Banned Baby Names Show Government Has No Sense of Humor

baby nameWould you consider naming your child Princess or Justice? Lucifer or Christ? Mafia No Fear or (ahem) Anal? If so, don't move to New Zealand. Those names are all included on a just-released list of names that have been banned over the last decade by the New Zealand Internal Affairs Department.

Other names that won't fly in New Zealand? Emperor, King, Bishop, Queen Victoria, Messiah, V8, 89, and the symbols * and /. Good thing Prince didn't try to move Down Under during his unpronounceable symbol phase! Though actually, come to think of it, the name Prince wouldn't pass legal muster in New Zealand, either.



Well, it turns out New Zealand has a few strict rules: For one thing, names cannot be a title that has not been earned (Princess, King, Bishop  ... Prince). For another thing, they cannot be clearly offensive to the general public (ah, that's where Anal's parents when wrong). They also can't be more than 100 characters long (though I counted and the name Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, which a New Zealand family court took action against, doesn't exceed that limit -- maybe it was deemed offensive?). Oh, and the names must be actual words, comprised of actual letters -- not numbers or symbols.

Details, details. Don't these people have any sense of humor? In fact, they may. The New Zealand Internal Affairs powers-that-be apparently let Number 16 Bus Shelter slip through, and saw nothing wrong with the monikers Benson and Hedges, Violence, or Midnight Chardonnay.

I have to admit. Number 16 Bus Shelter has a certain ring to it. Plus, it really captures the imagination. Do you suppose that's where the baby (A boy? A girl? Perhaps called "Number" for short? Or just "No."?) was conceived? (Remember how Victoria and David Beckham named their first child Brooklyn because he was conceived in New York, but they felt the name "Manhattan" was a bit too much?) It seems entirely possible.

Employing the place-of-conception technique, I might have named my first-born Costa Rica and my second Astoria. Those aren't such bad names, come to think of it -- and I don't see anything there for New Zealand to object to.

What do you think of New Zealand refusing to allow parents to name their kids Princess and Justice and ... Anal?


Image via kaatjevervoort/Flickr

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