Iceland Mag

8 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Culture

Parents who aren't allowed to name their daughter Alex, considering class action lawsuit

By Staff

  • Strict rules The parents of Alex Emma, a two-year-old girl who was refused to legally bear the name Alex, are contemplating filing a class action lawsuit against the Icelandic government in a bid to have their daughter’s name approved. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

The parents of Alex Emma, a two-year-old girl who was refused to legally bear the name Alex, are contemplating filing a class action lawsuit against the Icelandic government in a bid to have their daughter’s name approved.

Read moreTwo-year-old girl not allowed to be named Alex

According to newsagent Vísir, Alex Emma’s parents have contacted other parents who are fighting to have their child’s name approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee, a government board that determines whether or not given names not previously used in Iceland are suitable for integration into the Icelandic language and culture, with the intention of suing the Icelandic government as a group.

Read moreFear that the Nordic tradition of patronymic surnames will die out should naming laws be changed

Icelandic parents must follow a strict set of rules when naming their child. The name must only contain letters in the Icelandic alphabet, must grammatically fit the language, it may not embarrass the child in the future and it must indicate the child’s gender. Among disapproved names are Clinton, Duane, Hector, Sveinnóli, and Karma for boys, and girl names Lady, Prinsessa and Kaia.

“I don’t know what the government intends to do next, but I hope this committee will be disestablished,” said Nanna Þórdís Árnadóttir, Alex Emma’s mother. 

Related content

Editor's Picks