Saturday, June 25, 2011

What's in a name?

As Shakespeare said "That which we call a rose; by any other name would smell as sweet...". Except when your name is ridiculous and the Argentine government wants to protect children from lifelong ridicule because of stupid parents.

That's right. There's a baby name registry here in Argentina, and if your chosen baby name is not on there - too bad. Little Guava Queso Inspección better be born somewhere else.

This list is published by province. To consult the list for BA to see if your name is too ridiculous for the porteños, click here.

Personally, I don't think this is such a bad thing. The government makes exceptions for names that are passed down through families, and you can appeal to the authorities if your name is rejected. But, the general rules are: it can't be ridiculous, it can't be sexually ambiguous, the same name as a living sibling, something too foreign, or have more than three first names. So, George Foreman would be totally screwed.

An interesting anecdote told to me by a friend: Frustrated parents who couldn't name their daughter an unapproved name finally got their way years later, when they named their vineyard that name instead. And the wine is pretty great, too. Well done.

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