Icelandic Girl Gets to Use Her Given Name

I’ve just read a fascinating report about an Icelandic girl who had been denied the right to use her given name, Blaer, by the court. (Like many countries, Iceland has rules about what parents can name a baby.)

At the age of 15, Girl Bjarkardottir (her legal name) went to court to win the right to use Blaer, which the court had deemed “not feminine” enough. My first take was, What a #@&! law! As if “Girl” is a better name than “Blaer.”

My second take is, Blaer (which means “gentle breeze”) is a lovely name. I’m guessing it’s pronounced something like Blair (a gender-neutral name from Scotland that means “plains dweller”).

Which name do you like best: Blaer, Blair, or Girl? If I lived in Iceland, I’d pick Blaer. I’m guessing parents in Iceland are celebrating Blaer’s victory. I won’t be surprised if a lot of Icelandic girls born in 2013 are given the name Blaer—because it’s a beautiful name and because it’ll give a little #@&! to the archaic Icelandic baby name censors.

© 2013 Bruce Lansky
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