back to article Swedish authorities pull plug on female Elvis

A Stockholm couple is battling the tax authorities for the right to call their five-month-old daughter Elvis, The Local reports. The girl's mum, Linda, explained: "We talked about lots of names and then Elvis popped up. We thought it was a name that was both pretty and gender-neutral. We're not Elvis Presley fans at all." The …


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  1. Steven
    IT Angle

    What the F?

    "It is the National Tax Board's view".

    ??? What the hell kind of say should the tax board have in naming your own child??? Yeah its a stupid name, but surely it should be up to you whatever you want to call your kids?

  2. Ferry Boat

    Gov.UK has something to learn here

    Why don't we have a government department that passes names as acceptable or not? They could do it just before logging the child's DNA into the big database. In fact why just allocate the name to the child when it's born then parents wouldn't have to think at all. We could restrict the names to 8 characters maximum length to save on disk space. In fact with the list of acceptable names and a bit of normalisation we could really save on disk space. We'll need to when oil reaches $1,000 a barrel. Oh, yes lots of oil involved in disk drive manufacture, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. What's that? Time for the red pill, ok.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're not Elvis Presley fans at all."

    Must be fans of Elvis Costello then.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle


    2 boys called Supermen or 2 Superman's?

  5. Phil A

    Tax authorities?

    At least in Sweden, it sounds as though they're honest enough to admit that right from the day it is born a baby is within the tax office sphere of interest.

    Phil 'just breathing a sigh of relief at finally passing tax freedom day' A

  6. Elmer Phud


    I bet those parents are all shook up and have gone off to Heartbreak Hotel for a rest - with their dog Shep.

    Mine's the one with the bourbon, burgers and pills in the pockets.

  7. Paul Buxton

    Sex Discrimination

    Don't Sweden have sex discrimination laws. For the authorities to even suggest that any name is masculine or feminine is discriminatory. If you want to call your kid Elvis, Chardonnay or Moon Unit then the child should have the right to sue the parents for the years of abuse s/he is bound to suffer as a result, but that's a civil matter, the authorities shouldn't get involved.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Other questionable names...

    So how do the Swedes feel about the current crop of annoyingly trendy names being assigned to unfortunate newborns in the States? Names like "Hunter", "Taylor", "McKenzie", "Riley" being given to girls, to mention only a few? I don't much care for Elvis for a girl, but at least it's original... Somehow I can't imagine making love to a woman and calling out "Oh McKenzie! You're so wonderful!" ...although I suppose my opinion might change depending on the hotness of her and situation involved...

    What about "Paris?" Paris has always been a unisex name... Beats naming your kid "Albuquerque"...

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Is "Bork" an acceptable name in Sweden then?

    Mine is the one with a copy of "Swedish cookery" by Jim Henson in the pocket. <Here Chirky Chirky!>

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Uh ?

    WTF has it got to do with the government busybodies what you are called ?

    If I want to call my son Slartybartfast it's none of the bloody governments business.


    Christopher Mycock (think about it !)

    Government - Using YOUR money to tell YOU what to do

  11. Sam

    My invitation

    ..clearly said "elves".

    The green one, thanks.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    ...have Swedes heard of it?!

  13. David H

    All shook up

    Just had to go with that title, even if someone else has probably beaten me to it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call her 'Sen'

    From 千と千尋の神隠し Sen would be a good alternate choice. Have to talk in riddles if you want to get it past the Swedish Yubaba though.

  15. E

    Tax Authority?

    WTH is a tax authority doing vetting peoples' names?

  16. ImaGnuber


    The assumption is that what is odd ( = 'unacceptable' for some people) today will be regarded in the same way tomorrow.

    Odd how inflexible and shortsighted some people can be.

    The other point is that, as the parents indicated, they will continue to call their daughter Elvis no matter what the 'official' requirement may be - thus the Swedish gov could minutely increase the gap between the official view and lives as actually lived and thus could, minutely, increase the level of disrespect and disregard for government.

    Doesn't 'Swede' = Turnip in Britain?

  17. G2

    Robert Tables

    They should have named her like this:


  18. Rob Briggs

    Switzerland too

    A few years back I lived in Switzerland for a year or so, in the Canton of Zurich. A friend of my wife's had a baby girl. Being American, they expected to be able to call their daughter what they liked. They chose something very bizarre and totally 'out there'. They chose "AnneMarie". This made the authorities very cross. The name had to be "Anne-Marie" or "Annemarie", it couldn't have a capital M.

