Swedish Baby Named Q

I’ve posted about several Swedish names (*, Estelle, Engla) recently, so let’s throw in one more.

About a decade ago in central Sweden, the parents of a baby boy named “Q Anbjörn Jackrapat Rehnberg” had to go to three different courts to make the first name “Q” legal.

The first court (the county administrative court) ruled against the name.

The parents appealed, but the next court (the administrative court of appeal) also ruled against the name.

The parents appealed again, and, finally, the third court (the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court) ruled in favor of the name, stating that “it has not been proven that the name Q may cause offence [sic], or that it may lead to discomfort for the bearer of the name […] there is also no reason why Q is obviously inappropriate as a first name.”

What are your thoughts on the first name Q?

How do you feel about single-letter first names in general?

Sources: Swedish couple denied right to name their son Q, Swedish parents emerge victorious in bid to name son ‘Q’

Names in the News: Aneurin, Onyx, Suharsi

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Ambre (rejected): A baby boy born in France in January of 2018 was almost named Ambre (French for “amber”) but the French government rejected the name, claiming it could cause gender confusion. (The Local)

Aneurin: A baby boy born in Wales on June 26, 2018 — days before the 70th anniversary of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), founded by Aneurin “Nye” Bevan — was named Aneurin. (South Wales Echo)

Carson*: A baby boy born in Pennsylvania in July of 2018 was named after Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. (CBS)

  • “Pennsylvania Hospital has also had several babies named Carson lately. And one girl named Kelce, spelled like Jason Kelce.” (ABC, Oct. 2018)

Casey: A baby boy born in Kentucky in August of 2018 was named Jaxon Casey, middle name in honor of Kentucky’s “Casey’s law,” which the parents credit for saving each of their lives. (Courier Journal)

Foles*: A baby born in Philadelphia in October of 2018 was named Layla Grace Foles, second middle name in honor of Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles. (ABC)

Lily: A baby girl born in England in June of 2018 was named Lily after her 96-year-old great-great-grandmother Lily. (Leigh Journal)

Murren: A baby girl born in North Carolina in April of 2017 was named Tessa Murren, middle name in honor of the Swiss mountain village in which she was likely conceived. (The Local)

Onyx: A baby boy born in Idaho in April of 2018 — to a couple walking across the U.S. from Georgia to Oregon — was named Onyx “after the healing stone, which represents overcoming fear.” (Idaho Press)

Rachel: A baby girl born in Scotland in July of 2018 was named Ashley Rachel, middle in honor of Rachel Mackie, the ambulance technician who delivered her en route to the hospital. (BBC)

Suharsi: A baby girl born aboard the Indonesian hospital ship KRI Dr. Soeharso in October of 2018 was named Suharsi, “a feminine adaptation of Soeharso.” (Daily Mail)

Zeppelin: A baby boy born in the U.S. in December of 2016 was named Zeppelin after the zeppelin bend, inspired by the fact that his umbilical chord was knotted at birth. (USA Today)

  • Zeppelin is the son of actors Jensen Ackles and Danneel Harris. He has a twin sister named Arrow. (Danneel’s name was inspired by Danneel Street in New Orleans, btw.)

*Philadelphia hospitals are now preparing for a Super Bowl baby boom

What’s a “Tee-Name”?

Centuries ago, in the small fishing villages of north-east Scotland, there weren’t many surnames to go around. There also weren’t many acceptable first names to choose from. So a large number of people ended up with identical sets of first and last names.

To differentiate between all these like-named people, locals began using tee-names: descriptive words that were added to (or used in place of) legal names. A tee-name could refer to a person’s appearance, demeanor, occupation, or anything else that served as a useful identifier.

Here’s how an article from 1842 described the practice:

In an unsophisticated village, the proper names only connect the inhabitants with the external civilisation [sic], while the tee-name is, of necessity, the thing for use. It is amusing enough to be permitted to turn over the leaves of a grocer’s ledger, and see the tee-names as they come up. Buckie, Beauty, Bam, Biggelugs, Collop, Helldom, the King, the Provost, Rochie, Stoattie, Sillerton, the Smack, Snipe, Snuffers, Toothie, Todlowrie. Ladies are occasionally found who are gallantly and exquisitely called the Cutter, the Bear, &c. Among the twenty-five George Cowies in Buckie, there are George Cowie, doodle, George Cowie, carrot, and George Cowie, neep.

(In Scottish, a buckie is a whelk, a collop is a slice of meat, rochie means “rough,” a snipe is either a type of bird or a contemptible person, a snuffers is a scissor-like tool used to snuff candles, a todlowrie is a fox, and a neep is a turnip.)

Here’s an interesting example that also demonstrates how tee-names were sometimes passed down to the next generation:

John May was born in Rathen, Aberdeenshire in 1846. He was known as Jockey Borra. Jockey is a common Scottish nick-name for John but Borra was taken from the “Northern Lights”, Aurora Borealis with which he was fascinated. His sons took the same Tee-name: one was also Jockey Borra and the other, Robert, was known as Bobby Borra, although it isn’t known if they also had a fascination with the Aurora.

Do you have Scottish ancestry? If so, did any of the folks in your family tree have a tee-name?


Swedish Royals Don’t Have Surnames

Did you know that most members of the Swedish royal family do not have surnames? On the Swedish national registration form, in place of a surname, they simply have an asterisk (*).

Some people in Sweden are not pleased about this because, according to Swedish law, everyone born in Sweden must have a surname. The royals are therefore skirting a law that everyone else must adhere to. That said, the tradition is unlikely to change anytime soon…

Source: Princess Estelle skirts Swedish naming laws

Would You Name Your Baby Harland for $11,000?

These days, not many babies are named Harland. But we may end up seeing more Harlands than expected in 2018 now that KFC is spotlighting the name as part of a silly marketing campaign.

KFC wants to give $11,000 to a U.S. baby born this September 9 who has the first name Harland. If more than one eligible baby is entered into the contest via the Name Your Baby Harland contest page, then the baby born earliest in the day will be declared the winner.

So why that name, that date, and that amount? Col. Harland Sanders was the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, September 9th was his birthday, and $11,000 represents the “11 herbs and spices” in KFC’s original fried chicken recipe.

…Do you think anyone will enter?

UPDATE, 11/3/2018: We have a winner! Baby girl Harland “Harley” Rose was born on Sept. 9 to parents Anna Pilson and Decker Platt of of Southern Pines, North Carolina. (Source: Lexington Herald-Leader)

Source: KFC will give $11,000 to first baby born on Sept. 9 who’s named Harland

P.S. Here’s my running list of for-profit baby names.