Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Girl Named Nutella

There is one English newspaper in the university library here.  I don’t read it all the time, but when I am at school and have the time, I stop in to find out what the news in the world is.  Last week, I read a short article about parents in France who named their baby daughter Nutella, after the hazelnut spread.  The court took it upon itself to change the baby’s name to Ella because it was thought that other children would tease this child about her name. This isn’t the first time this happened either.  There was another case recently with a child who was given the name Fraise (“strawberry” in French) and the court changed the child’s name to Fraisine. (Here is the BBC's version of the story.)

I can’t imagine this happening in the US.  For one thing, with the crime and litigious nature of Americans, the courts are backlogged with far too many things without changing the given names of babies.  In addition to that, there are just too many names that are “different” in the US.  There aren’t enough courts or judges to deal with all of them. Personally, I think parents should be able to choose the names of their children, no matter how odd I or anyone else thinks the names are. (Please note, I have no children and the two pets I’ve had, I named Shadowcat and Monica).  What do you think – should the government change the given names of children because they might be teased about the names?

6 comments:

  1. Yes it happened in US ...

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-23665106

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    1. That judge tried to changed the baby's name, but she was fired and the baby's first name, Messiah, was restored. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/tennessee-judge-who-vetoed-messiah-as-babys-name-is-fired/

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  2. I think the court, or name registration agency or whoever the authority is, should ADVICE and GIVE RECOMMENDATION to parents who want to name their child something 'odd'. I also think it should be easy for the child to officially change the name at, lets say, age 15. Furthermore I think nicknames should be accepted in schools while the official name is only used in your passport and ID card.
    In Sweden there was a case of parents wanting to name their baby twins Hallon and Blåbär (Raspberry and Blueberry). For a white-blond Swedish baby with large blue eyes like blueberries I can see Blåbär is a cute name, but it is a strange name for an adult bank manager or professor at university. This was in the 70's with Hippy culture blossoming. If I remember correctly, the parents weren't allowed to give these names to their children.
    In Japan there was a case when a father wanted to register his baby boy's name as Akuma 悪魔 which means devil or demon in English. The Family Register refused to accept Satan as a given name, stating the reason of possible bullying in school and problems with landing a good job - what company would want to have a salesman called Satan Smith?
    Have you ever wanted to change the name your parents chose for you?

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    1. I agree it should be easy for the child to change his or her name when she gets older, but still support the parents being able to name the baby whatever they want.
      I have always liked my name, even though it is a very common one.

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  3. Hmm, interesting. I recall something about an New Zealand baby being named "Number 16 Bus Stop" or something similar, which I really do think is ridiculous of the parents. I'm not sure I'd want the government stepping in though. The child could always (and most likely will) pick a normal nickname to live by until they're legally able to change their own name. I don't think the name Strawberry would be too bad. There's plenty of Ichigo in Japan (though that's not normally the meaning haha). :)

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  4. Personally when I read the title, I though it was an awesome name for a girl. It's sounds so sweet and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. I mean who doesn't love Nutella. And the worry over her being bullied, children can be very vicious towards each other. If she was going to be bullied, I don't think it matters what name the parents pick.

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