A family court judge in New Zealand has taken a stand against parents who saddle their children with goofy names, which seem to be fairly common, at least per capita, in that country. Judge Rob Murfitt ordered that a nine-year-old girl named "Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii" would become a ward of the court so that her name could be changed to something that is not stupid.
Judge Murfitt's written ruling, issued in February but released on July 24, went beyond the facts of that case. He noted other strange names that had been given to New Zealand children and stated his concern that these would create "social hurdles" for the children as they grew up. An idea of the possible social hurdles involved can be gleaned from a few of the proposed child names that the judge cited in his opinion, including:
- Fish and Chips
- Twisty Poi
- Keenan Got Lucy
- Sex Fruit
- Yeah Detroit
Those were all blocked by state officials -- even the very awesome "Yeah Detroit" -- but other New Zealand children apparently have been stuck with names such as "Violence" and "Number 16 Bus Shelter," and then there were the twins named "Benson" and "Hedges." The country's Child, Youth and Family agency says it does not consider stupid names alone to be "abuse," although it may be classified as such if a child suffers serious bullying as a result of one. Officials said they do try to talk parents out of giving unusual names, although they might have spent a little more time with the parents of Number 16 Bus Shelter.
There was no bullying in Talula's case, but that may have been only because the girl was reportedly so embarrassed by her name that she had never told it to any of her friends, instead just going by "K." Thankfully, Judge Murfitt has now given her a new name. That name was not made public, in order to protect the girl's privacy, but it seems a fair guess that it is a fairly ordinary name, and that it begins with K.