July 25, 2008
So Would You Name Your Daughter Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii?
By Emily Pykett
IT HAS long been the preserve of celebrities to bestow outlandish names upon their offspring.
But now a judge has made one child a ward of court to give her legal powers to change her name from Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii to something more run-of-the-mill.
He stepped in after hearing the nine-year-old girl, from the New Zealand town of Hawera, was so worried about being mocked that she would tell strangers her name was "K".
Her plight came to light in a custody battle presented before the family court in February.
In a ruling made public yesterday, the judge, Rob Murfitt, criticised the "very poor judgment" of the girl's parents, which "makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap".
The judge spoke out against what he said was a trend in New Zealand, citing a list of unfortunate names he said were embarrassing or made children seem foolish among their peers.
Some names - including Fish and Chips (for twins), Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi, Keenan Got Lucy, 4Real and Sex Fruit - were blocked by registration officials, he said.
However, other names that were allowed included Violence, Number 16 Bus Shelter and Midnight Chardonnay.
Georgina Wintersgill, author of Bumper Book of Baby Names: The Intelligent Approach to Choosing Imaginative, Interesting Names, told The Scotsman: "Parents do have the right to name their kids whatever they want, but Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii is going way too far.
"It's a blessing that the judge had enough sense to step in.
"Most people try to find something original, but not so original that it results in your child being bullied."
Oliver Black, director of the London-based childcare agency Tinies, said: "Parents should think twice before giving their children a name that is weird or likely to make their life difficult.
"However, making the child a ward of court is potentially taking the child away from its parents, which is probably more disruptive and damaging than the name itself."
Last night, a spokesman for the General Register Office for Scotland said parents were free to name their children as they wished. But he added: "If registrars felt a name was potentially offensive or unusual, they would speak to the parents, to ensure they understood the implications of choosing such a name."
BOB Geldof's 16-year-old daughter Peaches - full name Peaches Honeyblossom Michelle Charlotte Angel Vanessa Geldof - has three sisters, named Fifi Trixibelle, Pixie and Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lilly.
David Bowie's son Zowie changed his name to Duncan Jones, while Keith Richards's daughter Dandelion tells everyone her name is Angela.
Frank Zappa called his daughter Moon Unit, while Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their daughter Apple.
David and Victoria Beckham named their third son Cruz which means cross in Spanish and is usually given to girls.
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