Sweden rejects baby’s ‘noble’ name change

Sweden's Tax Agency (Skatteverket) has turned down a name change from Mats to Von as it deemed the name was inappropriate due to its usual use as an aristocratic prefix.

Sweden rejects baby's 'noble' name change

The family of infant Kasim Mats Kavak from Jönköping had applied to change the boy’s first name to Kasim Von. However, the request was denied as it breached article 34 of the names adoption act, which states that a new name that could cause offence for the bearer is not suitable.

The agency went on to the state that the requested name of Von was not suitable as it has been used in the past as a noble prefix – used ahead of the family name.

The 2013 Aristocracy Calender (Adelskalendern), which keeps track of Sweden’s noble families, includes names such as von Linde, von Wackenitz, von Würtemberg, or von Ascheraden. Another common prefix is “af”, as in the names af Hageby, af Ornäs, and af Målagård to name but a few.

The parents of Kasim Mats Kavak declined to comment when contacted by The Local, while the Tax Agency said they could not comment on specific cases.

“A name change is only turned down if it doesn’t comply with the existing regulation,” a spokesperson said.

“Von is considered to be a noble name so it was not approved.”

Patrick Reilly

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