    After many thousands of CHFs on legal fees they did prevail in the end. And I know they have these rules to prevent unfortunates being called Purble-Berry Ding Wallah Moonbeam Zot but it does get a bit 'in your face' at times. My wife was pregnant with twins at the time and we were given an official form to list our preferences of names, five male and five female for each twin, to be submitted months before the due date and to allow the babies to registered quickly. The official name list was Swiss German, of course. Being British (me) and Irish (my wife) we please to be told that for foreigners names from our family backgrounds would be considered.

    We came home; we couldn't be bothered to argue.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Why ever not?

    Either we are to have gender equality or not. The next step will be when the Authorities decree that for the sake of cultural diversity we can't use names from an ethnic group we don't belong to. (Unless they came out of George Lucas film).

    Daft name for a girl, tho. In English Elvis != elves, whichever way you look at it.

  20. Pierre


    "... as well as two Supermen."

    Surely that would be "two Supermans"? If I know two people named Herman, I don't call them two Hermen, do I?


  21. James Pickett


    Some friends of mine, who really were Elvis fans, called their daughter Elvisa. She seems pretty happy with it...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slap an 'E' on it, job's a good un.

    Elvise - Works for Simone.

  23. Kevin O'Rourke
    IT Angle

    Tax Board and choice of names

    The tax board (Skatteverket) here in Sweden has a load of extra jobs as well as just dealing with taxes. Among other things they're responsible for population registration.

    See (in English):

  24. DivisionBell

    It's better than...


    Yes, I actually know two young ladies named Georqueshæ (or is that Georqueshas?).

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Swede / Turnip

    The swede (besides being what you call someone from Sweden) is a particular type of turnip. Brassica napobrassiac, introduced into the UK from Sweden as "the Swedish Turnip", and the name was shortened over the years.

  26. Mark

    On "Paris"

    Isn't a city "le" in french? As in the masculine pronoun?

    How about if you named her after "Plaster of Paris" 'cos your dad was a plasterer? Is that male or female?

    Since the moon is normally construed to have feminine connotations, are only girls allowed to be called "Moon Unit"? Or, since that could mean the Lunar Lander Module (a technical device, and hence geek and hence male associations), can only boys be named so?

    Now when it comes to common names in English, they have no common meaning in a foreign langage (think back to the Windows trademark suit that had to go to Finland before MS didn't get kicked immediately to the curb because in finland "windows" had no meaning and so wasn't generic and unprotectable), how can a foreign name (Elvis) mean "masculine"?

    Me, I'd tell the taxman to FO. If they want to name my child, then can pay for child support.

  27. Unkle Al

    @ Elmer Phud 'nanner and peanut butter sandwich ?

  28. Jim D

    it's obvious

    The parents are obviously *nix users and fall on the "vi" side of the vi vs. emacs divide.

    They couldn't name their daughter vi, or nvi, or vim, or vile, but chose elvis as the vi "flavor" to name their daughter after and indicate their preferred text editor..

    Mine's the one with the colon print and the <esc> keys in the pocket.


  29. Dana W

    Changing my name to Chrysler "apologies to Tom Paxton"

    Talk about abuses of civil liberties? What about unisex names? Or non-traditional ones?

    Whats next? After the birth the government just ISSUES names?

    As far as I know, the only ones we can't use are strings of numbers, and not because its inappropriate. I suspect the record keeping systems won't take numerics in the entry fields.

    I know that names get silly, "Mr. Microsoft Zune" being a great example, but you can't pass laws against looking foolish, or who would run for public office?

  30. kain preacher

    @Rob Briggs

    (me) and Irish (my wife) we please to be told that for foreigners names from our family backgrounds would be considered.

    WTF you cant use Names from another language if you are swiss. That's they way it sounds like

  31. Chris C

    @Paul Buxton re: Sexual Discrimination

    "...the child should have the right to sue the parents for the years of abuse s/he is bound to suffer as a result, but that's a civil matter, the authorities shouldn't get involved."

    Perhaps you believe female circumcision is acceptable as well? What about locking a child in the basement? Forcing male children to wear dresses in public? Forcing children to wear signs that say "I'm worthless" or "I'm unwanted"? Believe it or not, there are people who think it's a good idea to prevent psychological trauma, not simply attempt to treat it once it has already occurred.

