What’s in a name? The answer depends on a number of factors including who’s asking and who or what is being named. In 2011, a New Jersey couple lost custody of their three children, all of they had named after prominent Nazis, including Adolf Hitler.
The incident touched off an emotionally charged debate over the government’s right to intervene in cases where a child’s wellbeing is judged to have been compromised through the act of naming.
Now the debate is likely to be re-litigated over a report that officials in New Zealand on Wednesday “released a list of baby names which were put forward by parents for their children but rejected by authorities.” From Mail Online:
The list of 77 names shows that the parents of one child wanted to call it ‘Anal.’
Thankfully for the child, the Department of Internal Affairs turned down the proposed name.
Other suggested names on the list included ‘Lucifer’, ‘Mafia No Fear’ and ‘Queen Victoria’.
One child was set to be called ‘.’, as in ‘full stop’ until the authorities prevented it.
Other bizarre examples show that some parents appeared to have given up on thinking of a name for their child, with names ‘2nd’, ‘3rd’ or 5th’ all put forward.
New Zealand has more stringent rules on naming conventions than we do here. Thus, parents are prohibited from giving their children names that imply an official title or rank, such as “Princess” or “King.”
The Mail notes that in 2008, a court in the country decreed that a female child called “Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii” was unable to keep her name, even though one can easily envision the child eventually shortening that mouthful of syllables to just-plain Talula. The judge’s ruling may have been influenced by names the couple had given Talula’s older siblings: “Number 16 Bus Shelter” and “Benson” and “Hedges” for twins.
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