A mother from Powys, Wales, has been banned from naming her baby Cyanide by the Court of Appeal.
The court ruled that the “unusual” choice might harm the children, despite the mother’s argument that it was a “lovely, pretty name” with positive connotations of being the poison taken by Adolf Hitler before he shot himself.
The court was told the mother had a history of mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.
Powys council social workers took the case to court when they learned of the given names, and in June a judge forbade the mother from formally registering the twins’ forenames.
Both the twins were taken from her care, and ‘Cyanide’ and ‘Preacher’ will now be named by their older half-siblings.
It’s unusual for the UK courts to intervene in the naming of a child – Lady Justice King, who presided over the case said it happened “in only the most extreme cases”.
This can be testament to the fact that there are children walking around the UK with the names ‘Superman’, ‘Gazza’, ‘Gandalf’ and ‘Arsenal’.
Let’s revisit a few of the most extreme cases around the world in recent memory:
1. Chow Tow
The Malaysian government banned the name, the translation for which is roughly “smelly head”.
In Denmark citizens can access a list of over 7000 names approved for use – one requires special permission to bestow any names not included in the list.
A poor child in Denmark was the subject of an application for this name, which was obviously denied.
It’s not a typo.
A couple in Sweden in 1996 claimed this monstrosity was pronounced “Albin”, in protest against the Swedish government banning other names such as ‘IKEA’ and ‘Metallica’.
A Chinese couple wanted to name their child ‘Wang @’. The symbol in China is prounced “ai-ta”, similar in sound to “love him”.
The kid would’ve had problems on Twitter for a few reasons.
The Mexican state of Sonora released a list of banned names after years of silly applications, refused for being “derogatory, pejorative, discriminatory or lacking in meaning” on which the social network’s name sits.
As does ‘Robocop’, ‘Traffic’, ‘James Bond’, ‘Terminator’ and ‘Circumcision’.
The department of internal affairs in New Zealand decided to not let this one through the net, alongside other gems such as…
7. Senior Constable
…and most punnily…
8. Fish and Chips (for twins)
..and worst of all…
A family court judge said of the latter:
The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment that this child’s parents have shown in choosing this name. It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily.
In New Zealand, names can be legally rejected for a number of reasons including offence, or if they resemble a title or rank – hence Senior Constable.
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