General Question

BronxLens's avatar

Are alphanumeric legal name options should someone (not me! LoL) want to change her or his name to something like Laura2, 8Johny, etc?

Asked by BronxLens (1527 points ) October 5th, 2008

Are there restrictions on the options a person has for changing his/her name to?

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23 Answers

shadling21's avatar

I believe it’s possible. How else could Number 16 Bus Shelter be accepted?

jsc3791's avatar

I don’t think so. I remember a recent news story where a family wanted to name its child something like that, and had to go to court to fight for it. I think it was in Europe.

jsc3791's avatar

NZ judge orders ‘odd’ name change

A judge in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated – Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing.

He attacked a trend of giving children bizarre names, citing several examples.

Officials had blocked Sex Fruit, Keenan Got Lucy and Yeah Detroit, he said, but Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and Midnight Chardonnay had been allowed.

One mother wanted to name her child O.crnia using text language, but was later persuaded to use Oceania, he said.

‘Social handicap’

The ruling, in the city of New Plymouth on the North Island, was handed down in February but only made public now. UNUSUAL NAMES
Allowed: Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges (twins)
Blocked: Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips (twins)

The name issue emerged during a custody hearing for the young girl – who had refused to tell her friends her name and went simply by “K”.

“The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name,” Judge Murfitt wrote.

“It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.”

Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii’s name has now been changed and the custody case resolved, court officials said.

New Zealand does not allow names that would cause offence or that are longer than 100 characters, Registrar-General Brian Clarke said.

Officials often tried to talk parents out of particularly unusual choices that could embarrass their offspring, the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

That’s really interesting about New Zealand. I think it’s a great question and would be interested in the answer as it applies to the United States. I have a feeling it’s on a state-by-state basis, but I don’t know that.

shockvalue's avatar

I’m naming my first-born Optimus Prime. No exceptions.

cookieman's avatar

jsc3791: Great article, but couldn’t she just have gone by Talula?

My friend named his daughter Orange. My wife’s cousin is named Telephone.

flameboi's avatar

I’d change my name to Max Power like Homer Simpson did :)

fireside's avatar

Someone changed their name to this

EmpressPixie's avatar

It depends on where you live. Some places allow it, some do not.

I know there is a kid named John 2.0 in the States, but like shown earlier New Zealand frowns upon ridiculous names. There are other nations and states that have taken a stand pro or against weird names. We’d need more info to tell you if it is legal where you are.

fireside's avatar

I’m guessing that Bronx Lens is from NYC, but that could be a faulty assumption.

deaddolly's avatar

To each his own, I guess. I’d rather have a name with a number than some of those made up names that are unpronouncable!

BronxLens's avatar

@fireside, he is indeed =)

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

@shockvalue- There’s a great Dane Cook skit where he talks about naming his son Optimus Prime :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@rockstargrrrrlie you mean the one he stole from Louis Ck?

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

@uberbatman- hmmm, I guess so.

shockvalue's avatar

thanks Uber, I hate Dane Crook with a passion. He thinks that just because he moves around a lot and yells, no one will notice that he is a straight up thief.

jvgr's avatar

I doubt that there are any restrictions other than:
1. Can’t use names that could be mistaken for other known names (david jones to coca cola)
2. Names that are easily construed as racist, hateful to specific persons, etc
3. Names that are commonly considered vulgar as in swearing.

BronxLens's avatar

Found this:

Generally the judge has judicial discretion to grant or deny a change of name, especially if the name change is for “frivolous” or “immoral” purposes, such as changing one’s name to “God,” “Superman,” “Copyright,” or “Delicious.”
In 2004, a Missouri man did succeed in changing his name to “They.” [2] The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a name change to “1069” could be denied, but that “Ten Sixty-Nine” was acceptable (Application of Dengler, 1979), and the North Dakota Supreme Court denied the same request several years before (Petition of Dengler, 1976).
In nearly all states one cannot choose the name of a notable person with the intent to mislead, a name that is intentionally confusing, a racial slur, threats, obscenities, or a name that incites violence.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Tom Lehrer once included a bit about a friend named Henry, who “was such a rugged individualist that he spelled his name H-E-N-3-R-Y. The 3 was silent.”

Val123's avatar

I was reading in a HS science literature magazine that some researcher changed his name from “Robert Jones,” to “Robert Jones?” to differentiate him from all the other Robert Jones in the world!

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

In the US I would venture to guess that it falls under First Amendment freedom of speech. I have read that Norway goes even further than NZ and has a list of “acceptable” names, any name not on the list cannot be registered on a birth certificate. This is supposedly to prevent parents from giving their children strange names that will cause them social problems.

SmashTheState's avatar

The State already believes that they own your entire life, including the very flesh of your body and (through the Church) your spirit. Why not own your name and identity too? If my parents had named me Tula Does The Hula From Hawaii, I’d wear it with pride and tell the whole world to go to hell. My first name starts with an ‘A’ and for many years I’ve always circled the (A) when I sign it. I’m considering trying to have the circled-(A) added legally.

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