Thursday, February 24, 2011

Illegal baby names

In mid January of this year the Pope declared war on parents naming babies after celebrities, fruit or popular sports cars. In an address to parents the pontiff pleaded with worshippers to 'give your children names that are in the Christian calendar'. So Orange, Brooklyn and Ferrari are out, Roberto and Alessandra are in.

The Pope, however, is not the only authority figure to stamp down on one of the sillier by products of celebrity culture. The following are some examples of names which have been banned around the world for reasons of taste, decency or just plain stupidity.

1. Venerdi, meaning Friday (Italy)
In 2008 a court banned an Italian couple from naming their child Venerdi. The judges believed that the name would expose the boy to mockery. The funny thing is that the parents 'threatened' to call their next child Mercoledi (Wednesday).

2. Brfxxccxxmnpccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 (Sweden)
Don't worry, I didn't just make it up. This is a name that a couple in Sweden tried to inflict on their son back in 1996. The name is apparently pronounced 'Albin'..not sure how they came to this conclusion. They chose this name as a protest against Sweden's admittedly strict naming laws. Tax authorities must give their blessing to both first and surnames before they can be used.  

3. Chow Tow meaning Smelly Head (Malaysia)
Malaysian authorities have cracked down on unsuitable titles in recent years. In 2006 government killjoys published a list of undesirable names that were not in keeping with the religious traditions of the country, just like Chow Tow.

4. Anus (Denmark)
The Danes are even tougher than the Swedes when it comes down to names, with parents given seven thousand names to choose from by the government. Special permission is needed to deviate from the list, with ethnic names, odd spellings and even compound surnames forbidden. Luckily for this person Anus was rejected. 

5. Akuma meaning Devil (Japan)
In 1993 a Japanese parent called his son Akuma. The authorities decided this was an abuse of the parent's rights to decide a child's name and a lengthy court battle ensued. Eventually the father backed down and the son got a less demonic name. 

These are just a few examples of the 'crazy' names which parents try to impose on their children. 

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