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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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In the News...What's in a Name?(learn about the country of Iceland)

In the News: What's in a Name?

Did you know that in Iceland~ there is a list of approved names to be given for all girl and boy babies? The Personal Names Register lists 1~853 accepted female names and 1~712 male names.All babies' names must stick to this list. Names that start with letters of the Icelandic alphabet can only be used. For example~ names that start with the letter C can not be used as the letter C it is not part of the Icelandic 32 letter alphabet. Names must also follow the rules of Icelandic grammar.This is how it has been done for hundreds and hundreds of years and no one has questioned this practice...until now.

A 15 year old girl named Blaer Eidsdottir(her first name means "light breeze" in Icelandic) wants to keep her given name. Because it wasn't an approved name for a girl~ she has been registered as Stulka(meaning "girl")on official papers. Blaer has decided to sue the government of Iceland for the ability to legally be called Blaer.Her mom supports her daughters actions.What do you think?

It is the custom of Iceland to have a list of approved names. It is a custom in China and Japan to bow to greet one another. It is a custom to stick out your tongue as a sign of respect in Tibet. What is a custom? Brainstorm additional customs of the world. Draw/color an illustration of a world custom.

What are some unusual names you may have heard? Should people be able to give "any" name to a baby? Why~ why not?

Pretend you are Blaer. What would you say to the court as to why you should be allowed to have the name Blaer. Pretend you on on the court. What might you say as to why Blaer should not be allowed to use the name Blaer.

Learn more about Iceland at this link:
Gail Hennessey