It is becoming popular for people to include funny job titles when they register their names and numbers on ja.is, the Icelandic online phone book. People have applied to be registered as a bunny, clown, ghostbuster or even prankster.
Some people want to be registered as clowns in the phone book. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“It also happens that people register with a profession even though they don’t have the required education. In such cases labor unions let us know,” Gudrún María Gudmundsdóttir, editor of ja.is, told Morgunbladid. “We delete those who are falsely registered and notify them.”
However, if people apply to use a job title that isn’t legally protected, it is usually approved. Gudmundsdóttir said this practice is especially popular among 16 to 35-year-olds.
“More and more people want to be known as something other than what we know as professions. People are registering as ninja champions, sorcerers and astronauts,” she explained. Iceland doesn’t have a space program.
“Once there was a guy who wanted to be called pioneer, but we wouldn’t allow it,” Gudmundsdóttir added. In Icelandic brautrydjandi means pioneer but the literal meaning is “path clearer”.
“Then it turned out that he worked on clearing paths at Keflavík airport,” Gudmundsdóttir said, explaining that since the guy had such a good sense of humor he was allowed to keep the title.
“We used to be strict about this but the rules have been loosened up,” Gudmundsdóttir said. However, people cannot register with a legally protected job title without having earned the degree and titles that can be degrading are banned, such as pimp, courtesan or debt collector.