Iceland Teen Can Use 'Unapproved' Name

'Blaer,' meaning 'light breeze,' wasn't on list of OK names

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 1, 2013 1:52 AM CST | Updated Feb 1, 2013 5:00 AM CST

(Newser) – An Icelandic 15-year-old whose name had been, for all official purposes, just "Girl," has won a lawsuit to keep her given name. Iceland's government had held that she couldn't use the name Blaer because it wasn't on the country's approved-name list, which rules out names that don't fit standard grammar and pronunciation.

Blaer, which means "light breeze," was seen as too masculine a name for a girl, and the government said it should be banned to protect the language. But Reykjavik District Court determined that the name is unisex—and that the Icelandic constitution, as well as European human rights rules, give the girl the right to use the name. "I'm glad this is over," Blaer Bjarkardottir said. "Finally I'll have the name Blaer in my passport." Germany and Denmark also have naming rules, the AP notes.

In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, Blaer Bjarkardottir, 15, left, and her mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, are photographed in front of a pond in Reykjavik.
In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, Blaer Bjarkardottir, 15, left, and her mother, Bjork Eidsdottir, are photographed in front of a pond in Reykjavik.   (AP Photo/Anna Andersen)
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