Saturday, January 05, 2013

A rose by any other name......

I am following the story of a young woman in Iceland who wants to legalize her name - her first name. Apparently in Iceland there is a list of approved names for both male and female children - 1,712 for males and 1,853 for females - this may be grounds for another post. I sense that it will be a long time before a list of unisex names is approved.

Anyway "Blaer" is the first name of the 15-year-old girl.  It was given to her by her mother and approved by the priest at her baptism. It has never been approved by the government. Her first name as far as the government is concerned is "Stulka," meaning girl. Incidentally, "Blaer" in Icelandic means "light breeze," a masculine noun. Both child and mother plan to take the issue to the supreme court.  Their stand is that parents should be able to name a child anything they want - it's a basic human right!!

Now we all know that some people have given their children some pretty dramatic names.  The article I was reading mentioned Pilot Inspektor and Audio Science. There have also been some very memorable names as a result of challenging what's expected, such as River Phoenix and Forest Gump.

I wanted to name my daughter "Mercedes." I told my husband that it might be the only way he would get one :) I was overruled at the table, so we settled for a classic "Katherine." Not without complications, though.  Her birth mother had named her Lilian Elizabeth, which we changed to Katherine Elizabeth, however, her legal documents were never changed so legally she was still Lilian and every September, every teacher in every class had to be reminded that her name was really Katherine, and so she joined the ranks of the other 4 or 5 Katherines, Catherines, Kathryns, etc in each room. Her friends call her Kat.

In her last year of university we paid almost $2,000 to have her name changed to - Katherine Lilian (she had grown attached to Lilian over the years) so that her degree would be in her chosen name - not so, she either forgot to tell the university or told them too late; she is still Lilian on that document!!

My mother had decided to name me either Penny or Carol, (after my father, Charles) - Carol won out. I actually wanted to be called "Charlie" - also the name of a perfume, a few years ago.  In Quebec all female babies are named legally "Marie" and all males "Joseph." Given names are second. Hence you have wonderful titles like "Marie Claire" and "Marie France". I even knew a "Marie Joseph" (pronounced yo-sef).

 A civil name for a child - male or female

My one claim to fame with my children is that I knew how Nev Campbell (Scream movies) got her first name. She was given her mother's last name, Nev. I just happened to be friendly with Nev's parents in the small town in southern Ontario where she was born. I remember vividly having a conversation with Nev's father on children's names - we said  - what if you named a child after car parts, such as, "ball joint" or "crankshaft" - Nev was very lucky her mother stepped in :}

Here is my photo take on naming kids after cars. I'm sorry that all my photos of the Spirit of Ecstasy came up blank because I had forgotten to insert the card!! But you could still name a child Ecstasy - Just not Rolls Royce. OOPs I can hear the nay-sayers now - "What's wrong with Royce or Rolls?" - nothing, if you have the money :)

Have a memorable day!!

1 comment:

  1. Just by the way, the naming convention in Québec pretty much went out with the dishwater in the 1960s during the Quiet Revolution. Interesting, though, I hadn't know that. More interestingly, after the gender name of Marie or Joseph, the second name was the name of the god-mother or father and third name was the name used by the person followed by the surname.