Naming law

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A naming law restricts the names that parents can legally give to their children, usually to protect the child from being given an offensive or embarrassing name. Many countries around the world have such laws, with most governing the meaning of the name, while some only govern the scripts in which it is written.

Azerbaijan[edit]

Certain names have been proscribed by Azerbaijan.[1][2][3][4][5][5][6][7][8]

China[edit]

In Imperial China, a naming taboo prevented people from using the same names as the reigning Emperor.

The Chinese language has over 70,000 characters, but only a fraction of these are represented by computers.[9][10][11][12] Children's names are limited to characters which are machine readable.

Denmark[edit]

Under the Law on Personal Names,[13] first names are picked from a list of approved names (18,000 female names and 15,000 male names as of Jan 1st 2016).[14] One can also apply to Ankestyrelsen for approval of new names, e.g. common first names from other countries. Names must indicate gender, cannot have surname character, and must follow Danish orthography (e.g. Cammmilla with three m's is not allowed).[15]

France[edit]

Since 1993 the choice has been free in France unless it is decided that the name is contrary to the interests of the child. Before that time the choice of first names was dictated by French laws that decreed which names were acceptable.[16] Napoleon Bonaparte created the law.[17] The law was endorsed by Eric Zemmour.[18][17]

Germany[edit]

Names have to be approved by the local registration office, called Standesamt, which generally consults a list of first names and foreign embassies for foreign names. The name has to indicate gender, it cannot be a last name or a product, and it cannot negatively affect the child. If the name submitted is denied, it can be appealed; otherwise a new name has to be submitted. A fee is charged for each submission.[19]

During the Nazi period, Germany had a list of approved names to choose from that was passed on January 5, 1938 as the "Second Regulation under the law re The changing of Family and Given names." The law had one list of names for ethnic Germans and another for Jews.[20]

Hungary[edit]

A child's name must be chosen from a list of pre-approved names.[21][22] If the intended name is not on the list, the parents need to apply for approval. Applications are considered by the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences following a set of principles.[23] Children born to a foreign citizen may have their name chosen according to foreign law.[24]

Iceland[edit]

Parents are limited to choosing children's names from the Personal Names Register, which is a list of about 1800 names for each gender.[25] The Icelandic Naming Committee maintains the list and hears requests for exceptions.

Italy[edit]

Ridiculous or shameful names are barred by law.[26]

Japan[edit]

Similarly to China, Japan has a certain set of characters that can be used in a child's name.

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

Some Kyrgyz have been russifying their names.[27][28][29]

A law to ban russified names was proposed.[30]

Malaysia[edit]

On and after 2006, colors, vegetables, fruits, insects, and non-human living organism were forbidden as names by the National Registration Department of Malaysia.[17]

New Zealand[edit]

Under the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act of 1995, names are prohibited which "might cause offence to a reasonable person; or [...] is unreasonably long; or without adequate justification, [...] is, includes, or resembles, an official title or rank."[19] Department of International Affairs regulates it.[17]

Portugal[edit]

Portugal has a set list of names approved and not approved published periodically by the Institute of Registration at the Ministry of Justice.[31]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

A list of 50 were proscribed by Saudi Arabia.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41]

Sweden[edit]

Swedish first names "shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name."

Tajikistan[edit]

The authorities of Tajikistan have announced the preparation of a list of 3,000 pre-approved names, all referred to Tajik's culture, thus banning Arabic/Islamic names and suffixes, deemed divisive.[42][43]

Among increasingly religious Tajiks, Islamic-Arabic names have become more popular over Tajik names.[44]

The Tajik government has used the word "prostitute" to label hijab wearing women and enforced shaving of beards, in addition to considering the outlawing of Arabic-Islamic names for children and making people use Tajik names.[45][46][47][48][49][50][51] Tajikistan President Rakhmon (Rahmon) has said that the Persian epic Shahnameh should be used as a source for names, with his proposed law hinting that Muslim names would be forbidden after his anti hijab and anti beard laws.[52]

United States[edit]

Restrictions vary by state, and most are imposed for the sake of practicality. For example, several states limit the number of characters in a name, due to limitations in the software used for official record keeping. For similar reasons, some states ban the use of numerals or pictograms. A few states ban the use of obscenities. Conversely, a few states, such as Kentucky, have no naming laws whatsoever. Courts have interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment as generally supporting the traditional parental right to choose their children's names.

