Fanny Carlsson has now decided to start using her middle name ‘Linnéa’.
The 19-year-old from Uddevalla in Sweden has worked at skincare chain The Body Shop in London for five months. But when she tried to apply for a points card with the supermarket Sainsbury’s, an error message appeared saying her first name was invalid.
"I just found it amusing and I've now got a card as Linnéa instead," she told The Local.
"Because I already knew what 'Fanny' meant before I moved to England, I have chosen to call myself Linnéa at work. It's pretty much only when I talk to Swedes that I use my first name," she added.
According to Swedish site Svenska Namn, more than 10,000 Swedish women – and one man – are called Fanny, which was also a popular British name several centuries ago. Fanny Price is the heroine of Jane Austen’s novel ‘Mansfield Park’. But in the UK it is also a slang word for the female sexual organ.
Fanny Carlsson quickly took a screen shot of the loyalty card's online application form and tweeted the incident, writing “Love being called Fanny and living in the UK".
Älskar att heta Fanny och bo i UK ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/w7mLYALqwv
— Fanny Carlsson (@FannyCarlsson) February 12, 2015
The tweet has since gone viral in Sweden.
“I previously only had friends and family following me on Twitter, so I certainly had no idea it would spread that much and I don't understand how it did. But I find it really funny and many people seem to have had similar problems with their names abroad," she said.
"My parents already knew I had had some problems with my name, so they're mainly just happy they gave me a middle name that works better!"
A spokeswoman from UK loyalty scheme company Nectar, which manages Sainsbury's store cards, said: "Like many companies we block a number of words on the Nectar website. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to this particular customer and are reviewing this going forward."