I’ve come to the age where many of my friends are becoming engaged or married and are starting little families of their own. Due to this, I’ve been subject to a lot of “name chatter” and, being female, I have evidently been sucked into looking at names that I myself like (not like I have been doing that for years already or anything...). That being said, I always felt a little sorry for celebrity babies who have to deal with names like Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow), Kal-El (Nicholas Cage), Audio Science (Shannyn Sossamon), Moon Unit (Frank Zappa), and Peaches Honeyblossom (Bob Geldof). Though, after looking at some of the cases below, I’m starting to think these celebrity names aren’t so bad after all!
No, my cat did not just walk across my keyboard. Swedish parents Elisabeth Hallin and Lasse Diding decided to name their son “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116” (pronounced Albin, because you know that makes total sense!) as a form of protest against Sweden’s naming law, which was enacted in 1982. Failing to register the child with a legally approved name, the couple was fined with 5000 kronor (approximately $867.53 CAD). In response to the fine, the parents claimed that the name was a form of “artistic creation” and countered by saying they would change the name to “A.” However, the government still refused to approve the name.
A Chinese couple wanted to name their child “@” because of the likeness to the Chinese symbol for “love him.” The Chinese government declined this request and publicized the name as a warning to China’s citizens about the consequences of bringing bizarre names into the Chinese language. Nonetheless, this isn’t the first time someone has used a symbol as a first name. Back in 1993, American singer-songwriter Prince changed his name to the unpronounceable symbol after disagreeing with his record label, Warner Bros. However, he went back to Prince after his Warner Bros contract expired back in 2000.
In 1993, a Japanese parent decided that “Akuma” would be the appropriate name for his son. The term literally translates to “Devil.” I mean, I know kids can be a handful at times but this is a bit extreme don’t you think? The Japanese government agreed, stating that the name was an abuse of the parent’s right to name their child. An extensive legal battle followed until the father finally backed down, giving his son a less demonic name.
The Cantonese phrase literally translates to “Smelly Head.” Poor kid, as if people aren’t already self-conscious enough! Apparently this must have been quite common because, back in 2006, the Malaysian government published a list of undesirable names that were seen as unfit. Names that referenced animals, insects, fruits, vegetables, colours, royal titles (such as Duke and Duchess), Japanese cars, and even numbers (sorry, no more little “007”s allowed) are also banned from the country.
4Real &Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii
Yes, you read that correctly. You just can’t make this stuff up! These are just a couple of the 77+ names banned in New Zealand. The government issued a list back in 1995 that outlined appropriate names that parents could use for their children. The list banned names that included things such as royal titles, punctuation characters, symbols, and numbers/digits. In 2007, Pat and Sheena Wheaton tried to name their child “4Real.” The government declined because the name contained a digit. So naturally, the parents officially settled on “Superman” instead (while still calling the boy “4Real”). How “Superman” is seen as acceptable I have no idea! Similarly, in 2008, parents of “Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii” were ordered by the New Zealand court to change the nine-year-old’s name for fear of bullying and harassment. The parents refused and the child was taken and put under court custody due to poor parental judgment.