January 19, 2012

Government-Approved Baby Names Blow My American Dad Mind

It really is the little differences. Like having to get government approval for your kid's name. Seriously, rest-of-the-world, what is up with that?

Less noble concerns play a role, too. First names that imitate lofty titles remain the most frequently disallowed in New Zealand. Registrars often frustrate enterprising parents trying to name their infants Justice, King, Prince, Baron and Duke. Strict laws in Sweden once aimed to stop people creating family names that imitated those already in use, says Staffan Nyström at Uppsala University. Requests to change a last name must still pass through the patent office there. Patriarchy remains entrenched in countries like Italy that refuse to allow married women to pass their maiden names on to their children, even in a double-barrelled surname.
Oh, wait, California actually bans accent marks and diacriticals from baby names, presumably because it's too hard for Anglo bureaucrats to type in.

In the end, though, the Economist fails to accomplish much more than a bemused shrug.

Baby Names: Thanks, Mum [economist.com]

4 Comments

Cue "A boy named Sue" by Johnny Cash.

I agree, it does make you wonder how celebs get away with some of the names they call their kids!

huh? that's exactly *not* several points.

It's not just California. I did battle (and lost) with a registrar here in CT over the accent egout in my son's middle name, which is René. She told me the diacritical mark couldn't appear on his birth certificate because "the computer can't put two characters into a single field." *Sigh*

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