1 of 2
1
Legislating first names
Posted: 07 January 2012 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1226
Joined  2007-04-28

Should this be allowed?
There was a King (Vidor) in the States and Prince (Rogers Nelson), their real names. They are perhaps better suited to dogs if only as Rex. I remember D’Brickashaw and Latrina from another thread here.
A Justice chips in.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 07 January 2012 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  650
Joined  2011-04-10

There is, of course, ”A Boy Named Sue” written by Shel Silverstein and popularized by Johnny Cash in the 1960’s.

The core story of the song was inspired by humorist Jean Shepherd, a close friend of Shel Silverstein, who was often taunted as a child because of his feminine-sounding name.

The title might also have been inspired by the male attorney Sue K. Hicks of Madisonville, Tennessee, a friend of John Scopes who agreed to be a prosecutor in what was to become known as the Scopes Trial. Sue was named after his mother who died after giving birth to him.

I had acquaintances who named their child after one of the Upanishads. The name is pronounced, “Moon Duck” and I am sure it has been a source of embarrassment for the child.

I knew a fellow named “Carroll” who was so embarrassed by his name, that it took several years after meeting him before he told me his name. I thought it was a perfectly acceptable name but found it mildly interesting that he had such a problem with it. 

As far as outlawing names? I don’t think so. Would I name a child with a strange name? Probably not. But outlawing such a thing is heavy-handed. I can imagine myself saying, “I could have named you ‘Moon Unit’, Exswye T’se, but it was already taken...”

Moderation in name giving would be my choice. There is still also a lot of superstition surrounding names.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 05:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  820
Joined  2007-06-20

“Under New Zealand law babies’ names cannot ... contain religious references”

Right, that rules out John, “God is gracious”; Michael, “Who is like God?”; Joshua, “God rescues”; Samuel, “His name is God”; Daniel, “God is my judge”; Jonathan, “God has given”; Matthew, “Gift of God”; Jeremy, “God will raise up”; Christopher, “bearer of Christ”, and, for girls, Isabella/Elizabeth, “My God is a vow”; Christine; and Natalie, “[Christ’s] birthday; to list just a few.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2031
Joined  2007-02-19

In Spanish-speaking countries thousands of children are called “Jesús", “Jesús María”, “Jesús María José”, “Tránsito” ("Transfiguration" - a fairly unambiguous Christian religious reference), etc.; names of gods of other religions, like “Baldur”, “Venus”, “Indira”, etc., fall into much the same category. Clearly that isn’t what is meant by “religious references”. On the other hand, many enlightened countries have laws to prevent parents from being cruel to their children - and surely giving one’s child a name which can cause the child distress, is not all that far removed from wanton cruelty.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-01-02

This makes me think of the Swedish baby named Metallica. The Wikipedia article says that the Swedish authorities deemed the name “inappropriate,” but fails to mention that they deemed it “inappropriate because of what happened after the Black album.” At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what they said.

There’s also a link to this guy, whose name was 746 letters long. Whoa nelly.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3525
Joined  2007-01-29

Your “this guy” link doesn’t work—it’s one of those Wikipedia URLs with symbols that break the forum software.  Best thing is probably to go to this article and click on the name Hubert Blaine Wolfe­schlegel­stein­hausen­berger­dorff, Sr.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3135
Joined  2007-02-26
Zythophile - 08 January 2012 05:18 AM

“Under New Zealand law babies’ names cannot ... contain religious references”

Right, that rules out John, “God is gracious”; Michael, “Who is like God?”; Joshua, “God rescues”; Samuel, “His name is God”; Daniel, “God is my judge”; Jonathan, “God has given”; Matthew, “Gift of God”; Jeremy, “God will raise up”; Christopher, “bearer of Christ”, and, for girls, Isabella/Elizabeth, “My God is a vow”; Christine; and Natalie, “[Christ’s] birthday; to list just a few.

Apart from this article, I can find no references supporting the idea that names cannot contain religious references in New Zealand. The grounds for rejection seem to be offensiveness, length or the fact that the name is an official title.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2344
Joined  2007-01-30

I seem to recall that France at one time had legal restraints on which given names could be used, a recollection supported by this wiki.

The choice of given names, originally limited only by the tradition of naming children after a small number of popular saints, was restricted by law at the end of the 18th century. Officially, only names figuring on a calendar, or names of illustrious Frenchmen/women of the past, could be accepted.[3] Much later, actually in 1966, a new law permitted a limited number of mythological, regional or foreign names, substantives (Olive, Violette), diminutives, and alternative spellings. Only in 1993 were French parents given the freedom to name their child without any constraint whatsoever.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 08 January 2012 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2853
Joined  2007-01-31

and surely giving one’s child a name which can cause the child distress, is not all that far removed from wanton cruelty.

In the immortal words of Bertie Wooster, there’s some raw work pulled at the font from time to time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 02:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  341
Joined  2007-02-17

Germany also has restrictions on what a child can be named. Foreign names are allowed, but the onus is on the parents to prove that the name is standard in some other culture. And names that aren’t unambiguously male or female aren’t permitted.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 03:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3135
Joined  2007-02-26

And names that aren’t unambiguously male or female aren’t permitted.
---

That seems somewhat ridiculous.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  838
Joined  2007-03-01

IIRC, a few years ago a French registrar refused to let a couple name their son Zébulon. This is a perfectly kosher Old Testament name, but the registrar ruled that ever since it had been the name of a character in the children’s animated TV series Le Manège enchanté, it had become ridiculous. (The series was titled The Magic Roundabout in Britain, where the character was called Zebedee.) The registrar feared that the poor little blighter would spend his entire childhood, if not his entire life, having people shout the French equivalent of “Boiinng!” at him whenever he appeared. Several adult Zébulons wrote indignantly to the government and the news media denying that they had a ridiculous name; but what the outcome of it all was, I don’t think I ever heard.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3135
Joined  2007-02-26

So what IS the French equivalent of Boiinng?

EDIT: Airrbbuss I suppose.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3525
Joined  2007-01-29

Ha!

(Extra verbiage added so software can receive my submission at this time.)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1226
Joined  2007-04-28

The only good thing about bible readings in the school assemblies I suffered growing up was when Zebedee was mentioned and sniggers were repressed, such was the might of The Magic Roundabout. The French version was completely straight. Eric Thompson made it more like a drug trip and never even listened to the French dialogue.
lionello says there are many Jesuses etc in Spanish-speaking countries but how about all the Mohammeds everywhere? I believe it is the most popular male given name in the world and that it is exclusive to Muslims. John Fowles said that in the ‘50s you could stumble upon illiterate shepherds on Greek islands called Socrates, a common name there to this day and different to calling your daughter Ophelia or Cordelia in Britain, which has happened.
David Bowie called his son Zowie though he is now a movie director called Duncan Jones.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2012 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  838
Joined  2007-03-01

Georgians (the ones from the Caucasus, not the southern USA) are often called ‘Socrates’ too; only they pronounce it ‘Sograt’ which has a rather unlovely sound to the Anglophone ear.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1