Icelandic girl denied passport because name is English


They couldn’t compromise on Harriet Cardew Tristransdóttir?

On the alternate side, I know that immigrants from places like Iceland and Poland often have difficulties being recognized as families in the US because their “surnames” don’t match.


It’s not just Iceland and Poland, I know lots of people from various places including the UK and US itself that don’t have matching surnames with spouses, children etc, so if that is an issue with US not recognising them as families that’s really stupid. In fact there’s probably very few or possibly no countries where that doesn’t happen.

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“Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit” has to be the weirdest name on that list.

What’s left out of the article is why the name isn’t acceptable. Icelandic is a mind-bogglingly complex language in which names have to fit in with Icelandic grammar case structure - names change depending on the nominative, accusative, dative and genitive. The names in question can’t fit with Icelandic grammar. there are also issues over names containing letters (such as ‘c’) which are not found in modern Icelandic; however in most cases there are close relatives in Icelandic (in the case of ‘c’ it is usually a ‘k’).

The parents could choose to give their children names that fit in with Icelandic grammar AND their chosen name. Officially the children would use their Icelandic names, unofficially they could be called what they want.


I read that as two separate names. Sex Fruit on its own is still plenty bizarre.

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The insanity here seems to me to be more along the lines of “This has never come up before”.

Somebody’s playing silly buggers.

Did they know about this before they tried to name their children?

They could have picked some Icelandic middle names and gone with those as the ‘official’ names. Seems like this is a bit of an unnecessary kerfuffle.

I used to think Iceland was pretty chill.


There are few countries where children’s last names match neither of their biological parents, however.


It sounds like they did not, in fact, know that this would be a problem.

Indeed. This is why we need the serial comma.


Isn’t this their second passport?

I thought that this time it was an issue because they wouldn’t let them officially call them girl and boy like they did previously.

My question was more about whether they knew they were going to have problems when they chose the names they did 12/10 years ago…

Even the bible uses the term “fruit of the womb” to describe children. “Sex Fruit” is just a handy abbreviation.


Based on your comment, I now believe that no Icelander should be given a passport; they will surely find the outside world too grammatically challenging.


“Fruit of the Womb” is the worst underwear brand name ever.


Oddly, Henrietta is acceptable, so far as I can tell, and it’s basically the same name with the same root.

They could have called their son Dúnn, too.

Dun Dun Dun

I’ll show myself out.

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Ahh, I missed that their passports were currently issued as “boy” and “girl” (I saw that it was like that in the Registry, but missed the bit about their current passports having those names).

So, it would appear that the passport office has changed its policies regarding invalid names, and will no longer issue passports to people with the name “boy” or “girl” in order to encourage people to give their children proper Icelandic names. In that case, it would appear that 12/10 years ago, when they named their children, this wasn’t actually a problem - since they were able to get passports for them more recently than 12/10 years ago.

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Leave it the Germans to regulate every aspect of life. From the occasional news story, it seems though that the main impetus is to stop people from giving their children silly names. If a name is common in any language or culture, it’s allowed.

For a few cringeworthy examples of what German parents did successfully manage to call their children see