Swedish couple fined for naming their child "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclll mmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116"

A Swedish couple has been fined for failing to register a legally approved name for their seven-year-old child, who is presently called "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116" (pronounced "/ˈalˌbin/"). They've offered to change the kid's name to "A," but the Swedish government says that won't do, either.
Because the parents (Elizabeth Hallin and an unidentified father) failed to register a name by the boy's fifth birthday, a district court in Halmstad, southern Sweden, fined the parents 5,000 kronor (US$682 at the time). Responding to the fine, the parents submitted the 43-character name in May 1996, claiming that it was "a pregnant, expressionistic development that we see as an artistic creation." The parents suggested the name be understood in the spirit of 'pataphysics. The court rejected the name and upheld the fine.


  1. Fun toying with the government, but at the expense of the kid? If they’re trying to prove a point, why not change their own names?

  2. Since they’re using their child as an art project, maybe Sweden could donate them to Damien Hirst for one of his formaldehyde works.

  3. @ #5
    I agree that the phrase out of context sounds rather dark, but I can’t disagree with it. Just one of those social rules that has been codified into law. It’s the community saying “We, the sane majority, aren’t going to let you inflict this well intended suffering upon your defenseless child”

    These naming laws are the verbal equivalent of the laws that don’t let you beat you kid. Spanking? Sure, but then again, you are allowed to name you kid Horace or Gunther too.

  4. @GabrielM: I think that xhcd comic was once boing’d actually.

    What business does the government have approving names?

  5. I suggest Pi. You can officially record the kid’s name as “Pi” but then insist he/she learns to properly write it out numerically every time someone has to write down the name.

    This could come in very useful in the future: “Sorry officer, but that’s my abbreviated name. My full name is 3.14159265…”

  6. While I don’t think it’s any government’s job to decide what someone’s name should or shouldn’t be, I have to shake my head when I hear someone name their child some ridiculous name. They will have to live with the name until they can legally change it. Way to set your kid up for playground punishment!

  7. # 11
    I agree fully, but would swap the empahsis of your sentence to..

    While I am routinely annoyed by the ridiculous names people give their children, I don’t think the government has any place DECIDING what an acceptable name is.

    I mean, kwanisha.. or any of the muck we hear now-a-days that nobody is trying to regulate? Or even some of the horrible traditional names that are given by parents to children with a misplaced sense of nobility, but are flame-bait in the playgound..

    More swedish name shenanigans here.

  8. I guess “Dweezil” was too common.

    Why not just name the child “Bureaucratic Nightmare”?

    (FYI– when Dweezil Zappa was born his parents were barred from naming him Dweezil by someone in the hospital, his birth certificate actually says “Ian.”)

  9. Also, just found this site. It’s about the awful chicanery of modern baby-name spelling and word reappropriation.. UGH!

    For instance:

    “” I was thinking of naming my son Toolio. Does anyone know the origin on that one?
    —[Jane] DeSac

    Toolio DeSac. Boy, can’t think of any way that kid’ll get picked on. That’s one taunt-proof name there! “”

  10. I salute anyone who dissent and try to make the government see they are just nitpicking and need to get their prioritise right, but there’s no reason to be an arse about it and even risk having it backfire at you.

  11. I find it interesting that people immediately jump on the fact that this child will get pummelled when in school. Note that they didn’t actually care to name the child in question, and ONLY when they received a fine for such actions did such unique names come up. Perhaps the idea was to avoid naming the child until the child desired a name and would choose one on those desires… yes some kids might want to call themselves something really freaking odd but sometimes children can be surprisingly intelligent and wise about such things. Names are simply labels, useful but sometimes annoying at the same time. People have to spend quite a bit of money and time to rid themselves of a name they don’t want, given to them at a time in which they had zero say in the matter, maybe because they are too busy freaking out at all the new intense stimuli going on they have an emotional episode, which for a child maybe a few mins old is perfectly normal. So we let parents name them, and when people grow up either they are used to the name or they change it at great expense in both time and money.

  12. I think they should allow the parents to name their kid that as long as they can still spell it after having several drinks! I’m pretty sure that even if I was totally drunk, I could still spell my kid’s very nice traditional Swedish name.

  13. @18
    A (Canadian) friend of mine was given the opportunity to choose his own middle name when he was 5. He chose the name “Snuggles”. Really. He’s very proud of it so I can’t help but feel good for him.

  14. A friend of mine’s parents let her and her brother choose their middle names when they were kids. So her middle name is “Buckaroo”.

  15. Old meme! Also, wholly lacking is any mention of this case’s vital link to ‘Pataphysics, which in my opinion is what elevates it from shenenigans to art.

  16. #18: Interesting insight. So perhaps this “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclll mmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116” is resulted by the kid himself banging the keyboard when his parents asked him what he wants to name himself.

  17. I say let the parents name the child or not as they see fit. This is just one more example of government meddling where it does not belong.


  18. Yeah, O3, ‘Pataphysics gives it REAL streat cred…

    I think that they should let them name the child whatever they wish – and then give the kid a free pass when, 16 or so years down the road, he goes all Peter Stomare from “Fargo” on them.

