'The List' reviews weird, banned baby names

Naming your child is your first important act as a parent. In New Zealand, parents have to run their name choices by the government--and that's why six kids are not named Lucifer. Seriously. Other rejected names just released by the country's registrar--Mafia no fear, 4real and Anal. Wait, what's wrong with that one? Oh, right.

The name "Major" was rejected nine times. True story--I actually considered that name for one of my boys, because Major Strasser was a major character in a major movie: Casablanca.

I had to nix that cause Major Strasser is a major Nazi and I'm a major Jew--but enough about me.

The system in New Zealand may be a bit porous. Just ask the kid named Number 16 Bus Shelter or the twins Benson & Hedges. The Swedes are also nixing names, including Metallica, Superman and my favorite:


That's actually Swedish for John.

Most studies show your name doesn't really matter, as it doesn't affect you economically or academically. However, names do reveal a lot about your parents. We name our kids to communicate something essential about ourselves. Think about New Zealand--the aspirational nature of the rejected names--Justice, a no-go 62 times, Royale, Knight, Lady, General, Majesty, Princess, Duke, President and Chief. Who can blame parents for wanting to scream, "I'm fancy, and so are my babies! She's a princess, he's a duke."

Here in the U.S., we have name freedom. Last year, we celebrated by choosing names like ESPN, Google, Jedi, Sanity and "thinn"--the extra n is for "never gonna eat nachos cause if you're named thin, you can't get fat."

My kids have the unrelentingly normal names Nathaniel and Andrew. I guess I'm trying to convince the world we're normal, which makes us not so different from parents desperate to be different, or regal, or just plain major. Seriously. 

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