Culture & Society News Poland

Polish couple allowed to name their son ‘Yoda’

Warsaw, Poland – A Polish couple has been given permission to call their son ‘Yoda’, according to local outlet Rzeczpospolita.

Although Poland has very strict rules about how parents can call their children and has an official list of names allowed, “the ingenuity of Poles in this area knows no limits”, writes the daily. This story is a good example of it.

The parents already considered giving their son, whose first name is Igor, the second name of Yoda, the wise Jedi master of the Star Wars saga, at his birth four years ago. Specific requests for exceptions from Poland’s official name list have to be approved by the authorities, and the parents didn’t want to prolong the process.

They instead gave him the second name of Olgierd. However, the idea stuck and family members and acquaintances kept referring to Igor as “Little Yoda”.

The Polish couple eventually filed their request in September. Following the advice of the Polish Language Council, the authorities turned them down, arguing that the name Yoda refers to a “green-skinned creature measuring 130 cm” and that, moreover, names starting with a Y are very unusual in Poland.

But the parents didn’t give up: they responded that this amounted to discrimination based on skin colour and highlighted that the 14th century Polish king Wladislaw the Elbow-High was reportedly only 130 cm tall. They also sent a list of words used in Poland starting with a Y, such as… yoga, yeti, Yamaha and Yaris.

Faced with such compelling arguments, Polish authorities eventually caved and granted permission for Igor to receive the second name Yoda.

All across the world, parents seem to be competing to see who will be able to come up with the most original (if not completely absurd) name for their offspring. Last year, babies were named after brands (over a hundred Tesla’s, both boys and girls, and Fanta’s) or honorary titles (Kaiser, Pharaoh, Czarina, Duchess…).

Some were even given names with rather violent meanings, like Slayer, Riot, Havoc and Shooter. Our personal favourites, however, are the several dozen babies named God, Abcde, Girl, Son, Man, My and I-am.

In comparison, Yoda seems like a pretty safe and reasonable choice… According to the couple, their son is the first in Poland to be named after the iconic Star Wars character. For now, at least. And with the new Star Wars trilogy, it’s only a matter of time until we see Kylo Ren’s and Snoke’s roaming the streets of Warsaw and Krakow.

As long as they don’t run into Yoda…