamsburg.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. There were lists of approved names in Soviet Russia. I am not sure these laws are still enforced. But this practice, while offensive to our American sensibilities, doesn’t seem so rare in a world where freedom is not the norm.

    Kind of makes America sound “exceptional” but I am sure someone has a “fundamental change” in store to remedy this little problem.

    WarEagle82 (b18ccf)

  21. Years ago I read of an English couple who wanted to name their daughter “Princess,” but apparently actual titles of nobility are (or at least were then) disallowed as names in the United Kingdom. I wonder if that is still the case.

    JVW (feb406)

  22. Two approved girls’ names are Brá and Vagna. In this country those names would be considered child abuse.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  23. “I can only imagine what Icelandic Homeowner Associations are like.”

    Welcome to Blazing Saddles’ town of Rock Ridge, where everybody is named “Johnson”.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  24. Funny how liberals are always telling us that we need to look to the Scandinavian countries for moral and political guidance. Is that in spite of or because of this sort of government overreach? /a question we all know the answer to

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  25. I always liked Terry Pratchett’s Snorri Snorrison and Bashful Bashfullson.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  26. SO not moving to Iceland.

    The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (341ca0)

  27. Steve57 #12 – “More evil scandi nonsense potentially infecting the land of the free and the home of the brae.” – as far as I ken, Scotland is the home of the brae …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  28. Here is a list of eight countries with formal procedures for the naming of babies.
    Four are Scandinavian.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  29. Back in the ’90s, Stephen Browne had a piece in Liberty about the difficulty he and his wife had in Poland, getting their son’s name registered as Jerzy Washington Browne. He and his wife thought that was a perfect name, reflecting the boy’s mixed heritage, but the Polish authorities couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea of Washington as a personal name. In fact they couldn’t understand how the American authorities had allowed Browne’s parents to name him Stephen Wayne Browne, since “everybody knows” that Wayne is a surname, as in John Wayne.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  30. Never mind about preserving Icelandic culture. Fast forward 25 years. Can you imagine a recent college graduate named Bra or Vagna with a degree in business or international finance seeking a job in any money-center city with the likes of Goldman or Chase or BNP?

    sam (e4aa30)

  31. Alastor (2e7f9f) — 7/3/2014 @ 6:38 pm

    So I’m wrong about everything. What are you, my wife?

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  32. If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, is the man still guilty of sexually harassing the tree?

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  33. I am going to officially call B.S. on this. Trust me, give it time. If I am wrong, I will admit it.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  34. There is always more to a story. Note the last paragraph.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  35. I trust you. Iceland is one of he few countries that is nominally Europe that doesn’t f*** with you on a daily basis. The kind of place here you stop for gas, and some guy in an ultralight lands nearby and taxis up to the pump to do the same.

    Steve57 (c4c6a6)

  36. Well, as much of a supporter of individual rights as I am, maybe if we had that here George Zimmerman would only have shot Billy Martin, and nobody would have cared.

    Man, you Yankee fans really, really know how to hold a grudge, doncha? ::::^D

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  37. So she could get a passport if she was named Assholður Govermentögg Cardew….?

    Works for me…

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  38. Dorothy, Mildred, Florence, Gladys, Thelma, and Hazel, all of which are now almost forgotten.

    First off, I doubt anyone is likely to ever forget “Dorothy”, given its prominence in the Wizard of Oz.

    Second off, half of those names suck. Mildred, Glady, Thelma, Hazel, all sound like some old biddy. That’s likely because most of the women who got saddled with them never got married… LOL.

    Third, and this is the key thing… Seriously? “Name parity”? It is simply an absurd idea that the government has a right to tell people what to name their kids because names for men/women wax and wane in popularity, so some asshole bureaucrat gets to say what names are accepted for my (hypothetical) child? WTF is wrong with you? You want to saddle your kid with the name “Mildred”, by all means, feel free. But stuff it when you try and argue *I* need to follow your notion of what is a “good” name for a child…. Yeesh. Write your idea down on a 20′ x 6′ banner, then fold it until it’s all sharp corners and use it as a suppository. :-S

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  39. Icelandic last names are based on a (usually father’s) parent’s first name. For the most part, they don’t do family names. The rules about non-Icelandic characters and the endings of the name are so they can maintain their naming convention.

    The Icelandic phone book lists people by first name, as a household may have several different last names in it due to varying parents. They even list your profession!

    Paul (016f2b)

  40. This is the country that in the past couple of years released an app for hooking up that tracks the family registries to determine if you’re related to someone, because those same naming laws enforcing traditional naming make it impossible to tell by last name alone.

    Ranba Ral (fc084a)

  41. Think how more popular the island would be if they named it Volcanoland.

    Corona (bc9be1)

  42. I think you’re wrong on this one. They are attempting to preserve social cohesion. You don’t get to be a “French Icelander” or a “British Icelander”, you are just an “Icelander”.

    You don’t like the names? you don’t want to be an Icelander? Great. Don’t be one. Leave, and join a country where you do want to belong.

    One wishes the US still had more of that “melting pot” ethic.

    Let’s put it this way: no one will be starting a “La Raza” in Iceland.

    Greg Q (2edcff)

Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1022 secs.