Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 09:31 UK

NZ judge orders 'odd' name change


A judge in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court so that she could change the name she hated - Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

Judge Rob Murfitt said that the name embarrassed the nine-year-old and could expose her to teasing.

He attacked a trend of giving children bizarre names, citing several examples.

Officials had blocked Sex Fruit, Keenan Got Lucy and Yeah Detroit, he said, but Number 16 Bus Shelter, Violence and Midnight Chardonnay had been allowed.

One mother wanted to name her child O.crnia using text language, but was later persuaded to use Oceania, he said.

'Social handicap'

The ruling, in the city of New Plymouth on the North Island, was handed down in February but only made public now.

Allowed: Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges (twins)
Blocked: Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips (twins)

The name issue emerged during a custody hearing for the young girl - who had refused to tell her friends her name and went simply by "K".

"The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name," Judge Murfitt wrote.

"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."

Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii's name has now been changed and the custody case resolved, court officials said.

New Zealand does not allow names that would cause offence or that are longer than 100 characters, Registrar-General Brian Clarke said.

Officials often tried to talk parents out of particularly unusual choices that could embarrass their offspring, the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

You've been telling us about your unusual names. Below are a selection of your comments:

My unusual name hasn't affected me at all; in fact, it has helped me make friends and improve my confidence, especially since leaving school.
Russell Sprout, London, UK

I often get jokes about my names as I am named after the Western Isle that my family originally come from. Although I am proud of the name, shortening to Eris, as I normally do gets some strange looks.
Eriskay Toreen, England

What kind of parents would name their child after a bus shelter? I could only understand it if they had been trying for a baby for years without success and then, out of the blue, octuplets came along.

And as for the twins called Benson & Hedges, does that mean they not allowed in any enclosed public space?
Jonathan, Leicester

My name is Chris Morley. It's just about the most common name in Britain and I've got no problem with it whatsoever. In fact I like it. Who do these people think they are, afflicting other human beings with ridiculous names that are almost certainly going to open them up to ridicule and, at worst, bullying? True parents, loving parents, try to give their offspring the best start in life. Instead these selfish idiots - who either find such names funny or who are so desperate to gain attention that they are willing to use their children as a tool - are socially handicapping their children from the very moment of birth. Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii is utterly ridiculous and insulting, and I am both happy with, and unsurprised by, the judges decision. I hope her 'parents' are ashamed.
Chris Morley, Oxford, UK

I hated my parents for what they named me up until I was a teenager, but then I just became comfortable with it. I suppose it was just bad for me as my sister was called Judy.
Ftango Molasses, London England

Funny the number of people who when hearing my name for the first time still think they're the first to come up with the 'how's Liz'gag! Been happening for best part of 50 years now!!
Richard Burton, London

Shanmuga Velu Palani Velu, My father name is Chinnaswamy Palani Velu. My father kept my name as Shanmuga Velu. Now because of that my full name is Shanmuga Velu Palani Velu. Many of my friends known me as Velu, becasue of the lengthy unusual name.

I have been teased mercilessly from childhood to my adult won't believe the amount of times people have burst out laughing right in my face when they ask my name..
Craig Gogay, London, UK

My name is relatively unusual but it has not caused me any problems in life - apart from the frustration caused by the constant mis-spelling of Laslo. I have been called "Lasio", "Lazlo" and one time "Lazio".
Laslo Panaflex, Belgium

I have had my future kids names picked out for the last 5 years: Spoon Marie, Toaster Thadious, and Grayson Basin Mason...maybe I should have 4 now that Tullulah Does The Hula From Hawaii has become free!
Cassie, Cardiff

We have three children two girls named Storm and Skye and a boy named Blade ... if we have another boy, his name will be Raven, River or Rayne.
TJ, Hampshire, UK

I have recently changed my name from Bruce, James, Spencer Robinson to Jackson, James Robinson. I got bullied at school for being called Bruce, at the time Mr Forsyth was on the TV a lot and kids don't need much to tease and bully. My Family and work friends have adjusted quickly to the change.
Jackson Robinson, Exeter UK

