In America, you’re free to name your baby whatever you want. For the most part, freedom is good; we don’t want tyranny. But some countries’ governments feel it is their duty to protect people from stupidity. A debate on whether that is good or not is beyond the scope of this article.
I started thinking about this because New Zealand just banned a number of baby names, including 18 that have been used in the U.S. (and some are popular). Some of them make sense for other countries, like King, Princess, Duke, Baron, Majesty, etc. Some are to prevent religious confusion or controversy, like Christ and Lucifer. Someone cross-referenced their list with the U.S. Social Security Administration’s database and found that 46 boys in the U.S. are named Christ, and 8 are named Lucifer. I just don’t know why someone would choose to name their child Lucifer. Seems kind of forboding toward evil… (That’s like naming your child “Important Evil Genius“, except even worse.)
Sweden has similar bans, although they extend it to names such as Superman and Metallica. U.S. celebrities are becoming known for giving their children weird names. A few examples:
Moxie CrimeFighter — child of Penn Jillette
Kal-El — son of Nicolas Cage
Pilot Inspektor — son of Jason Lee
Moon Unit, Diva Thin Muffin, and Dweezil — children of Frank Zappa
Pirate — child of Jonathan and Deven Davis
Tabooger — child of Dan Cortese
Tu Morrow — child of Rob Morrow
Having named a child now, part of the process process for us was trying to pick a name that people won’t make fun of too much. Obviously you can’t stop all teasing and bullying, but some of those above are just asking for it. Tabooger? Guess what his childhood nickname will be… And Tu Morrow? Imagine the awkwardness when everyone he/she meets has a short pause upon learning the name, realizing it’s supposed to be funny but it’s not and then you don’t know how to respond to that.
On a related note, you can go to the Social Security website to see how popular your name has been in America the past few decades.