The subject of banned baby names is one on which I find myself wavering. On one hand, there's freedom of speech, and the rights of parents, which I believe little -- outside of physical or emotional harm -- should trump. On the other hand, some of the names people actually chose to bestow on their children are so outrageous and so flat-out awful, I think we should ban a lot more.
In New Zealand they're not wavering at all. There everyone has to run their intended name by a government board, and the board doesn't mess around. (They're the ones, if you recall, who made parents change a girl's name in 2008 from "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.")
This year their Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages released a list of some of the names they have banned to CNN, and it's unbelievable -- and somewhat horrifying -- that anyone would even consider these names. Here are some they rejected for various reasons ... in many cases, multiple times:
Religious and evil names:
Those that sound like you're more important than you are:
And just the simply outrageous:
Unbelievable. Are these people trying to set their children up for a lifetime of teasing and torment, or do they really like them? I would love to know the names the parents decided on instead of each of these when they were rejected. It's safe to assume they couldn't be much worse.
New Zealand isn't completely a land of the completely normally named, however. CNN notes that they have let some, um, interesting ones slip by, such as "Violence" and "Number 16 Bus Shelter." I'm thinking I'd rather be called "4Real".
Do you think it's right that countries ban baby names?
Image via Alan O'Rourke/Flickr
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