Shakespeare may ask What’s in the name? (Romeo and Juliet). But for some who are named ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’ or ‘Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii’, ‘Candy Stohr’, ‘Pina Colada’, ‘I’Am’, and ‘Yahoo’, it is all in the name.
Recently a judge in New Zealand allowed Talula Does the Hula from Hawaii, a nine-year-old girl, to change her name as she was traumatized. The judge said at the time: It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, reports Digital Spy.
There are some countries that ban certain names from being registered. New Zealand has a list of over 100 names that are banned. Some of the banned names include Messiah, Lucifer, single letters like C, D, I, T and punctuations. The Birth and Death Registrar office became more vigilant once they realized that they had registered names like ‘Violence’ and ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’, reports AAP.
A man on Facebook has launched a campaign to name his son Megatron after Transformers. He needs to get more than a million likes before his wife will allow him to get his way. The page has currently been 'Liked' more than 360,000 times, reports Digital Spy
A couple in Israel has named their child 'Like' after Facebook’s Like feature, reports Israeli newspaper Maariv.
European governments are a little stricter than others as far as names are concerned. Portugal has an 80-page list of baby names allowed and not allowed.
The Pope recently pleaded to people to give their children names that are in the Christian calendar and refrain from naming their children after fruits, sports or cars.
In Italy a court can step in if the name ‘leads to insecurity and limits social interaction’. It recently did not allow parents to name their child Venerdi, (Friday). Parents wanted to name the child after the Robinson Crusoe character, but the court found the name ‘subservient’. The parents said they would make do with Mercoledi (Wednesday).
Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 is the name a Swedish couple wanted to give their son in 1996. It was pronounced as Albin. Sweden banned the name, although it has allowed Google and disallowed Ikea!
Germany has a department, the Standesamt, which decides if a name is suitable or not.
In Denmark parents are given 7,000 odd names to choose from by the government and any deviations need special permission. They obviously rejected anus for one.
China banned a couple from naming their child the symbol @.
In Japan a court did not allow a parent to name his child Akuma which translates into devil. Parents there must use one of the 2,232 'name kanji' characters decided by the government.
In the US there are laws which place restrictions on naming of children and legally changing one's name. The restrictions differ on a state-to-state basis. One cannot change one’s name which interferes with the rights of others, e.g. naming oneself after a famous person to mislead others. One cannot name a child anything that cannot be pronounced aloud, no symbols, numbers or pictures. Lower case names are allowed. By far, US laws give a lot of leeway where names are concerned. Celebrity children are a case in point: Kal-El Coppola, Moon Unit, Dweezil, Diva Muffin and Sage Moonblood are some of the given names.
Most Countries disallow names that are blasphemous or sexual in content.
Some odd names have sentimental values, are allowed by tradition or sound good. But it is a big responsibility on parents. As one school counselor says, “Children face so much pressure in school and if you add the burden of an odd name to it, life just gets that much more difficult.”
“I wish, while naming their kids parents went beyond the cute, unique and symbolism factor,” she adds.
Maybe ‘Candy Stohr’ and the ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’ think so too.