The inhabitants of the small Swedish village of Fucke have formally applied to change its name, citing social-media frustrations and censorship as the reason for their discontent with the 16th-century name.
The process was launched last year, when a holiday cottage owner contacted the National Land Survey of Sweden to find out if the name of the village could be changed. The body said residents could apply but would need a strong argument, as Fucke is a historic name dating back to 1547.
The uncertainty did not discourage the residents of the 11-household-strong village located on the banks of Fuckesjön (‘Fucke Lake’) in the north of Sweden. A collective petition has been filed asking for the name to be changed to the less controversial Dalsro (‘quiet valley’).
“It’s a very nice village. The residents are happy, no one wants to move but everyone wants to change the name of the village,” one of the locals told SVT news channel.
He said the current name presents a challenge when posting advertisements for summer rentals and for online sales, saying it “can be difficult” to post on Facebook about the village, since the word ‘Fucke’ often gets blocked.
When considering historic name changes, the National Land Survey regularly consults the Swedish National Heritage Board and the Institute for Language and Folklore, which have to conduct their own research, come to a conclusion and then make their recommendations.
“If new names are created, the effect on previously existing names must be considered. Therefore, if a place already has an established name, there need to be strong reasons for changing it,” the Land Survey explained to STV in an email.
It means that it might take several months before Fucke residents will know the outcome of their application and there are no guarantees that they will succeed. Indeed, in 2007 the residents of Fjuckby village lost their bid to rename it.