Believe it or not, there are places in this world where the naming of a child is strictly prescribed by the government. In America we can call our kids most anything, but in some places it would be illegal to name your children One Million, Two Million, and so forth, as the Million family is said to have done in early Skagit County, Washington. It’s said that Ten Million was quite successful, so maybe the name can make a man after all…

The following examples are excerpted and heavily abbreviated in hopes that you’ll go My granddaughter, Tabitha Virginia Meitzler. For the first several weeks, I had to do a mental exercise in which I remembered the name, Samantha; before I could think of the name Tabitha - harking back to the era of Bewitched on television. The photo was taken 6-29-2010 with my Sprint Evo phone.check out the details at the CNN Living website:

1. Sweden
… “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.”
Rejected names: “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb111163 (pronounced Albin, naturally) was submitted by a child’s parents in protest of the Naming law. It was rejected. The parents later submitted “A” (also pronounced Albin) as the child’s name. It, too, was rejected…

2. Germany
In Germany, you must be able to tell the gender of the child by the first name, and the name chosen must not be negatively affect the well being of the child. Also, you can not use last names or the names of objects or products as first names.
Rejected names: Matti was rejected for a boy because it didn’t indicate gender.

3. New Zealand
New Zealand’s Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act of 1995 doesn’t allow people to name their children anything that “might cause offence to a reasonable person;…
Rejected names: Stallion, Yeah Detroit, Fish and Chips…
Approved names: Benson and Hedges (for a set of twins)…

4. Japan
In Japan, one given name and one surname are chosen for babies, except for the imperial family, who only receive given names… The Japanese also restrict names that might be deemed inappropriate…
Rejected names: Akuma, meaning “devil.”

5. Denmark
Denmark’s very strict Law on Personal Names is in place to protect children from having odd names that suit their parents’ fancy. To do this, parents can choose from a list of 7,000 pre-approved names, some for girls, some for boys…
Rejected names: … Pluto and Monkey…

Check out the full article at the CNN Living website.

Thanks to my friend, Ernie Thode, for putting me onto the piece at the CNN website.