Name abuse

A nine-year-old New Zealand girl asked a family court judge to let her choose a new name to replace Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii, her parents’ choice. He made her a ward of the court to allow the name change, calling her birth name a “social disability.” Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt cited other absurd names, including “twins named Benson and Hedges — after a brand of cigarettes; Violence; and Number 16 Bus Shelter.”

It’s a child, not a pet.

The child formerly known as Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii is known to her friends as “K,” but there’s no word on her new name.

About Joanne


  1. A former colleague of mine taught a little girl named Usnavy (pronounced: oos-NAHV-ee). Her father served in the…well, you can figure that out.

  2. SuperSub says:

    I once knew a colleague who had a student named Elohssa after his deadbeat father.

  3. ucladavid says:

    The brother of a classmate of mine back in high school: Phuck Hua.

    On the first day of class, he always asked his teachers to call him Hook.

  4. Nels Nelson says:

    My grandmother taught a girl without a name. The school decided to call her “Nonamia”.

  5. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Private Sergeant Major
    And if you had no middle name, you got one – N.M.N.

  6. Wow…a child with no name? That’s pretty horrible.

    I just wish parents would use one of the standard, rather than some “creative” spelling for their kids’ name; I’m sure it’s a drag for the kid to always have their name mispronounced.

  7. Roger Sweeny says:

    Two kids named Luh-MAHN-zhu-low and ahr-RAHN-zhu-low, spelled lemonjello and orangejello. Yes, the names were inspired by flavored gelatin desserts.

  8. Terri W. says:

    At the county fair a few weeks ago, I heard a mother calling to her son, “Ruger!”

    In a way, it’s kind of a cool name. But on the other hand … no, not so much.

  9. The “lemonjello” and “orangejello” names are urban legends. I must’ve heard that one a million times — everybody knows someone who knows someone who swears she saw the names with her own two eyes. So either it’s a more popular name than you would think, or we all know the same person.

  10. Roger Sweeny says:

    I did get the story second hand–a colleague who said she knew a social worker.

  11. Fred the Fourth says:

    OTOH, I recall a news story from about 20 years ago where a family in France was forbidden to name their daughter “Cerise” (= “Cherry”). Apparently legal names in France (at least at that time) could only be taken from historically respectable names, saints, etc. There was some legislated verbiage detailing what was allowed.
    So I suppose this is really just another one of those “where do you draw the line?” deals. Too bad if the courts get involved, though. Hardly seems likely to simplify things.

  12. Here in Brazil every teacher sees somekind of bizarre names. Lois Lane, Michael Jackson and Jane Fonda are the most trivial…

  13. “Apparently legal names in France (at least at that time) could only be taken from historically respectable names, saints, etc. There was some legislated verbiage detailing what was allowed.”

    Portugal has the same legislation.

    In Brazil the name can be denied if the register worker feels that it´s so ridiculous that could provide damage to the child.

  14. My personal favorite was the family where both parents were alumni of Ohio State University. Their last name was Grey. Their first child, a daughter, was named Scarlet Ann.

    Sure hope she didn’t go to Michigan for college!

    (for those who may be unfamiliar with US college sports team colors, the OSU Buckeyes colors are scarlet & gray.)

  15. Catch Thirty-Three says:

    When the day arrives when I have to decide what to name my child, I will pull out the current edition of the World Almanac for that time, find the list of the 10 most common names, and immediately dismiss them from consideration. 🙂

    But I sure as all hell would not saddle my kid socially by naming him/her something as absurd as what I have seen here and elsewhere.

  16. I went to school with Sandy Beech

  17. Margo/Mom says:

    My high school English teacher was Harry Nuckolls.

  18. Oh my. These are good. We chose “Sienna” for our youngest daughter and I’ve been asked why I named her after a crayon. No one asks if we named her after the model/actress (Sienna Miller)… although that’s not true either.

  19. I went to high school with a girl named Missy Tinkle – I know we can’t do much about our last names sometimes…mine was Presley before I got married (and I know you are thinking it, and no, I am not related). I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked….

  20. “I did get the story second hand–a colleague who said she knew a social worker.”

    See???? What’d I tell you? 😉 Now, if you had said that you actually named your OWN children those names, then…

  21. Walter E. Wallis says:

    That Buckeye couple could name their son Red Andy Gray.

  22. Some of the “names” given in this article (and variants showing up here and there) are fishy. An international naming forum I frequent had some comments by New Zealanders casting doubt on some of them: “Number 16 Bus Shelter,” for instance, can’t be a legal name in NZ, as numerals aren’t permitted. One forum participant knew “Sex Fruit” (claimed as a rejected name in this article; claimed as a name given to a baby girl in another); “Sex Fruit” though is apparently a man who changed his own name via deed poll. In general there is reason to be suspicious of the suggestion that these are really names that parents have given (or attempted to give) to babies.

  23. As for Talula does the Hula in Hawaii–it is nut-brained parents like this that lead elected officials to believe that parents don’t have enough sense to raise their kids.