So what exactly are the rules about baby names?

And why can’t I call my daughter Lethnaphya Kask8?

Bad baby names such as Royahl or Superintedent are rejected by the Department of Internal Affairs every year, but hundreds of parents also have second thoughts and change them before the baby becomes a toddler.

The latest round of names to be rejected by Internal Affairs in 2015 also featured names such as Commodore and Empress, adding them to a list that included Senior Constable, Mafia No Fear, Justice, King and Anal.

Registrar-general Jeff Montgomery said there were several reasons for declining a name:

  • Names can be no more than 99 characters
  • They must not be offensive
  • Names must not be an official rank or title
  • They must be pronounceable
  • Symbols are not permitted

Mr Montgomery said about 60 names a year – or about 1 percent of the names registered – came to his attention. Read more »


Hang on a minute…you can’t name your kid Christ, but you can name them Muhammed?

So…Christ was banned as a name, as “Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery said names deemed offensive, such as swear words or those of a religious nature such as Christ, would be blocked.”

How many children were named Muhammed? Surely this is exactly the same?

It seems you can’t draw an image of Muhammed but you can name your kids after him…a drawing is offensive but a name is not.

In the Herald’s world too, the drawing is offensive if it is of Muhammed, but not of Jesus.

The Herald reports:

“Special Constable” is among dozens of Kiwi names rejected last year because they were too bizarre or offensive for newborns.

Internal Affairs declined 60 name requests last year, including “Mr”, “Lucifer” and “Christ”. One child was set to be called “3rd” before the proposal was vetoed and another narrowly avoided being dubbed “Royal-Rule”. Five people were also knocked back for trying to name their offspring “/”.

The department’s rules forbid any name that implied a child held a title or a rank, so “Duke”, “Prince,” “Princess” and “Majesty” were dismissed. The most popular name rejected was “Justice” which featured six times. Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages Jeff Montgomery said names deemed offensive, such as swear words or those of a religious nature such as Christ, would be blocked.

Read more »


Oh so that explains why I am bad

Not silly first name syndrome, but instead bad name syndrome.

Apparently boys named Cameron are dreadfully behaved.

It has long been claimed that names can influence your chances of doing well in life and now it seems that monikers can impact on behaviour at school as well.

According to a new study, children named Jacob, Daniel, Amy and Emma are the most likely to display impeccable behaviour while those named Ella, William, Olivia and Joshua are most often to be found on the naughty step.

The findings come from a survey that looked at the names of more than 63,000 school children who logged good behaviour or achievement awards in online sticker books.

Read more »


More evidence that Silly First Name Syndrome is detrimental

People like to attack me for looking at incidences of the sorrow that Silly First Name Syndrome causes.

But there is evidence that shows it is real and the effects are serious. Freakonomics has written about it and now the BBC reports on a two recent books that have looked at the effect of silly first names on children.

Over the last 70 years, researchers have tried to gauge the effect on an individual of having an unusual name. It is thought that our identity is partly shaped by the way we are treated by other people – a concept psychologists call the “looking-glass self” – and our name has the potential to colour our interactions with society. Early studies found that men with uncommon first names were more likely to drop out of school and be lonely later in life. One study found that psychiatric patients with more unusual names tended to be more disturbed.

But more recent work has presented a mixed picture. Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychologist at Guilford College in the US, pointed out that wealthy, oddly-named Americans are more likely to find themselves in Who’s Who. He found no consistent bad effects of having a strange name, but noted that both common and unusual names are sometimes deemed desirable.

[Dalton] Conley, who is a sociologist at New York University, says that children with unusual names may learn impulse control because they may be teased or get used to people asking about their names. “They actually benefit from that experience by learning to control their emotions or their impulses, which is of course a great skill for success.”

But for the main part, he says, the effect of a name on its bearer rarely amounts to more than the effect of being raised by parents who would choose such a name.

Conley would say that…him and his wife called their daughter E and wait till you read what they called their son.

Dalton Conley and his wife Ellen were halfway through this pleasant but painstaking process when their baby girl was born, two months premature.

“We had narrowed down the selections to a bunch of E- names, but we couldn’t ultimately decide,” says Conley, who lives in New York. “Then we came up with the idea of, ‘Let’s just constrain the first degree of freedom. Let’s just give her the first letter and then she can decide when she’s old enough what it stands for.'”

And so, E was born. Now 16, she hasn’t yet felt the need to extend her first name. “I think once you’re given a name, you get used to it – it’s part of you,” she says. E’s little brother, meanwhile, Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles, did take up his parents’ offer to change his name. He added the Heyno and Knuckles when he was four, and his parents made the changes official.  Read more »

Silly First Name Syndrome taken to epic levels

Regular readers know what Silly First Name Syndrome is. Even Freakonomics has looked at the issue.

