• Sweden edition
 

'My name means penis'

Published: 30 Mar 2007 13:58 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Mar 2007 13:58 GMT+02:00

Having arrived in the eastern region of Östergötland from another country, she soon found herself hamstrung by a name that was difficult for Swedes to pronounce or spell correctly.

At first Willy seemed like a nice enough alternative. But that was before somebody made her aware of its slang usage in some English-speaking countries. She was also informed that the name is generally reserved for males.

Horrified, she got back in touch with the Swedish tax board, which had authorized the change in the first place. This time she wanted to be called Wendy rather than Willy.

But to her dismay she was informed that Swedish law only permits one free name change.

Refusing to settle for anything less than a new name, she lodged an appeal to the county court.

"My name means penis," she wrote.

But again she was turned down. The county court informed her that any additional change would cost 800 kronor ($112) and must be applied for through the patent office.

But even then there are no guarantees that she can have her Willy changed to a Wendy, as there is no particular taboo surrounding the name.

Sweden already has 58 registered female Willys, as well as 3,967 males.

Also, one of the country's largest supermarket chains is called Willys.

There are however other options if she tires of Wendy and the patent office agree to free Willy from the chains of her name.

Earlier this month a Gothenburg couple won their battle to call their daughter Metallica.

And she should perhaps count herself lucky that she did not apply for a common Swedish name like Fanny or Titti and move to Fjuckby .

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

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