One naming law that some find restrictive is California's ban on diacritical marks, such as in the name José. The Office of Vital Records in California requires that names contain only the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language. There is no law restricting the informal use of diacritical marks and many parents do this.[53]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News.Az - Azerbaijan bans strange baby names ‘Frunze’, ‘Newton’, ‘Galileo’". 
  2. ^ Holding, APA Information Agency, APA. "Azerbaijan bans strange baby names ‘Frunze’, ‘Newton’, ‘Galileo’". 
  3. ^ Lomsadze, Giorgi (15 July 2010). "Azerbaijan to Ban Armenian Names" – via EurasiaNet. 
  4. ^ "Ban on Armenian names". 
  5. ^ a b "Azerbaijan 'may ban Russian names'". 5 March 2013 – via www.bbc.com. 
  6. ^ "Joanna Paraszczuk on Twitter". 
  7. ^ "Эхо Кавказа on Twitter". 
  8. ^ "В Азербайджане запрещены эти имена". 
  9. ^ "Name Not on Our List? Change It, China Says". The New York Times. 21 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Chinese jettison rare surname unrecognised by computer". 15 August 2010 – via www.bbc.com. 
  11. ^ Colin J Bennett; David Lyon (11 January 2013). Playing the Identity Card: Surveillance, Security and Identification in Global Perspective. Routledge. pp. 67–. ISBN 978-1-134-03804-6. 
  12. ^ Hua Wang; Lei Zou; Guangyan Huang; Jing He; Chaoyi Pang; Haolan Zhang; Dongyan Zhao; Zhuang Yi (5 April 2012). Web Technologies and Applications: APWeb 2012 International Workshops: SenDe, IDP, IEKB, MBC, Kunming, China, April 11, 2012, Proceedings. Springer. pp. 169–. ISBN 978-3-642-29426-6. 
  13. ^ "Spørgsmål/svar — Ankestyrelsen". 
  14. ^ "Godkendte fornavne — Ankestyrelsen". 
  15. ^ http://navn.ku.dk/sos/#f5
  16. ^ Mary Blume (November 11, 1995). "The Ins and Outs of French First Names". New York Times. 
  17. ^ a b c d "France names row: Politician hits back over criticism of daughter's name". BBC News. 14 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "French politician Dati responds to remarks about daughter's 'unpatriotic' name". 
  19. ^ a b "Oh no, you can't name your baby THAT!". CNN. 3 July 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  20. ^ Hynning, Clifford J. (March 1944). Germany: Preliminary Compilation of Selected Laws, Decrees, and Regulations: Discriminatory Laws. Washington: Treasuy Department, Office of the General Council. p. E-70. 
  21. ^ "current list of approved male Hungarian given names" (PDF). 
  22. ^ "current list of approved female Hungarian given names" (PDF). 
  23. ^ "basic principles guiding the approval of new given names" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  24. ^ "1982. évi 17. törvényerejű rendelet az anyakönyvekről, a házasságkötési eljárásról és a névviselésről" [Decree-Law No. 17 of 1982 on Registers, the Marriage Procedure and Person Names] (in Hungarian). Art. 27–31. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  25. ^ "Icelandic Girl Fights For Right To Her Own Name". AP. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  26. ^ "Italian court: Child cannot be named Friday". USA Today. 20 December 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "In Kyrgyzstan, A New Interest In Russified Names". 
  28. ^ "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: In Kyrgyzstan, a new interest in russified names - KyivPost". 10 December 2014. 
  29. ^ "Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: In Kyrgyzstan, a new interest in russified names - KyivPost". 10 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "Kyrgyz Legislation Would 'De-Russify' Names". 
  31. ^ "Vocábulos admitidos e não admitidos como nomes próprios". Instituto dos Registos e do Notariado. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  32. ^ "These 50 Baby Names Are Banned In Saudi Arabia". 
  33. ^ http://arynews.tv/en/saudi-arabia-bans-50-names-is-your-name-in-the-banned-list/
  34. ^ "Your name could now be one of 50 'banned' in Saudi Arabia". 14 March 2014. 
  35. ^ "50 names banned in Saudi Arabia; check your name in the list". 
  36. ^ "Why did Saudi Arabia ban 51 baby names?". 
  37. ^ Report, Gulf News (13 March 2014). "Saudi Arabia bans 50 baby names". 
  38. ^ "Saudi Arabia bans 50 names". 8 November 2015. 
  39. ^ "Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia? - Times of India". 
  40. ^ "Saudi bans 50 names on ‘religious grounds’ - Times of India". 
  41. ^ "Saudi Arabia bans 50 'blasphemous' and 'inappropriate' children's names". 
  42. ^ "Tajik authorities prepare a list of Tajik names - ASIA-Plus". 
  43. ^ Trilling, David (5 May 2015). "Tajikistan Mulls Ban on Muslim Names" – via EurasiaNet. 
  44. ^ Najibullah, Farangis; Navruzshoh, Zarangez (October 6, 2010). "In Tajikistan, Islamic Names Are The New Fashion". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. 
  45. ^ Trilling, David (8 May 2015). "Tajikistan debates ban on Arabic names as part of crackdown on Islam". The Guardian. 
  46. ^ Trilling, David (May 5, 2015). "Tajikistan Mulls Ban on Muslim Names". EurasiaNet.org. 
  47. ^ Moftah, Lora (May 6, 2015). "Tajikistan Muslim Name Ban: Parliament Considers Forbidding Arabic-Sounding Names Amid Crackdown On Islam". International Business Times. 
  48. ^ Putz, Catherine (May 9, 2015). "Tajikistan Considers Ban on Arabic Names". The Diplomat. 
  49. ^ Web Desk (May 8, 2015). "After beards, hijabs, Tajikistan wants to ban ‘Arabic-sounding’ names". The Express Tribune. 
  50. ^ Najibullah, Farangis; Ganj, Ganjinai; Kholiqzod, Mirzonabi (April 19, 2015). "Tajiks Weigh Ban On 'Bad Names'". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. 
  51. ^ Hayward, John (10 May 2015). "Tajikistan Considers Banning Arabic Names to Hold Islam at Bay". Breitbart. 
  52. ^ Orange, Richard (03 Jun 2011). "Tajik President warns parents of dangers of 'scary names'". The Telegraph. Almaty.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  53. ^ Larson, Carlton F.W. (November 2011). "Naming Baby: The Constitutional Dimensions of Naming Rights" (PDF). George Washington Law Review. 80 (1). 

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