On New Zealand's Banned Names List: 'Mafia No Fear'

By: Newser Email
By: Newser Email

(NEWSER) – The New Zealand government regulates baby names, refusing to register any it deems offensive, too close to an official title or rank, or likely to cause a lifetime of pain for the recipient. If that sounds overly authoritarian, you might change your mind after hearing some of the names it has rejected. On a list released to CNN, would-be baby names banned over the past 12 years include: Lucifer (six separate babies almost had this one), Mafia No Fear, 4real, Queen Victoria, and Anal, along with lone punctuation marks like an asterisk and a period.

The policy has been in place since 1995, although the naming agency doesn't seem to bar everything weird: In 2008, a pair of twins were named "Benson" and "Hedges" (a cigarette brand) and another set of parents got away with "Number 16 Bus Shelter." Parents who refuse to comply face serious consequences—that same year, the state took guardianship of a child called "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii" so it could give her a new name.

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