Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Illegal Baby Names

As we have seen here on the Life is Stranger than Fiction Blog, many people have unfortunate names. But that is the price you pay for free speech. For example, in New Jersey there are siblings named Adolf Hitler, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation, and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie.  I'm not sure what they were thinking of with "Hinler"...maybe they were going for Himmler, who was Hitler's right-hand man.

However, in countries without First Amendment rights, governments have passed laws to prevent parents from inflicting awful names on their children. Here's a sample of the naming laws in six countries:

In Germany and Denmark, the gender must be obvious from the name, and last names cannot be used as first names. Names that would embarrass the child are not allowed in Sweden, Germany or Denmark. In China and Japan, only certain characters can be used in names so that they can be easily written and read, and (in China) so that they can be computerized for ID cards. In Denmark, parents must choose from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names, or get special permission for a name not on the list. In Germany, you can't name your child after an object or product. In New Zealand, names that are more than 100 characters and names that resemble official titles are off-limits. Also, Japan bans "inappropriate" names such as Devil.

So, what have these laws accomplished? They have prevented children from being saddled with the following names:
  • Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb111163 (pronounced Albin) 
  • A (also pronounced Albin) 
  • Metallica
  • Superman
  • Yeah Detroit
  • Fish and Chips
  • Anus
  • Pluto
  • O.crnia (punctuation included)
  • @ (the "at" symbol) 
However, the laws failed to prevent these unfortunate names:


  1. The first ammendment protects our right to free speech, however it cannot to protect us from our own stupidity.

  2. A child's name says a lot about his/her parents. The type of name you give your child will influence how others will treat him/her.

  3. How about insurance Agent Dragan Brkovich (male) in Nevada?