Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We now resume our regular programming

Ok, so I’ve gotten a number of e-mails and comments, in recent days, asking why there hasn’t been as much activity on the blog over the last couple of weeks. I confess it’s entirely my fault. I’ve just been through one of the most exciting (and tiring) experiences of my life, and now that things are starting to settle back into a routine of sorts I can take a moment to tell you about it.

You see, my lovely wife gave birth to our first child, a 6 lb 15 oz boy named Sig, on December 5th and I’ve been spending most of the last two weeks at home with our new bundle of joy! I’m happy to report that he’s healthy, happy and, as of today, a 4th generation Sons of Norway member!

He’s a cutie, right? So, there you have it. I think it’s a pretty good reason to temporarily drop off the radar, don’t you? But never fear because regular blogging has resumed!

Resumption of regular blogging…sort of
You know what one of the hardest parts of having a child can be? Picking a name. Think about it for a second; the name you choose will be one of the first, and most basic, way in which your child will define themselves. It will be a huge part of their identity. Because of this, my wife and I looked for a name that we felt represented our German and Norwegian heritage, but was somewhat unique without being cumbersome. We chose the name Sig because it is somewhat uncommon while also being a shortened version of a number of Germanic and Scandinavian names, like Sigbjörn, Sigefrid, Sigfinn, Sigar, Sigvald or Sigurd.

This kind of got me thinking, though. What if my wife and I lived in Norway when Sig was born? Norway has some pretty strict name laws (though they have reportedly relaxed a bit in the last five years) that date back to the 1800’s. Would we have been able to name him Sig or would we have had to go with the full Sigbjörn? Maybe, maybe not.

The most current version of the law, from 2003, states:

One of the most important differences from the old naming law is that a first name can be given as long as it will not cause significant disadvantage to the person concerned or other strong reasons within the realms of common sense. Previously, the name could not cause “disadvantage” but the addition of the word “significant” means that Norwegians now have more freedom in choosing a name.

A restriction in choosing a first name is that if the name is registered as a surname or middle name, it cannot be given to a child unless that name is already a traditional Norwegian first name, or a name in another country or culture where there is no separation of middle and surnames.

To read the full law, you can view it here in Norwegian or you can read a rough English translation here.

There’s also some interesting blog posts about the name laws here and here as well as news stories about them here and here.

2 comments:

Debbie said...

My goodness, I didn't know there were laws about naming a baby. But congratulations to the new papa. And frankly, I think Sig is a great name!

MJ said...

Got your card today. Sig is beautiful! It's a great name - strong, simple, honoring his Norwegian and German roots and unique without being odd.
Congratulations to you all and God Jul!