September 10, 2021
Ask any parent: choosing a name for your child is often as hard as those long nights when one tries to lull a baby to sleep. It should be cool, but not pretentious (Hi, Elon Musk), it should be a safe one so as not to provoke mockery from classmates. And finally, both parents should like it (mission impossible).
Swedish officials have barred a couple from naming their son after Russian President Vladimir Putin, local media reported. According to a law introduced in 2017, parents have to submit the proposed name of a child within three months of birth to the Swedish Tax Agency, which is tasked with the registration of names.
The Local writes that the country’s law states that first names are not approved if they may cause offence, discomfort for the individual using it, are deemed not suitable as a first name, or clearly resemble surnames.
The tax agency did not explain its decision. According to local media, Swedish Vladimir Putin joins the ranks of Allah, Google, Jesus, Michael Jackson, Pilsner, Token and Q.
If those names sound a bit peculiar, they are nothing compared to what one Swedish couple came up with in 1991.
Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding were fined 5,000 kronor (580 US dollars) after they failed to submit the name of their child on time. To protest the decision, the pair named their boy Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (On second thought, Mr Musk, your choice was that pretentious).
The couple said the name should be understood in the spirit of pataphysics and was “a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation”. The agency rejected it. However, the pair refused to give up and submitted a much simpler name – A, which was also rejected.
Not all original names are doomed to fail in Sweden, however. In 2007, Michael and Karolina Tomaro successfully won a court battle to name their daughter Metallica after the famous US band.