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What Is In A Name?

Updated on July 24, 2008

There is a recent article in the news about a New Zealand court who took custody of a nine year old who was possibly given the weirdest name on the planet by her parents: Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii. The judge ordered the parents to rename the child after lecturing them about the future humiliation will receive while she is in school. This article does more than that: it brings to attention the increasing number of new parents who are giving their children weird names.

So, why are so many new parents giving their children such weird names? I'm not talking about a name like the New Zealand parents in the article gave their child, although by itself, Talula probably is not that bad. The parents could always tell everyone they know, they named their daughter after the famous actress Tallulah Bankhead. I am talking about names like Booneyboo or even Xixoni. Then we have the problem of punctuation in names. An example of this would be K!v*n$ or $%^!!@ althought the latter is probably more commonly associated with a cuss word than a personal name. It's one thing to give your child a unique name of identity but giving him or her a name that he or she can be made fun of or wind up feeling insecure about does not necessarily help the child. Granted, by the time the child reaches the age of eighteen, he or she can go to court and legally change his or her name. But eighteen years with a weird name can seem like an eternity for a kid.

Logically, if all kids share the same percentage of weird names, then the name the parents gave their offspring no longer has a unique name identity. Neither does having a weird name guarantee that the child will be successful in life, unless that kid grows up to be a rap singer. I mean, whoever heard of a CEO or COO named Mashuka Boola Boola? Unless Mashuka is a Yale graduate with good connections, he isn't going to get far in life.

The fact remains that the practice of parents giving their children weird names is a trend. Many parents still give their children traditional names like William, Elizabeth, Joe, Robert, Susan, and Lisa. At least those kids won't be made fun of for having normal first names.


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    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      My guess, William, is that very possibly, that could be an option. I don't recall what states, but in some, children have been allowed to divorce their parents.

      I would like to think a child either has the right, or is granted the right, to legally change his/her name.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I'm not a psychiatrist, but it seems to me that parents who give their children unintelligible names are desperately seeking attention -- to themselves. It seems obvious that little thought has gone into the effect it will have on the child. But your hub, MaryGH, raises a more important question: What rights does a minor child have, and does the government have the right to overrule the actions of a parent in such cases? This question does not have an easy answer.

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      You're very welcome!

      Have fun!

    • MaryGH profile image

      MaryGH 9 years ago

      Thank you for the comments and the welcome! :)

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      I totally agree.  People can be real idiots.  I want to ask them what they are smoking!  What may seem 'cute' for a one year old, will not be cute when they turn five and ten.  Life is hard enough without burdening a child with a name that will no doubt tear down whatever self-esteem they have.  There may be the rare child who takes it in stride and can even joke about it with his/her friends, but it's highly unlikely.  I wouldn't be surprised if they start giving their children pet names such as Rover, Spot or Fluffy for crying out loud.

      Possibly on the plus side, the fad will wear off in time and people will go back to more traditional names, but who really knows.

      Thanks for sharing and welcome to HP,