My full name is: Elisabeth, Anne, Helene, Catherine, Genevieve, Cecile, Marguerite, Marie Szentkereszty de Zagon (Baroness). My passport and ID only have my initials on them. My driver's licence (American) did not have room enough for the entire last name. My names are common (except last name and means Holy Cross of Zagon - which is in Transylvania) I do love my name, but usually only use Elisabeth de Zagon...
Elisabeth, Brussels, Belgium

My grandmother was perhaps a bit ahead of her time in 1927 in naming her first child, my father, after a popular recording star of the time. She was a fan of Ivor Norvello, but obviously didn't link the first name Ivor, with her surname Payne before the birth was registered. My father was therefore christened Ivor Payne. He said that he really was the forerunner of the unfortunately named hero of the Jonny Cash song, A Boy named Sue, in that there weren't too many days at school when he wasn't involved in a fight because someone had teased him about his name. Sadly he died in 1999, and one of the questions I never asked him was whether he felt having that particular name had affected his life. Ivor Payne 1927 1999 R.I.P.
Martin Payne, Norwich, Norfolk

I changed my name by deed poll to Jenna Dana Bananarama Rater. I'm now the Jenna Rater!
Jenna Dana Bananarama Rater, Cardiff, Wales

I fell into this trap completely by accident with my son Connor. It was only when his first piece of post arrived that we realised he was C. Shaw.
Phil Shaw, Portsmouth

Although my name is becoming more common when I was young I was often teased because of my unusual name that was when people actually got it right. The usual comment was "where's hardy then?" but i think the best one was when I was seven my teacher had had enough of having to correct herself when she called me laura, lauren, laurence and so decided that she was going to call me Daisy as it was simpler! Thankfully now I love my name as it is uncommon but I really think parents should think about how their children will be treated rather than jumping onboard the weird name band wagon
Laurel, Swansea

My name has been a source of angst my entire life. To this day I have to repeat ad nauseum;often times spelling my name, in a futile effort to have it pronounced correctly. Sadly my middle name is no better and I was left with no choices in school. I was bullied, ridiculed and mocked and to this day supposedly mature adults still have a snicker at my expense. I approve whole heartedly of the New Zealand law that offers some recourse to children so benighted. Naming your child is not an exercise in creative writing or an avenue for personal expression; if you want that take a class or write a book. The psychological effects of an odd name are painful, deep and lasting.
Kurleigh Martin, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

My sister (Che) and I both have unusual names and we love them! It's nice to be unique in your school/college or place of work. It can also be an ice-breaker when meeting new people. Lots of people comment favourably about my name and I've never been bullied as a consequence of it.
Chula Bishop, Newbury England

Its easy to see the embarrassment at an early age but as soon as she is old enough she will recall the tale fondly with people saying 'did your parents really call you that?'. I'd look back and wish I kept it, but then I like my credit cards reading 'Mr D Vine'.
Darren Vine, Warwick

Being called Slick has its advantages and disadvantages but I get along just fine, in fact I've learned to love my name.
Slick Bryn Davies, Manchester

No-one ever considered that the child might like the quirkiness of their name. Nothing has ever held back my development or progress in the world. I'm now working in the catering trade and everyone calls me Eggy. I don't see the problem!
Egnorwiddle Waldstrom , London, UK

My name is Varithamby Jeyahprakash Tharamakulaseelarajan my brother's name is Sathiyasothilegaeswaran Thramakulaseelerajan, we still struggle to fill-in legal forms because they never have enough space. Parents do not think long term when naming their children specially in South Asia. I think they should be given lessons in naming their offsprings.
J Rajan, Colombo Sri Lanka

My friends call me Manny!
Mangled Brown Fence-Post, London

I went to school with a boy called Justin Kayce.
Chris Morton, Plymouth, UK

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