New Zealand is cracking down on baby naming. No more Majesti or Christ, or even Justus.
The Commonwealth country’s government office — the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages — has the power to reject baby names that don’t conform to certain rules. The rules state that acceptable names must not cause offense to a reasonable person, must not be unreasonably long, and should not resemble an official title and rank.
A bevy of names don’t get approved each year. In the past 12 years, the agency had to turn down not one, not two, but six (six!) sets of parents who wanted to name their child "Lucifer." To be fair, parents who wanted to name their child "Messiah” and "Christ," were also rejected.
Some of the more creative entries definitely fall into the “what on earth were these people thinking?” category. The Registrar’s office recently released a list of 77 unacceptable baby names. Some of our favorites:
"Mafia No Fear." "4Real" and "Anal." Yep, you read that right. Some parents wanted to forego a name altogether and simply use punctuation, such as the brilliant minds who chose '"*" (the asterisk) or '"." (the period).
Perhaps what’s more alarming than the odd baby names is the frequency with which they’ve came up:
Justice: 62 times
King: 31 times
Princess: 28 times
Amazingly, sometimes quirky names do get approved. In 2008, the country made made international news when the Registrar’s office allowed a child to be named "Number 16 Bus Shelter” and a set of twins to be named after a popular cigarette brand, "Benson" and “Hedges.”
And what happens when parents don't conform? Four years ago, a 9-year-old girl was taken away from her parents by the state so that her name could be changed from "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii."
Other countries have similar naming rules. Sweden nixed attempts to name children "Superman," "Metallica," and "Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116."
The Dominican Republic contemplated banning unusual names after a host of parents began naming their children after cars or fruit. Fruit? It’s a good thing Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t Dominican!