I already told the story of my name in an earlier post, so I’ll tell you the story of one my sisters’ name. When she was born in Spain, in Franco’s era, my parents decided to name her Lijerka, a beautiful Croatian name related to the feast of the Immaculate Virgin Mary. She was baptized in our parish without problem, of course.

But when my father went to the Civil Registry, the clerk said it was not possible to name her Lijerka because that was not christian. He wouldn’t recognize the name. My father tried to explain to him that it was a christian name but Croatian, but then the man said that being not Spanish was another reason to make Lijerka illegal. He did so in a rude way. He said that if my dad wouldn’t change his mind he would name the child. So he did.

When my sister needed her identity card, my father told her she had to look for her “legal” name and told us the story. Then we all learned that she was legally “Ana Juana”. Why? because a clerk decided so. When Franco died and the legislation changed she finally made her real name legal and now is just Lijerka as she and my parents wanted.

Daily Prompt: Name that… You!.

More name stories in the next page:

Author: Olga Brajnović

Journalist and writer. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Author of a biography. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

17 thoughts on “The illegal name

    1. Olga Brajnović says:

      Thank you. Your name is beautiful too. I have another sister named Eleonora close to your name. We call her Eli or Elica pronounced Alitsa

    1. Olga Brajnović says:

      Thank you. I like your name too, Carneika. This is an old story but it shows how was the life those years over here.

      1. Carneika W says:

        Thank you 🙂 I’m not exactly sure where my name is from. I always like to hear the stories behind unusual names.


What do you think?

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: