The parents wanted to give their two-month-old son Bjørn the middle name Skrot, which translates to 'scrap' as in ‘scrap metal’ or ‘scrap vehicle’, because they’ve used it as a nickname for him since birth.
Like all parents in Sweden, Emelie Gustafsson was required to submit her baby name request to Skatteverket. The agency rejected Skrot, pointing to its mandate to spare children from “names that can give offence or be seen to cause discomfort for the bearer”.
Gustafsson said that she and the baby’s father disagree with that assessment.
“It’s probably a personal interpretation. To me, it is not an ugly name. I picture a junkyard with old car parts,” she told radio station P4 Värmland.
Gustafsson added that they were likely to file an official appeal.
“I think we will because still call him that and it would be fun if he could have it as a name,” she said. “We don’t really understand how it could cause offence since it’s a middle name.”
Skrot is hardly the first baby name to be scrapped by Skatteverket. The number of baby names rejected by Swedish authorities has risen since last summer when the regulations were tightened. The new law made it easier to go through a legal name change in some ways, including by lifting a ban on double-barrelled surnames, but regulations around permitted first names were tightened.
The change has affected international families like that of one-year-old Swedish-Canadian Ford Kendrick. The boy’s father, Joseph Kendrick, told The Local earlier this month that he plans to fight the Tax Agency’s rejection of the name ‘Ford’ all the way to Sweden’s Supreme Administrative Court.
Other examples include a Swedish couple who were denied the right to name their baby Pilzner last year. Some additional names rejected by the agency include Allah, T-Rex, Q, Prinsessan, Q, Token, Michael Jackson and Metallica (though that decision was later overturned).