According to the Herald Sun, odd requests from parents have prompted the New Zealand Registar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages to forbid certain names for children deemed to creative or could cause the children harm.
Some of the names targeted make sense: in 2007, the registar turned down names that appear as single letters, start with numbers (such as “4Real”), and now any name that’s a single letter or number is forbidden. Strange punctuation is also disallowed. But this focus on titles seems a little misguided: Baron, Bishop, General, Judge, Justice, King, Knight, and Duke have all been banned. Who knows if Lady was on the list.
I would say that this is an issue of personal liberty, but children are involved which always muddies the waters of ethics. Satanists can be Satanists if they affect only themselves, no? Was the parent who petitioned for her baby to be named Lucifer named “Rosemary,” by any chance? And besides, has someone sued the registar for letting their parents name them something that led to trauma?
Why has this agency taken moral responsibility for children’s names when it’s doubtful that they would be held accountable for them? What’s in a name, anyway?
Regardless, I would say that there is hope for these more creatively inclined parents when it comes to monikers, a little something called nicknames.