When a small, isolated country like Iceland imposes strict naming conventions, it’s somewhat bizarre, if not slightly amusing. After all, most people can’t deconstruct the gender complexities of a language that’s essentially outdated Swedish. But when a small, isolated, English-speaking country releases its annual list of banned names, it’s always good for a chuckle—or 666. As CNN reports, New Zealand’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages unveiled its latest list yesterday, which includes names like Lucifer, Christ and Messiah—not to mention 4Real, Mafia No Fear and Anal. Somehow, I don’t think that’s how the last child was conceived… but I’m guessing Vaginal wouldn’t be an acceptable name in New Zealand, either. Especially if it was a boy’s name. He’s surely get sick of being called a pussy pretty quickly!
On the other hand, the censors did slip up in ’08, reportedly allowing one couple to name their child Number 16 Bus Shelter. In that case, I’m guessing that’s probably where the kid was conceived, joining his brother Back of a Ford Pickup and sister Women’s Washroom at the Monster Truck Rally in their happy family. (Presumably, they had to smuggle their siblings to Australia in order to obtain those birth certificates.) That being said, what the Registrar giveth, the courts can taketh away. Also in ’08, Fairfax NZ News noted that a family court judge ordered a nine-year-old girl to be “temporarily placed under court guardianship” because her folks had christened her Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii. According to the news report, the girl never told her friends what her name was. I betcha she said to just call her Lucifer.
Alas, New Zealand doesn’t have a monopoly on misused monikers. According to CNN, you can’t name your child Superman or Metallica in Sweden, not to mention the 733t h4x0rs who attempted to register their offspring as Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116. Try saying that five times fast—or even once!
And while most of Canada doesn’t care what you call yourself, Quebec clearly thinks otherwise. (Quelle surprise!) Their provincial government website states “If parents choose an odd compound surname or given name that clearly invites ridicule or may discredit the child, the Directeur de l’état civil may suggest that the parents change their choice of name.” Non-compliance could bring the wrath of the Attorney General of Québec! And, According to the Toronto Star, la belle province has shot down suggestions such as Goldorak, Boom-Boom, Lucifer and Salaud. I take it the last child was born out of wedlock. But hey, shouldn’t there be an accent on Lucifer, somewhere?
There was also a famous case in ’96 where a couple wanted to name their child Spatule, which translates to spatula, but is also the name of a bird. They ultimately chose another cooking utensil. I’ve heard Friteuse Tanguay sure makes a mean poutine!