Now on the The Daily Beast they are looking at some people who are naming their kids after firearms manufacturers.

In 2002, only 194 babies were named Colt, while in 2012 there were 955. Just 185 babies were given the name Remington in 2002, but by 2012 the number had jumped to 666. Perhaps the most surprising of all, however, is a jump in the name Ruger’s (America’s leading firearm manufacturer) from just 23 in 2002 to 118 in 2012.  “This name [Ruger] is more evidence of parents’ increasing interest in naming children after firearms,” Wattenberg writes. “Colt, Remington, and Gauge have all soared, and Gunner is much more common than the traditional name Gunnar.”

If 2012’s statistics are any indication; her point is sound. In 1999, Gunner ranked 739th on the list of the Official Social Security site’s 1000 most popular names for boys—by 2012 it jumped to 293rd. Remington, for both girls and boys,spiked in the last few years as well, starting at 731st place in 1999 and jumping to 421nd a decade later. In 2012 alone, approximately 1,607 babies per million were namedColton—a peak high for the name.

And while a solid argument could be made that these names are often chosen for their style alone and not for their relationship to firearms, the inclination towards them says something about our society. “I think of names as a fossil record of our culture. You can look back over generations and get a sense of what people were talking about—our obsessions, our dreams, etc,” says Wattenberg.  Read more »

Wednesday nightCap

A Silly First Name Compendium


Johnson’s Baby is running a Facebook post in order for people to share the “unique” name of their children. Which is the PC way of say Silly First Name Syndrome.

There is much hilarity to be had reading some of the names.

Here are some of them:   Read more »

A Girl Named Trevor

I kid you not, but it is true…in South Australia…and perhaps in Hutt South, some girls have been named Trevor:

South Australia stands out for appearing intent on breaking down sexual stereotypes, with 50 boys called Sharon between 1952-1986, and girls named George, David, John, Stephen and Trevor.

Maybe that’s the problem with Labour presently. Even their blokes have girls names.

The West is doomed

West Auckland that is, where people have taken to aflicting their children with Silly First Name Syndrome. Only pain and suffering comes from Silly First Names.

Ruby and Liam were among the most popular baby names in New Zealand last year but in West Auckland be prepared to come across Unique or Hannibal.

Many parents in the west are proud to give their children names that are a little different.

Shaela Nathan and John Tike of Henderson are parents to 10-month-old Hurricayn Rob and his 2-year-old sister Riivah Jayde.

Miss Nathan says her children’s names reflect their personalities.

“Riivah was pretty hard to name and it took three weeks before one stuck. She’s really calm and quiet,” Miss Nathan says.

“But when Hurricayn came out the midwife said he was loud and proud. When he cried you could hear him from the letterbox.

“Hurricayn also matches the season he was born in because when I went into labour it was 3am and pouring with rain.”

Miss Nathan has always liked unusual names but her parents were shocked by her choices.

“They were like `why’d you name him that for?’ but you only have to spend five minutes with him to know why. He’s going to be a rugby player for sure.”

Suburbs rugby premier team coach Ramsey Tomakino says he’s come across some unusual names during his three years with the Waitakere team.

“Last year we had Hannibal, Nissan and Rambo – we have lots of people who say they like seeing our team lists because of the names.”

SFNS in Stuff

Stuff carries a list of the names some people tried to inflict upon their children.

Do they not know the tragedy of Silly First name Syndrome?

Parents who tried to name their child Mafia No Fear are among hundreds who had their choice of name rejected in the past decade.

Justice was the most popular disallowed name, with royal titles, religious references and punctuation marks among names parents tried to bestow upon children.

A child and family psychologist who has even seen children named after illicit drugs says parents need to be more careful about stigmatising their kids.

A list provided by the Internal Affairs Department shows 350 parents had the names they chose for their offspring rejected in the 10 years ending June 30, 2011.

The list of disallowed names follows the release of the most popular names for 2011 – Liam and Ruby – this week. The most popular rejected name was Justice – 49 people tried to name their child that, along with alternate spellings Justus and Juztice.

Royal titles featured heavily – King, Prince, Princess, Knight, Queen, Queen V, Queen Victoria, Lord, Lady, Baron and Duke were all rejected as were Royal, Royale, Majesty and Majesti. Religious references Messiah, Christ, Bishop, Saint and Lucifer didn’t make the cut either.

Mafia No Fear, Anal, V8, single letters, the Roman numerals I, II, III, punctuation symbols * . and / and titles such as President, Emperor, Chief, Constable, Sargent and General were also rejected.