    The authorities have the responsibility of protecting their citizens, ALL of their citizens. This is one issue in which the "think of the children" line can be legitimately applied. A child that grows up under constant ridicule and teasing will grow up with great hatred and rage for nearly everyone, and that hatred and rage will most likely manifest itself in violent outbursts.

  32. Alex D

    You think those names are bad?

    Try the Philippines!!

    I have worked with, in no particular order:

    Bing, Bong, Bong Bong, Ding, Preachy, Peachy, Bebot, Starry, Merry,

    and my personal favourite:


  33. Headstar

    RE: Tax Authority?

    The Swedish Tax board is also the overseer of the Swedish Census bureau (folkbokföringen). There is a rule, if you will, that states: "A first name must not be construed as offensive to the public or cause undue distress to the child. Furthermore, it cannot have the distinct characteristics of a last name." (

    In other words, the government knows what's best for you and your child.

    "For thirty years I have plotted to bring down the party. I am sick in mind and body." - 1984

  34. Kevin Whitefoot

    The name Paris is a lot older than the French city of the same name

    It's a perfectly respectable Greek man's name with a very long history. See

  35. George Johnson


    Leslie, Tracey? Gender neutral names. Gawd knows what these TAx people would make of the names Gaylord, Gay or Jesus, which are perfectly valid names. Sounds liked some jumped up officious little government twerp with too much time and not enough work to do!

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bong bong, ding dong.

    Leslie Phillips would be proud.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Have to say I agree with the Government

    "Your child" doesn't belong to you, they are your offspring, but right from the start they are another human being. There are a long list of things which a child should be protected against until they are able to make their own decision, there is also a long list of things where the parents should not be permitted to ridicule their own child. You might get away with calling your daughter Peaches if you are uber rich and able to shield them from the realities of life, but a girl called Elvis in a normal comprehensive school in the UK would be eaten alive. The Swedish are simply providing a robust system for protecting a child from ridiculous ideas of parents. A name is for life, not just for Christmas. How would you like it if your parents decided to brand you, tattoo you, or get lots of piercings when you were young? All those things are acceptable in some cultures, would you be happy with it? How about if your parents decided to get you addicted to nicotine young, or just decided to indoctrinate you in their wacko religion? Lot's of things can class as child abuse. Ridiculous names are one of the lesser ones, but they are still pretty abusive.

  38. Wayland Sothcott

    Elvis caught in Sweedens Spam filter

    Is this something to do with their email snooping software. Anyone called Elvis would be ignored and therefore escape tax?

  39. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    How about?


  40. Larry Adams
    Paris Hilton

    Another one...

    Another name that probably wouldn't pass muster in Sweden... My wife's cousin has a granddaughter named Kaia Snapdragon. Her older brothers (3 and 5) were allowed to choose her middle name.

    Paris ... just because...

  41. Robin A. Flood

    Bearing a Cross

    The Beckhams when living in Madrid called their newly-born son "Cruz" which is a girl's name - in Spain traditonally used - like "Dolores" meaning pain - after a difficult birth.

    The birth wasn't reportedly painful but guess the old brain cells were suffering, you Perfect Couple you.

  42. michael

    I think it is unfair

    that perents "asssine" names to there children this is obviousley removing the chouce from the child and in a voilatio of there rights my child well be able to select there own name at the select a name screen

  43. Barrie Williams

    Two "Supermen"?

    Should be "Two Supermans" in this context, innit.

  44. Elmer Phud

    @ Unkle Al

    " 'nanner and peanut butter sandwich ?"

    Nah, Barry the Time Sprout ate it first -- Uh Huh Huh.

  45. Mark

    Re: I think it is unfair

    Fair enough. However, how do you put someone in the census without a name? How do you put a child (before they are adult enough to choose their own name) into school?

    'course it should be much more easy to change your christian name when you want than currently it is, so when your hippie parents called you "Moon Unit" you can change it to "Harold", or when your chav parents called you "Tiffany" you can change your name to "Alice".

  46. pctechxp

    Sci-Fi names

    Wonder if anyone has tried to register Yoda. JarJar or Sarlac as a name?

    As for calling the girl Elvis, lets just hope if they do prevail that the girl never buys any blue suede shoes......


    pctechxp has left the building

  47. Matthew
    Paris Hilton


    And a tax board would care why?

    confused as dear Paris here...

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Dana W

    "Whats next? After the birth the government just ISSUES names?"

    Reminds me of an old episode of "Dinosaurs", the chief elder named baby Sinclair "Ugh Ugh I'm Dying You Idiot".

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