Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Mummy's little Prince

from "The Local"

A Swedish appeals court has cleared the path for a couple in in southern Sweden to name their son "Prince" after rejecting a tax agency argument that the name was a professional title, and that there was a risk that the name would lead to misunderstandings.

The court based its decision on the fact that the tax agency had previously approved the name as an acceptable Christian name and despite the guidelines that "A first name may not be such that it can be seen as offensive or cause discomfort to the child, neither may it resemble a surname," the couple should be allowed to give their son the name.

The Swedish tax agency retains the right of approval for the naming of children in Sweden and all parents are required to register the names of their new born with the agency within three months of birth. Previously there have been disputes over the names "Metallica", "Google", "Dark Knight" and "Elvis".

Full story here

This of course is nothing new to the English.

In 1994 the Superintendant Registrar of Stafford reported on a couple named Belcher who registered their son as "Prince Charles". She also listed various other requests that had come to her: a Mr and Mrs Jordan who named their son "Jordan"; a couple with the surname Beer who wanted their child called "Bottled"; a Mr and Mrs Waters whose daughter was named "Mineral"; a Mr and Mrs Pitt who called their son "Frankenstein"; a girl registered as "Rheumatism"; another called daft, and one poor unfortunate girl named "Fatso".


  1. Nothing new under the sun. In England's Puritan phase we hear of people being named "Praisegod," "Mysaviourliveth" and Notrespass."

  2. For a wonderful resume of oddball names, see "Potty, Fartwell and Knob" by Russell Ash; ISBN 978-0-7553-1654-0

    Fanny Fidget (1868), Jane Fat Bacon (1811), Wilfred Titanic Dyke (1912) to name but a few.

  3. Schoolmaster: All right, quiet. Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast Major. Ellsworth-Beast Minor. Fiat. German. Havenut. Haemoglobin. Jones M. Jones N. Kosygin. Loudhailer. Mattock. Nancyboy-Potter. Nibble.
    Schoolmaster: I have a detention book. Orifice. Plectrum. Poise. Sediment. Soda. Taah. Taah? Under-Manager. Wicket. Williams-Wicket. Williams-Witcherley. Witcherley-Wicket. Witcherley-Williams. And Witcherley-Williams. Wocket. Zob. Hmmm, absent. All right, your essays. "Discuss the contention that Cleopatra had the body of a roll-top desk and the mind of a duck". Oxford and Cambridge O-Level examination, 1976. The answer; yes. Don't fidget, Bland. Nancyboy-Potter and Wicket, see me afterwards. Most of you of course, didn't write nearly enough. Dint, your answer was unreadable. Put it away, Plectrum. If I see it once more this period, I shall tweak you. Is your father a solicitor, boy ? You're lying Plectrum, so see me afterwards to be tweaked anyway. Yes, isn't life tragic? Oh don't snivel, boy, for God's sake. Has Matron seen those boils? Havenut, Jones M. and Sediment, cribbing. Under-Manager, answer upside-down. Do you do it deliberately, boy ? You're a blemish, Under-Manager. A carbuncle on the backside of humanity. Don't snigger, Babcock! It's not funny. Anthony and Cleopatra is not a funny play. If Shakespeare had meant Anthony and Cleopatra to be funny, he would have put a joke in it. There is no joke in Anthony and Cleopatra. You would know that if you'd read it, wouldn't you, Babcock? Pest! Which of Shakespeare's plays does have a joke in it? Anyone? The Comedy of Errors, for God's sake! The Comedy of Errors has the joke of two people looking like each other. Twice. It's not that funny, German. And the other Shakespearian joke is, Nibble? NIBBLE! Leave Orifice alone! What a lot! All right, for the rest of this period, you will write about Enobarbus. Under-Manager, just try and write, "Enobarbus". Either way up, boy, I'm not bothered. Usual rules; no eating, no cheating, no looking out of windows, no slang, no slide rules. Use ink only, via a nib if possible. Kosygin, you're in charge.

  4. At least these are real words! Who can forget when Prince(the Minnesota rock star)changed his name to a symbol and was referred to as "The Artist formerly known as. "

  5. T: Yes Rowan Atkinson - what a star. It needs to be heard rather than read.

    What about the Australian couple who kicked up a fuss because they were refused the chance to register their son as "@"?