Parents of a Jämtland boy learned on Wednesday that they may now legally name their son Q, following a ruling by the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten).
The couple had already been twice overruled in their battle to retain the quizzical first name, first by the county administrative court (Länsrätten) and later, by the administrative court of appeal (Kammarrätten).
The higher court grounded its decision in the fact that “it has not been proven that the name Q may cause offence, or that it may lead to discomfort for the bearer of the name [...] there is also no reason why Q is obviously inappropriate as a first name.”
Q's father, Rickard Rehnberg, expressed his relief at the Supreme Administrative Court's decision.
“This has been going on for a while now,” he told Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.
When asked why the name meant so much to them, Rehnberg replied,
“He's been called Q almost since day one. He listens to the name and can actually say his own name. And if you read the law, you are allowed to be named after a letter,” he said.
“The law states that you shouldn't have the same name as a letter, but not that you can't. He is a unique child and we thought he should have a unique name – then Q popped up.”
The boy's full name is now officially Q Anbjörn Jackrapat Rehnberg, though it may be a while before the youngster is able to pronounce it.
In a similar decision, the Supreme Administrative Court also overruled objections by the Swedish tax authorities in awarding a woman from Varberg in western Sweden named Ann-Christine the right to change her legal name to A-C.
According to the court, there is nothing to suggest that the name A-C is offensive to anyone
"The choice of a first name is of such a personal nature that the individual must be given complete freedom," said the court.
The possibility that A-C could be interpreted as an abbreviation of another name doesn't mean in and of itself that it's obviously inappropriate. Nor is A-C obviously inappropriate as a first name for any other reason."