They named that baby what? Not every country is so accommodating.


The lists for most popular names of 2012 are starting to come out. While “Blue Ivy” may not be among them, Jay-Z and Beyonce aren’t going to catch any grief from the government regarding their creative choice. In other countries, it’s not quite so easy.

New Zealand releases a prohibited name list

US citizens can name their children almost anything. Other countries overlay requirements and many need to approve names before they are official. In New Zealand, the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages releases an official list of prohibited names each year. You won’t be able to name your bouncing baby a number like “7” or “666”. But, inexplicably, if you want to use the number as an adjective within the name, for instance “Number 16 Bus Shelter”, you will be allowed to do so. Go figure.

Germany like gender differentiation

No androgynous for the Germans; names must clearly indicate gender. So while you may not be able to name your son “Matti”, you can name him “Legolas” or “Nemo” since both those names are clearly associated with males.

Iceland requires applications and approvals

For names which are new and do not appear in the National Register of Persons, parents are required to submit an application. A federal committee approves, addresses grammatical concerns and notes any potential effect the name may have on the child as he or she grows up. I’m guessing this is backlash for whoever named the capital “Reykjavik”. Not going to make that mistake again.

Does the government have a legitimate concern?

Does the government have a duty to intervene when there may be concerns, perhaps very real ones, about the damage a name could do to a child? Offbeat names like “Blue Ivy” are actually kind of poetic and evoke a beautiful image. On the other hand, there are the parents who named their twins “Adolf Hitler” and “Aryan Nation”. We know that’s not going to be easy for those children. Every country is a little different in its freedoms regarding the naming of children. I’m very glad we live in a country filled with Moon Units, Apples and Breeze Berettas. Keeps things interesting.

Source: Time


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