|You're Thinking of Naming Me What, Now?|
New Zealand has some of the world's most famous naming laws. In 1995 a new Births, Deaths and Marriages and Relationships Registration Act was passed, outlining a set of rules around acceptable names for New Zealanders.
Now, you've probably heard about the parents who wanted to name their daughter "Talulah Does The Hula From Hawaii" but were turned down. But you may not have known that this was actually their daughters name until she was nine years old. It wasn't until 2008 that a family court judge ordered that her name be changed because he felt that the name was "embarrassing" and "makes a fool of the child".
Some of the main no-no's in New Zealand are:
- Names that are too bizarre or too offensive. Anal and Lucifer have been rejected for this reason
- Names that are unreasonably long
- Names that might imply that a child holds an official title or rank. Remembering that New Zealand is part of the British ruled Commonwealth, this includes Duke and Princess, as well as Justice and alternative spellings Justus and Juztice
- Stand alone letters that appear to be initials but don't stand for anything, such as CJ or MC. This might explain why we are starting to see phonetic versions such as Ceejay and Emcee in birth announcements.
- Names with numbers in them, such as the infamous Number 16 Bus Shelter, or other proposed names 4real and 2nd.
- Symbols for Roman numerals, such as I, II, III (you get the picture)
- Names that are punctuation (if you were wondering, no, it is not OK to call your child "*"), or using a backslash or brackets to indicate a second or middle name
And in case you find it hard to believe that parents would actually want to give their children such seemingly silly names as "," or V8, New Zealand officials this week released a list of names that have been rejected since 2001 - and how many times they have been denied. Happy reading!