New Zealand Releases List of Banned Baby Names

The nation of New Zealand has a government agency dedicated to approving parents’ name choices for their newborns, and it has released an updated list of names that are barred in that country.  The names, which include Lucifer, Christ, or Messiah, and the agency told CNN that acceptable names must not cause offense to a reasonable person, not be unreasonably long and should not resemble an official title and rank.  More from CNN.com:

It’s no surprise then that the names nixed most often since 2001 are “Justice” (62 times) and “King” (31 times).

Some of the other entries scored points in the creativity department — but clearly didn’t take into account the lifetime of pain they’d bring.

“Mafia No Fear.” “4Real.” “Anal.”

Oh, come on!

Then there were the parents who preferred brevity through punctuation. The ones who picked ‘”*” (the asterisk) or ‘”.”(period).

Still, some quirky names do make it through.

In 2008, the country made made international news when the naming agency allowed a set of twins to be named ‘

“Benson” and “Hedges” — a popular cigarette brand — and OK’d the names “Violence” and “Number 16 Bus Shelter.”

Asked about those examples, Michael Mead of the Internal Affairs Department (under which the agency falls) said, “All names registered with the Department since 1995 have conformed to these rules.”

And what happens when parents don’t conform?

Four years ago, a 9-year-old girl was taken away from her parents by the state so that her name could be changed from “Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.”

Image: Name tag, via Shutterstock

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