In many Latin American countries, you can call your baby whatever you want, except Argentina, where there’s a specific list from which parents should choose. Still, some countries have strict laws on the names you can register for your children in the world. Let’s check some of the most captivating ones!
The Icelandic Names Committee, formed in 1991, is a group that decides whether a new name is acceptable. If parents want to name their child after something not included in the National Registry of Persons, they can request authorization and pay a fee. The name has to pass some tests to be approved. It should also contain letters that exist in the Icelandic alphabet and should fit grammatically into the language. Other considerations include whether you will embarrass the child in the future and how well you align with Icelandic traditions.
Another important consideration is that names must specify gender, and no one can have more than three personal names. Last names in Iceland generally follow a fascinating tradition. No, they are not family names! Instead, they are patronymic, or occasionally matronymic, which are made up of part of their surname and father’s name. Should the father’s name be Erik, his son’s surname will be Eriksson (or Erik’s son), and his daughter’s name will be Ericsdóttir (or Erik’s daughter). From time to time, real surnames can be found in Iceland, passed on to each generation. But that usually happens in families originally from other countries or those whose family name was adopted at some point.
- Approved name: Bambi
- Rejected names: Harriet (because it could not be conjugated in the Icelandic language) and Duncan (because there is no C in Icelandic)
The New Zealand Birth and Marriage Registration Act does not allow people to name their children by any name that may “offend a reasonable person, or is inappropriately long, or does not have an adequate justification. “Officials in the civil registry have successfully convinced parents not to give their children rather embarrassing names.
- Rejected names: Stallion, Long Live Detroit, Fish and Chips, Keenan stayed with Lucy, Sex Fruit, Satan, and Adolf Hitler;
- Approved names: Benson and Hedges (for twins), Midnight Chardonnay, Bus Number 16, Shelter, Violence
Enacted in 1982, the Swiss Names law was originally created to prevent non-noble families from giving their children noble names, but many changes have been made since then. The part of the law that refers to the first names says: “The first names should not be approved if they offend or inconvenience the person who uses them or names that are obviously not appropriate as names. stack.” All names must be reported to the Tax Agency, and the use of multiple first names is allowed, but if you wish to change your name later, you must keep at least one of the first names that were originally given to you. You can only change your name once, which means if your name is Jack and you want to change it to John, your new name will be John Jack. All other changes must be made through the Swiss Patent and Registration Office.
- Rejected names: “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116” (which is pronounced Albin, obviously) was proposed by the parents of a child in protest of the Naming Act. It was rejected. The parents then proposed “A” (also pronounced Albin), and this too was denied.
- Accepted names: Google (as a middle name) and Lego
You cannot use a traditionally a surname or middle name unless you come from a culture where no such distinction is made. It is also not allowed to change your name more than once every ten years. Other than that, parents are not allowed to give a child an inappropriate name. But the real fun comes in changing the surnames. Should you wish to change your last name to a name shared by 200 or more people, that’s not an issue. But if less than 200 people have it, it is necessary to ask all of them.
- Rejected name: “Gesher” was dismissed as a boy’s name, to the point where the mother was jailed after refusing to pay the $ 420 fine.
Want to explore some more fascinating law names around the world? Check out the second part of this article here!