New Zealand: Banned names

New Zealand: Banned names

What’s in a name? Well, in New Zealand, your’s could be a problem.

In early May, New Zealand’s Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages released an updated list of banned baby names.

Do you have a Lucifer, Queen V, King, V8, Prime Minister or Justice in your family tree? Those are all (as well as others) on the list  that are unacceptable.

The banned list is not static, and grows over time. According to the registrar, acceptable names may not cause offense, be unreasonably long or resemble any official title and rank.

Banned names go far beyond New Zealand. In Sweden, the Civil Registry banned the name Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116 and, in the Dominican Republic, parents cannot name their children after cars or fruit.

While these names may not be the norm, it has caused debate about government roles in determining the responsibility for what a parent can name a child.

What do you think about these “different” names? Should we be able to name our children whatever we want, or is it unfair to subject them to bizarre names that may affect them in later life?

Do you have any “odd” names in your family tree?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, FacebookTwitter, and Google +.


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  • Kim

    June 1, 2013

    We have an Experience, Nimrod and Justice.

  • ann macdonald

    June 4, 2013

    My grandson is called Rain ,it was pouring down the night he was born! we couldnt imagine him with any other name,we like it!

  • Francis

    June 5, 2013

    My family name is King, is this a problem?
    My sister emigrated to NZ many years ago, she is lucky by being married wth another name

  • Eleonora

    August 4, 2013

    my uncle’s name is Sovjetko – that would be “Soviet” in translation 🙂

  • Bill

    August 6, 2013

    I had a great deal of trouble finding the name of a great-great uncle, who as an adult was always referred to as “Doctor” or “Doc,” but never, it seemed, by his given name. I finally found him as a two year old in an 1860 census. Turns out Doctor was his name, not his profession.

  • Pati Bea

    August 11, 2013

    Makes you wonder… Mercedes is a common Spanish name. I am pretty sure the car came along after the name was already being used. But what would happen if some dink at the baby-naming-czar’s office in NZ decided that this was not the case? Is the decision final, based on some (dink) who wasn’t even born herself, until 1991? And never heard of the name as it is unassociated with the car?

  • Quentin

    September 1, 2013

    This is slightly off-centre of the topic but I thought it worthy of a mention. A pop-group went under the name of “CASH”, so that their gigs were paid by Cheque, (made out to CASH) thus avoiding tax fee.

  • Heather

    September 1, 2013

    Pati, it wasn’t New Zealand that banned car names, it was Dominican Republic. I’m sure Mercedes would be fine. However Anal, 111, 2nd, 3rd, and Mafia No Fear have been rejected for first names! Titles, also, are not able to be used like Prince or Sir or Justice. These aren’t banned as Family names, Franis, so King as a last name is sweet. Interestingly while Queen is not able to be used, Queenie is quite OK and common in an older generation.
    My Great Grandfather was born on the way out to NZ he was named Tristan de Cuna after the island and we still have Tristans in the family

  • Lee

    September 14, 2013

    I have a daughter named Jemena. The field service arm of the local gas company also has the name Jemena, but this came well after my daughter’s birth.

  • m. Todd

    November 8, 2013

    I have heard as first names….Dardanella, Reconasense ( not spelt right ), Death and surnames Jellyman,Magic and Sexsmith.

    The first 2 first names were given to daughters by returned service men. Death often becomes Deeth. Sexmith has been changed to Sixsmith.

  • Owen Clough

    November 12, 2013

    I have a cousin call Blaze

  • Owen Clough

    November 12, 2013

    Just thought I would mention it New Zealand also Remembrance day

  • alan smith

    February 20, 2014

    Mercedes was named after the daughter of an employee of the Daimler-Benz company, Emil Jellinek who drew up the specifications for their most famous model. Mercedes Jellinek was only 10 years of age at the time.

  • Sid Brad-Moore

    March 18, 2014

    I believe there was a girl baby registered as “Kitchenette” in the early Twentieth century – after Lord Kitchener? Don’t give your child a bizarre name – they have to live through changing fads – whoever would want to be named Gladys or Euphemia in 2014?

  • Ian Wotherspoon

    March 18, 2014

    I think Heather said it well. Stupid names only ever hurt the child in later years, once they are at school etc. Children can be very nasty if a child has a name that can be used in a derogatory way. And as New Zealand is a country with a large English immigrant population, then Titles Sir, Lord etc. are not and should not be available. Besides who would want a name like “Garage, Table,or Car just because you were either conceived or born on 1 or other of these items.

  • Virginia (Lusk) Souza

    May 28, 2015

    One of my great-grandfather’s first name is Philander. Not really sure where his parents got the name or even why they named him that. No one seems to know.

  • Kathryn Chandler

    June 18, 2015

    I remember reading in the paper about twin boys who were named Rock and Roll, in New Zealand in the nineteen-fifties.
    More recently in New Zealand there was a girl called Tallula Does The Hula From Hawaii, and the Social Welfare said it was cruel to give a girl that name. Presumably it was just shortened to Tallula.

  • Kay Hughes

    February 21, 2016

    We all should be careful what we call our off spring as long after
    we are gone they are stuck with this name and the wrath of their childhood friends, and especially the playground can be merciless

  • Frances Beal

    July 31, 2016

    I know of a Dentist from southern California whose given name was Speedy, his last name was Nutz. The Dental board triend to get him to change it but he said his Mom and Dad named him that and he would keep it!