Iceland has one more name added to the list of banned names! This time, it's Lucifer because the authorities claim the name has “Satanic” links.
Despite its small size and population, this Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic has one of the most stringent naming laws in the world. Anyone who wants to use a name not mentioned in the list needs to apply for the permission of the Icelandic Naming Committee.
So, when this new parent wanted to give an unusual name to their newborn, they put forth their application to the authorities– only to be rejected. The reasons for this is that the name Lucifer has “Satanic” links, and it also doesn't conform to the Icelandic tongue. In Iceland, all baby names have to comply with the rules of the language and alphabet. The country doesn't have the letter "c," so any name containing it is by banned by default.
On their verdict of rejecting the name Lucifer, the committee said, "Since the name Lucifer is one of the devil’s names, the Naming Committee believes it could cause the bearer embarrassment. Besides, the spelling of the name Lucifer cannot be considered in accordance with the general spelling rules of the Icelandic language, since the letter c is not part of the Icelandic alphabet."
The name must match the gender of the bearer in terms of traditional usage, too. That reason was why one Icelandic girl named Blaer Bjarkardottir had to battle for 15 years to be referred to by her given name. Up until then, she has only been referred to as “Girl.” Blaer- meaning light breeze in Icelandic- wasn't considered acceptable by the Icelandic Naming Committee, which was appointed by the Ministry of the Interior to serve as a steward of names.
The names that were banned by Iceland in 2019 included:
The Committee- which was established in 1991- is the sole overseer of the official list of names eligible for Icelandic babies. By the end of 2012, this name-list reportedly contained 1853 female names and 1712 male names. Though parents are allowed to apply for new names for a minor application fee and the list has been growing over the period, the Committee is very strict about which names are suitable for integration into Icelandic culture. Any new proposal is judged based on three primary criteria: The name must only contain letters in the Icelandic alphabet, must be flexible to Icelandic grammar rules, and must not cause any embarrassment to the child in the future.
There has been a glacier of rules, which most parents do not feel happy about. Even the former mayor of Reykjavik was forbidden to name his daughter Camilla after her grandmother! Due to strong opposition, a new bill was proposed to remove some criteria, including the gender rule, and the “embarrassment” consideration.