Naming law in Sweden
The naming law in Sweden (Swedish: Namnlagen) is a Swedish law which requires approval of the government agency for the names to be given to Swedish children. The parents must submit the proposed name of a child within 5 years of birth. The law was enacted in 1982, primarily to prevent non-noble families from giving their children the names of noble families. The Swedish Tax Agency administers the registration of names in Sweden. The law has been revised since originally enacted: in 1983 it was made possible for men to adopt their wife's or partner's name, as well as for women to adopt their husband's name.
The law states, in part: "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name" (34 §). This law text is valid in the same way both when parents name their children and when an adult wants to change their own name. When changing a name at least one of the names given at birth must be kept, and such a change is only allowed once per person. The law states nothing about registering which name is used on a daily basis, but the tax authority can register that if requested.
There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding Sweden's naming laws since they have been enacted. Aside from significant commentary in the press, many parents have attempted to give their children unusual names.
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, pronounced [ˈalbɪn], was a name intended for a Swedish child who was born in 1991. Parents Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding gave their child this name as a protest against the naming law in Sweden.[clarification needed]
Because the parents failed to register a name by the boy's 5th birthday, a district court in Halmstad, southern Sweden, fined them 5,000 kronor. Responding to the fine, the parents submitted the 43-character name in May 1996, claiming that it was "a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation." The parents suggested the name be understood in the spirit of 'pataphysics. The court rejected the name and upheld the fine.
The parents then tried to change the spelling of the name to A (also pronounced "[ˈalbɪn]"). Once again, the court refused to approve of the name, citing a prohibition on one-letter naming.
In 2007, Michael and Karolina Tomaro fought to have their daughter named "Metallica", after the metal band. Tax officials determined that the name was "inappropriate", but the Göteborg County Administrative Court ruled in March 2007 that there was no reason to block the name, stating that a Swedish woman already uses the middle name Metallica. Tax officials did not agree with the decision and denied the parents a passport for their daughter, but later withdrew the objection.
In 2009, the Swedish Tax Authority refused to allow a couple to name their son "Allah". The basis of the decision was that the name could be seen as objectionable for religious reasons, and that some people may take offense at such a name.
- Naming laws in the People's Republic of China, for similar cases in China
- Swedish nobility
- Wolfe+585, Senior, a typesetter whose full name was 746 letters long
- "Boy named Brfxxccxxm". The Mirror (Farlex). May 30, 1996. Retrieved December 14, 2009.[dead link]
- "Baby named Metallica rocks Sweden". BBC News (BBC). April 4, 2007. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- "Baby Metallica allowed to keep her name". NME (IPC Media). April 23, 2007. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- Charlotte West, 23 December 2009, Parents refused right to name son Allah, The Local
- Belkin, Lisa (May 12, 2009). "Laws Against Baby Names". The New York Times (The New York Times). Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Anderson, Kyle (May 14, 2009). "Sweden Says No To Baby Named Q, We Say No To Just About Every Baby Name We Hear". Halogen Life. Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Dacey-Fondelius, Elizabeth (November 26, 2007). "Forbidden names: identity and the law". The Local (The Local Europe). Retrieved December 14, 2009.
- Landes, David (October 20, 2009). "No appreciation for Token as kid's name: Swedish tax agency". The Local (The Local Europe). Retrieved December 14, 2009.