Do we need baby names to be government approved?

(44 Posts)
Notsoyummymummy1 Wed 03-Jul-13 23:48:20

This was a discussion on daytime tv and i wondered what fellow mumsnetters think. In Denmark they have strict laws to protect children from being saddled with stupid names. Parents can choose from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names and if you want to name your child something that isn't on the list, you have to get special permission from your local church, and the name is then reviewed by governmental officials. The law states that girls and boys must have names that indicate their gender, you can't use a last name as a first name and unusual names may be rejected.

The panel on the show didn't like the idea but am I the only one who thinks it's sensible? 7000 names is plenty to choose from and there's always scope to get names approved if they're not stupid. It protects children from being humiliated by their parents and with children being called names like Google and Popeye, we can't trust every parent to pick a name for their child that isn't going to make them look stupid!!!

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 23:49:49

No we don't and its a draft idea, how on earth would they choose which names are ok?

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 23:50:03

Daft idea.

Notsoyummymummy1 Wed 03-Jul-13 23:52:35

So you think parents should be allowed to inflict names on children that will make them vulnerable to ridicule?

FairyArmadillo Wed 03-Jul-13 23:54:35

No. And as the previous poster said- who decides on these approved names?

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 23:55:25

How do decide what names will make the, ridiculed?

If people want to they cam change their name and once at school they ams their friemds often choose nicknames anyway.

Names evolve,go in and out of fashion, what is fine now may not be in 50 years ams vice versa.

5madthings Wed 03-Jul-13 23:55:54

Hope its not mnet masses, poor ds4 would be doomed..

Pantone363 Wed 03-Jul-13 23:57:03

I'd like a version of this. Maybe more than 7000. The most registered 10000? With permission to add a name that's not ludicrous.

I feel sorry for some of the kids in DCs school and the names they've been saddled with.

exexpat Wed 03-Jul-13 23:58:27

I think it's a crazy idea in an increasingly multicultural society - would there be exceptions for children with family roots in other countries? what about if they only had one non-British parent or grandparent? Rules like these are already being challenged in countries which do have them (recent case in Iceland, for example). What's wrong with gender neutral names - should we rename all Rowans and Robins and so on? As for things like the church having first approval rights - no thanks.

But fundamentally, I think the key point - that unusual names are stupid or automatically make life difficult for children - is just wrong. My DD's name would probably not be on the list, even though it has been used by my family for generations, and everyone who hears it says what a lovely name it is.

Children who have ridiculous names often end up being called something else day to day anyway, and are free to change their names when they are older (see lots of popstar offspring).

elQuintoConyo Thu 04-Jul-13 00:01:35

There was something like this in Spain until fairly recently. Ridiculous idea, even if it does result in batshit names.

edam Thu 04-Jul-13 00:03:24

It would be lovely if registrars could stop parents calling their little darlings Feebee or Waynetta but most countries that have had controls have relaxed them. I think France used to insist on saint's names but has had to give up - imagine the outrage if someone tried to stop a baby being called Mohammed...

Daft names aren't just a lower-class thing, btw, look at Nigel Lawson and his daughters Nigella and Thomasina...

frutilla Thu 04-Jul-13 00:06:23

It's awful having a name list and having your freedom removed. I live in Argentina and we have one here. It took me months to get my son's name approved, and I was only naming him after my own father! My father meanwhile got sick and I didn't get to see him in time before he passed away as the passport was delayed due to the crazy name issue.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 04-Jul-13 00:11:26

In Scotland, Last names as Christian names is very common.
Possibly an approved list of spellings, but an actual list of names, definitely not!

5madthings Thu 04-Jul-13 00:15:43

Oh fruit thats crap sad

Wasnt thereva case in france of a couple wanting to name their son zebedee and it wasnt allowed? I know two zebedees, one in primary school known as zeb and one in high school who goes by zebedee, neither have had any issues yet if you suggested it on mnet you would be told not to use it no doubt.

garlicnutty Thu 04-Jul-13 00:15:51

This is like those model villages & estates, where there are bye-laws about what colours you can paint your house & what you may plant in your garden. It's thoroughly rational, but just so ... stultifying. Let people express themselves!

I have a --silly- uncommon name. It's not the end of the bloody world. At least people remember you!

Theselittlelightsofmine Thu 04-Jul-13 00:49:42

I have a very normal plain boring name and someone still managed to find a way of taken the piss with it, I really don't think it matters what your child is named if someone wants to take the piss out of you for having that name, they will.

othersideofchannel Thu 04-Jul-13 06:59:36

Terrible idea! Names continue to evolve and all names are 'made up'. Also spellings can change over time. Perhaps Feebee may once be the more popular spelling of the rather 'illogical' spelling of Phoebe? Let people and nature take its course!

Radiator1234 Thu 04-Jul-13 07:08:06

I think in France it might be like this. It's to prevent you from calling your kid "Superman" (eg).

vikinglights Thu 04-Jul-13 07:09:49

there are 'rules' in norway but they are pretty relaxed. you don't have to choose from pre approved names but a name can be rejected if it is deemed innapropriate. Until recently place names were also not allowed for first names. I know of one concrete case where a mother was not allowed to name her child the name of a brand of cigarettes.....

foreign names aren't a problem, unless for example they happen to be a swear word in norwegian or something

Its not exactly like the mumsnet massive deciding on what is or isnt OK

insancerre Thu 04-Jul-13 07:09:58

awful idea

Numberlock Thu 04-Jul-13 07:10:05

Yes I'd much rather the government spent time and resource on this.

meditrina Thu 04-Jul-13 07:15:25

This morning's thread called 'Unknown' is also about his.

As I posted there: New Zealand has a much nicer approach. They have no prescriptive list of "yes yeses"; instead guidelines (eg nothing profane) and a list of "no-noes". The list is periodically updated (last time May 2013: mercifully 'Anal' is now on the banned list).

There's no way a multicultural society can have a prescriptive approved list. Especially as so many names slated in isolation as 'creative' spellings turn out to be the normal one elsewhere on the globe.

7,000 wouldn't be anywhere near enough - in 2011 there were about 6,000 boys names registered in UK. And some common names which are definitely names, just deeply unfashionable to present, aren't on there at all.

PatriciaHolm Thu 04-Jul-13 10:04:23

We do have a small amount of restrictions in the UK. British registrars can refuse to register a name in exceptional cases (if it were offensive, for example)

If you are changing your name by deed poll, it can't be offensive, be unpronounceable, contain numbers/symbols/punctuation marks (other than hyphen or apostrophe), and must include a forename and surname.

squoosh Thu 04-Jul-13 11:45:14

Absolutely ridiculous idea. I don't want to live in such a heavily policed state thanks all the same.

In reality very few people give their kids truly crazy names, I think this idea smacks of xenophobia. You're welcome to our country, but only as long as you blend in and try to be just like us.

farmersdaughter Thu 04-Jul-13 13:07:51

Friends in Switzerland have just had DC2, you need to give then a a potential name when you arrive at the hospital.

Can you image being mid contraction and having to agree a name! Nightmare

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