Wednesday, 3 March 2010

GUEST POST: Peruvian Law Forbids 'Socially Harmful' Children's Names

[Guest Post by Jeff Perren]

Just to illustrate how absurd statism can get, consider the following BBC news story.

Names like Cut-throat and Conflict are now out of bounds in Peru. Peruvians are having to choose names for their children more carefully from this week, after a controversial new law banned the use of names considered ridiculous, offensive, or contrary to religious beliefs.

Parents also cannot give their child more than two names, because the Peruvian government says it causes problems in their computer records.

The law also bans parents from giving children names of the opposite sex.

Civil registry officials will decide which names are prohibited.

Opposition politicians and church leaders say the legislation deprives parents of freedom of choice. "It is wrong that civil registry officials be allowed to determine what names parents can give their children," said opposition Congressman Henry Gustavo Manuel Serapio Pease.

But the Peruvian government says the new law will protect children from the psychological damage caused by such recent names as the Spanish words for Cutthroat, Cuckold and Circumcision. "People are giving their children names like H2O (the symbol for water) and Ebullicion ('Boiling' in Spanish) and this is going to hurt the child," said Justice Minister Alfredo Quispe.

Of course! We must eliminate freedom 'for the sake of the children'. Never mind that it reduces parents to children and puts the State in the role of parent. Statism is evil, to be sure. But that doesn't stop it from being silly, as well.


  1. I was once introduced to a secondary-school teacher, a Mr Kerr. Turned out his first name was Wayne. I wanted to ask, but it wasn't the time. Reckon school must have been hell. I really should have asked. Oh well. Missed opportunity.

    Does anyone reckon the government should have protected him from his so obviously careless parents?


  2. No doubt the Peruvian busybodies have long ago excised the female antagonist's name from the Ian Fleming novel, Goldfinger.

    I'm sure "Pussy Galore" would just give the tenderhearts fits.

  3. To be fair, "silly first name syndrome" is a strong indicator of stupid parents.

    For the pedants, I'm not supporting banning names - but it would be a fine idea if people could discriminate on that basis.

  4. And here are two goodies,

    Dick Huge and his littler brother Les.

    Anyone know any others?


  5. As much as I don't like state intervention in general, I think this is an instance where I don't mind. Different names are alright but ridiculous names are just cruel. Anyone remember the case of the poor girl in NZ named "Tallulah does the Hoola in Hawaii"?

  6. back in the day when WWF was big in NZ someone named his newborn "The Ultimate Warrior"

    TUW why he'd have to be in his late 20s by now

  7. I don't know about "Ultimate Warrior", but I do like the sound of a name beginning with "The"


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