  19. #18: Perhaps instead of waiting for children to be ready to pick their own name, the parents should simply PARENT. As for the ridicule faced by the child – GOOD! – ridicule is society’s way of letting people know how foolish they are being.

  20. If it’s a few days old, we notice. If it’s a decade old, we don’t?

    At this point someone could ask Albin if he got his ass kicked in school.

  21. hahahaha rad! I love it!

    3ric from the defcon crowd would be proud.
    He had his name legally changed to 3ric to screw with character input fields to show the government they need to be more careful. I’ve heard stories!

  22. There’s a woman named A who works in my office. That’s her whole, legal, on-her-birth-certificate, given first name. I think it’s kinda neat.

  23. it was initially a much longer and more poetic name, but the Swedish registry was using the same disemvowelling technology employed by boingboing today.

  24. 3 things…

    First, as several others have pointed out, this story is nearing 10 years old.

    Second, they were NOT fined for naming their child Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, they were fined for not naming him before his 5th birthday, so the title of this post is factually incorrect and misleading.

    Third, I don’t know why everyone assumes this kid would get “pummeled” at school. If I knew someone named Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116, that kid would have been the most popular kid in school, if only because pronouncing and spelling the kid’s name would make every teacher and administrator cry out to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

  25. The only ‘source’ I can find of this is Wikipedia. The WP article gives no sources other than a blog post that gives the WP article as its source.

    In other words:
    [Citation needed]

    I guess since he’d be around 18 now, Mr. Albin Gustaf Tarzan Hallin would be able to confirm these rumours himself, if he exists.

  26. Furthermore, the news sites that turn up on a google search of this gives the source of this article variously as Reuter [sic], Reuters or TT.

  27. Um, don’t these stories get background-checked before getting posted on here? Cory!, you’re getting lazy, dude. David Byrne reads your blog. It the kid was freakin’ steampunk you’d have checked into it, right? C’mon.

  28. Wasn’t there something in Quebec a few years back, something about a couple wanting to name their newborn ‘Spatule’ (the French for ‘spatula’)? The Government said no.

    I suppose you can call a kid whatever you want, regardless of what’s on their birth cert. I have a friend named Roland, everyone calls him Kelly. He has a daughter named Kelli, everyone calls her Sarah.

  29. Wait a minute. On this thread odd names get trashed for being mean to kids, but name your kid, ohhh, say, Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, for example, and everyone woo-hoos and thinks it’s great?

    (Sorry Cory. But your kid’s gonna get beat up. :) )

  30. Kids can use anything as “justification” for beatnig someone up. A name isn’t THE deciding factor for getting beat up, it’s just another thing they can grab.

    It’s not like they don’t give those with normalish names nicknames, name a daughter a rather normal Ally and she could become “Smelly Ally” because someone doesn’t like her.

    Up in Iceland we do have a list of “allowed names” actually, you can apply for a name being added to the list and then a committee will decide upon if it is allowed.

    The list includes some really weird old names that are legendary for being bad names.

  31. You know, I considered keeping my children “off net”. Not seriously, but it was actually a bit of a sad moment when it came time to “register”.

    How easy would it be to have a child, that was never “known” to the authorities? Probably easier if you live in Deliverance country, I suppose.

  32. If you’ve been blessed with a child, and then you can’t name that child in a human way, then you might not be a fit parent. At least that’s my guess.

  33. My daughter’s name is Scarlet-Rose.

    My husband was in a huff for days over my saying that she couldn’t be named Buffy. {He’s a Buffy and Angel fan}.

    There is a boy in her childcare centre named Marvin-Lee-Aday Smith…which I didn’t laugh at, because I’m a huge Meatloaf fan as it is.
    But they could have at least thought over just calling him ‘Lee’ or ‘Marvin’. At least they didn’t resort to ‘Meatloaf’.

  34. On this thread odd names get trashed for being mean to kids, but name your kid, ohhh, say, Poesy Emmeline Fibonacci Nautilus Taylor Doctorow, for example, and everyone woo-hoos and thinks it’s great?

    One name is facetious. The other is not. There is a difference. If your parenting is such that you don’t bother to name your child until he’s seven, you might as well name him Menendez.

  35. Name a pet rat a scientific expression and exterminate the worthless of those using Meth when naming kids.

    It’s a growing paranoia syndrome.

    It’s tough enough being a kid. It’s not ‘Leave it to Beaver’ era.
    Real Swedish names have real meaning.

  36. @46
    Surely as a responsible parent you have already established secondary identities for your children? Think of the advantage they will have decades later in having totally credible documents for when the day comes.


  38. I remember reading this when the poor kid was born. It was in a local newspaper in the UK. It was a great laugh and certainly brightened up the physics department for a few seconds xD

  39. nag nag nag about “he will get bullied in school” bullshit I say, if that were the case, everyone would have to be named exactly the same as they’ve always been. whatever happened to originality? don’t let the bullies set the rules

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