Friday, February 20, 2015

Fanny from Sweden told her name 'not valid' to apply for Sainsbury's loyalty card

A Swedish expat in London experienced a culture clash when she failed to register for a store card online, presumably because of the connotations between her first name and a lady's private parts. Fanny Carlsson has now decided to start using her middle name ‘Linnéa’.

The 19-year-old from Uddevalla in Sweden has worked at skincare chain The Body Shop in London for five months. But when she tried to apply for a Nectar points card with the supermarket Sainsbury’s, an error message appeared saying her first name was invalid. "I just found it amusing and I've now got a card as Linnéa instead," she said.

"Because I already knew what 'Fanny' meant before I moved to England, I have chosen to call myself Linnéa at work. It's pretty much only when I talk to Swedes that I use my first name," she added. According to Swedish site Svenska Namn, more than 10,000 Swedish women - and one man - are called Fanny, which was also a popular British name several centuries ago.

Fanny Price is the heroine of Jane Austen’s novel ‘Mansfield Park’. But in the UK it is also a slang word for the female sexual organ. "My parents already knew I had had some problems with my name, so they're mainly just happy they gave me a middle name that works better," Fanny added.

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