• Sweden edition
 

Swede denied right to call himself ‘black work’

Published: 03 Mar 2012 06:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 03 Mar 2012 06:53 GMT+01:00

According to Sweden's naming laws, the Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has the power to decide which names are approved for children born in Sweden and for those wishing to change their names.

"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," the law states.

The tax agency has rejected the man’s request citing the name law and explaining that the word "is used by those unwilling to meet their obligations in the labour market" and thus can not be considered a suitable Christian name.

Furthermore the agency rejected the man’s request to add “Eddie” as a middle name or "mellannamn" - a uniquely Swedish construction that equates to a secondary surname.

According to the law a “mellannamn” can only be adopted if the bearer has some prior connection to the word.

The 1982 name law was originally planned to protect Swedish nobility, preventing the general public from giving their children noble names.

The law in now more commonly applied by the Tax Agency to protect children from the unrestrained imaginations of their parents or to protect established brand names.

The Local has previously reported on disputes surrounding names such as Metallica, Ikea, Google, Dark Knight, Elvis, His Majesty and Q.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

08:09 March 4, 2012 by Marc the Texan
I'm waiting for Sweden to ban the name Johnson. It can be pretty offensive in the right context.
08:43 March 4, 2012 by Valdemaratterdag
In the U.S., I have a neighbor whose name is Richard Boner.
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